SECTION 1. Chapter 30 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting the following sections:-
Section 62J. As used in this section and in section 62K, the following definitions shall apply, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
“Environmental justice,” the right to be protected from environmental pollution and to live in and enjoy a clean and healthful environment regardless of race, income, national origin or English language proficiency. Environmental justice shall include the equal protection and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies and the equitable distribution of environmental benefits.
"Environmental Benefits," access to funding, open space, enforcement, technical assistance, training, or other beneficial resources disbursed by the executive secretariats and their agencies and offices.
"Environmental Justice Population," a neighborhood in which the annual median household income is equal to or less than 65 percent of the statewide median or in which minorities comprise 25 percent or more of the population or in which in which 25 percent or more of households lack English language proficiency or as defined by the Executive Office of EEA or its subordinate agencies in an environmental justice strategy issued pursuant to other law.
"Equal Protection," that no group of people, because of race, ethnicity, class, gender, or handicap bears an unfair share of environmental pollution from industrial, commercial, state and municipal operations or have limited access to natural resources, including waterfronts, parks and open space, and water resources.
“Executive Office of EEA,” the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
"Lacking English Language Proficiency" refers to households that, according to federal census forms, do not have an adult proficient in English.
“Neighborhood,” a census block group as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau but not including people who live in college dormitories or people under formally authorized, supervised care or custody such as federal or state prisons.
“Secretary of EEA,” the Secretary for Energy and Environmental Affairs.
“Toxics Release Inventory,” the Toxics Release Inventory and Toxics Release Inventory Program of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
“TRI Facility,” any industrial or commercial facility subject to the regulations, policies, or reporting requirements of the Toxics Release Inventory Program of the United States Environmental Protection Agency or comparable laws or regulations of the Commonwealth for the management and control of pollutants or toxins that pose a significant risk to public health or the environment.
Section 62K. The Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs shall direct each Department, Board, or other agency or program in the Secretariat with jurisdiction over the permitting of any TRI Facility to issue recommendations for ways to substantially decrease the further siting or expansion of TRI Facilities within Environmental Justice Population neighborhoods. This action shall be undertaken by the Secretary of EEA no later than 30 days after the bill’s passage.
By no later than 180 days after the effective date of this Act, the Secretary of EEA shall initiate a rule-making process that shall establish a cap on the total number of TRI Facilities that may be sited or expanded within any Environmental Justice Population neighborhood. That rule-making process shall prioritize and give substantial weight to achieving a substantial reduction of the risk of the exposure of residents of the neighborhood to toxins listed in the TRI Inventory and shall prioritize and give substantial weight to providing and preserving the access of the residents of the neighborhood to a clean and healthful environment regardless of race, income, national origin or English language proficiency.
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