Chapter 30 of the General Laws, as so appearing in the 2020 official edition, 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:
"Equal Protection," that no group of people, because of race, ethnicity, class, gender, gender identity, 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.
“Environmental justice population,” as defined in the Acts of 2021, section 56, chapter 8.
“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 Populations 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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