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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2721         FILED ON: 1/21/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2614

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Lori A. Ehrlich

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to a coal-free Commonwealth.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Lori A. Ehrlich

8th Essex

William N. Brownsberger

 

Sean Garballey

23rd Middlesex

James B. Eldridge

 

Michael D. Brady

9th Plymouth

Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex

Tom Sannicandro

7th Middlesex

John W. Scibak

2nd Hampshire

Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk

Ellen Story

3rd Hampshire

Sarah K. Peake

4th Barnstable

Brian M. Ashe

2nd Hampden

Katherine M. Clark

Middlesex and Essex

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Cleon H. Turner

1st Barnstable


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2721        FILED ON: 1/21/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2614

By Ms. Ehrlich of Marblehead, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2614) of Lori A. Ehrlich and others relative to electric generating facilities located in the commonwealth that uses coal as fuel and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.  Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

_______________

 

An Act relative to a coal-free Commonwealth.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1: For each electric generating facility located in the commonwealth that uses coal as fuel, the owner and operator shall file a report with the commissioner of the department of energy resources by January 1, 2012 detailing how greenhouse gas emissions emitted by the facility will be reduced consistent with, and at least proportional to, the reductions mandated by chapter 21N of the general laws, including the 2020 statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit adopted by the secretary pursuant to section 4 thereof, and describing how the facility will comply with regulations issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency regarding the control of Hazardous Air Pollutants under section 112 of the federal Clean Air Act, Standards of Performance for fossil fuel fired steam electric generating units under section 111 of the federal Clean Air Act, the Transport Rule, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone, NO2 and SO2, and the Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule.  The report shall include, but not be limited to, the following:  (i) An assessment of the feasibility and cost of repowering the facility with natural gas as compared to the costs of installing pollution controls to meet the federal regulations and other greenhouse gas requirements referenced above; and (ii) An assessment of the potential for re-use of the site for alternative uses, including electric generating alternatives that emit few or no greenhouse gas emissions, as well as alternative uses that do not include electric generation.  The department of energy resources shall hold public hearings to solicit public comment in response to such reports in each of the regions that have the most significant exposure to air pollutants from coal-fired electric generation facilities.

              SECTION 2: On or before January 1, 2013, the commissioner of the department of energy resources shall adopt a plan for replacing all use of coal as an energy resource in the commonwealth by 2020, including a plan for the orderly retirement of all baseload coal-fired electric generating facilities and replacement with clean energy alternatives such as electric transmission upgrades, energy efficiency, demand response and renewable energy alternatives having low or no emissions of greenhouse gases and other regulated air pollutants.  The commissioner shall consult with all state agencies and regional authorities with jurisdiction over electric generation, electric transmission, air emissions, public health, economic development and the provision of reliable and affordable electrical service, to ensure the plan can be implemented in an efficient and cost-effective manner while promoting economic development, reducing the public health and climate impacts of electric generation, and increasing energy security for the commonwealth.  The plan shall take into account the greenhouse gas emission reductions mandated by chapter 21N of the general laws, including the 2020 statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit adopted by the secretary pursuant to section 4 thereof, as well as regulations issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency regarding the control of Hazardous Air Pollutants under section 112 of the federal Clean Air Act, Standards of Performance for fossil fuel fired steam electric generating units under section 111 of the federal Clean Air Act, the Transport Rule, the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone, NO2 and SO2, and the Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule.  The plan also shall be informed by the reports and related public comments submitted pursuant to section 1 of this act. The plan shall include, but not be limited to, the following:  (i) an analysis of the extent to which each coal-fired electric generating facility can or cannot operate in compliance with existing and reasonably foreseeable state and federal environmental regulations, as well as the feasibility and cost of any modifications necessary to meet the requirements of such regulations; (ii) an assessment of the potential for re-use of each coal-fired electric generating facility site for alternatives that emit few or no greenhouse gas emissions or other regulated air pollutants, including electric generation and non-generation alternatives; (iii) an assessment of the potential for replacing or repowering each such coal-fired electric generating facility with a combined cycle natural gas power plant; (iv) an assessment of measures to minimize economic impacts on host communities with respect to each coal-fired electric generating facility that ceases operation on or before January 1, 2020, with such assessment taking into account costs such as any reductions in property tax revenues and benefits such as reduced burdens on emergency and public health services; (v) an analysis of whether and to what extent alternatives are needed to ensure electric system reliability, such as increased energy efficiency, demand response, low- or no-emissions renewable energy, electric transmission upgrades and quick-start natural gas powered electric generation; and (vi) an assessment of site contamination as well as remediation measures necessary to prepare the host site for alternative uses. 

              Prior to adopting a final plan, the department of energy resources shall hold public hearings in each of the regions that have the most significant exposure to air pollutants from coal-fired electric generation facilities.

              SECTION 3:  Chapter 25A of the general laws, as appearing in the 2008 edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 11I the following sections:

              Section 11J.  (1) The department shall establish a greenhouse gas emissions performance standard for all retail electricity suppliers selling electricity to end-use customers in the commonwealth. Beginning January 1, 2020, the greenhouse gas emissions performance standard that must be achieved by each electric generating facility from which retail electricity suppliers purchase electricity for delivery to end-use customers in the commonwealth shall be the lower of (a) one thousand one hundred pounds of greenhouse gases per megawatt hour; or (b) the average greenhouse gas emissions of all electric generating facilities in operation during the prior calendar year in the ISO-New England control area.  Such emissions performance standard shall apply to all electricity delivered to end-use customers in the commonwealth on or after January 1, 2020, without regard to when the electricity was purchased or contracted for purchase.

              (2) Any electric generation facility having a first commercial operation date after January 1, 2011 and located in the commonwealth must comply with the greenhouse gas emissions performance standard established in subsection (1) of this section from the time of its first commercial operation date and continuing thereafter.

              (3) In determining the rate of emissions of greenhouse gases for electric generating facilities under this section, the total emissions associated with producing electricity shall be included.

              (4) The department shall establish an output-based methodology to ensure that the calculation of emissions of greenhouse gases for a cogeneration or combined heat and power facility recognizes the total usable energy output of the process, and includes all greenhouse gases emitted by the facility in the production of both electrical and thermal energy.

              (5) The department shall adopt regulations to implement and enforce the greenhouse gas emissions performance standard under this section, including regulations establishing procedures for verification of greenhouse gas emissions and rules establishing penalties for any failure to comply with the greenhouse gas emissions performance standard.

              Section 11K.  There is hereby established within the department of energy resources and set upon the books of the commonwealth a Community Repowering Fund for the purpose of mitigating impacts of the retirement of coal-fired electric generation facilities on employees of such facilities and on the municipalities where such facilities are located.  There shall be credited to the fund revenue from appropriations or other monies authorized by the general court and specifically designated to be credited to the fund, and gifts, grants, private contributions, repayment of loans, investment income earned on the fund’s assets, and any other sources.  Money remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund.

             

              The department shall maintain the fund as a separate fund, and shall cause it to be audited by an independent accountant on an annual basis in accordance with accepted accounting principles.

             

              The commissioner shall be treasurer, trustee, and custodian of the fund, and shall administer such fund in accordance with the provisions of this section, and shall pay all warrants drawn upon it in accordance with the provisions of this section and with such regulations as the department may promulgate.

             

              A governing board of not less than nine individuals with an interest in matters relating to the general purpose of the fund shall assist the department in matters related to the fund and in the implementation of this section.  The governing board shall include: the commissioner, who shall serve as chair; the secretary of energy and environmental affairs or a designee; the secretary of labor and workforce development or a designee; the secretary of housing and economic development or a designee; a representative of a labor organization representing electric-generation facilities workers recommended by the president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO; a representative of the Massachusetts Municipal Association; and three members to be appointed by the governor, who shall have knowledge and experience in one or more of the following areas: regional environmental concerns; renewable energy and energy efficiency; and worker training programs pertaining to renewable energy or energy efficiency.

              SECTION 4:  Section 2(a) of Chapter 23J of the general laws, as appearing in the 2008 official edition, is hereby amended by striking subsection xi and replacing it with the following –

                            (xi) establishing programs to ensure smooth transitions for workers from coal or oil-fired electric power generating facilities to clean energy jobs; and (xii) performing any other actions necessary to effectuate the state's public interests.

              SECTION 5:  Chapter 111 of the general laws, as appearing in the 2008 official edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 142O the following section:-

              Section 142P.   (a) There shall be a Pollution Public Health Effects Mitigation Trust Fund to support research and education regarding the health impacts of pollution on citizens of the commonwealth. The fund shall be administered by the commissioner. Expenditures from the fund shall be only for the purposes set forth in subsection (d).

              (b) Revenues credited to the fund shall be from the following sources:

              (1) funds appropriated by the general court;

              (2) funds received from federal, state or other sources for the purpose of evaluating the health impacts of pollution;

              (3) costs recovered or otherwise received from parties responsible for violating the terms of any valid air emissions permit;

              (4) fees imposed pursuant to subsection (c); and

              (5) interest earned on any monies in the fund.

              (c) (1) A pollution mitigation fee shall be established in an amount not less than 20 cents for each pound of any air pollutant emitted by any major source as defined in 42 U.S.C. section 7412(a). The fee shall be remitted to the department of revenue on the last day of each month based on the amount of air pollutants emitted during the preceding month.

              (2)  An owner of a major source of any air pollutant shall be liable for the fee until it has been paid to the commonwealth.

              (3)  All fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the fund and shall be disbursed for the purposes set forth in subsection (d). The state treasurer shall not deposit or transfer revenues generated pursuant to subsection (b) to the General Fund or any other fund other than the Pollution Public Health Effects Mitigation Trust Fund.

              (4) The commissioner shall set the amount of the pollution public health mitigation fee, which shall be not less than 20 cents for each pound of any air pollutant emitted by each major source.

              (d) The commissioner shall use money from the fund:

              (1)  to provide funds for the study of the public health impacts from air pollutants, including but not limited to acute local impacts such as asthma, upper respiratory conditions or premature death; such research or studies may be conducted by the department or by a qualified independent medical or public health expert, organization or educational institution;

              (2)  to educate the public in the vicinity of any existing or proposed major source of any air pollutant regarding the actual or potential health impacts associated with air pollutants emitted by such major source;

              (3) to provide funds for research regarding methods or technologies for mitigating health impacts associated with the emission of air pollutants; and

              (4) reasonable administrative and personnel expenses related to the administration of the fund and enforcement of this section.

              (e) The commissioner shall administer the fund in accordance with this section. The commissioner shall develop procedures governing the expenditure of, and accounting for money expended from, the fund and shall also maintain accounting records showing the income and expenses of the fund. The commissioner shall ensure that there are adequate moneys available in the fund to carry out this section.

              SECTION 6. Section 150A of Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended in paragraph one by inserting in the definition of “Refuse,” following the word “sewage,” the words “and coal ash.”

              SECTION 7.  Section 150A of Chapter 111 of the general laws is hereby amended in paragraph one by inserting before the definition of “Department,” the following definition:

              – “Coal Ash,” waste produced from the combustion of coal, including but not limited to fly ash, bottom ash and slag, and including wastes associated with the combustion of coal when added to fly ash, bottom ash or slag.

              SECTION 8.  Section 150A of Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended in paragraph one by inserting after the definition of “Facility,” the following definition:

                            “Fill,” a material used to fill a cavity, passage or hole in the ground, or used to raise the level of the ground or to alter the grades of the ground.

              SECTION 9.   Section 150A of Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby further amended by striking the paragraph added by Chapter 118 of the Acts of 1976 and inserting in place thereof the following paragraphs:

              As of the effective date of this act, coal ash shall not be used as fill, deposited in a landfill, or disposed of by burial, until such time as a site assignment for such site has been obtained from the board of health. The use of coal ash as fill at any site prior to the effective date of this act does not require site assignment.  Construction and expansion of new surface impoundments or waste ponds for the storage or disposal of coal ash shall be prohibited upon passage of this legislation.  

              The requirements of this section shall not apply to coal ash used as a raw material for concrete block manufacture, base for road construction, or coal ash generated from a family residence. A person who uses coal ash for such purposes can do so without assignment or approval from the department or local board of health, provided, however, the department and local board of health shall have jurisdiction to determine, after notice and hearing, that the use or storage of coal ash has created a nuisance condition by reason of odor, dust, fires, smoke, the breeding or harboring of rodents, flies or vermin, or other causes, and to prevent or order abatement thereof.

              A person storing coal ash shall do so in a manner that does not create a nuisance condition, cause a discharge of pollutants to waters of the commonwealth in violation of chapter 21 of the general laws or regulations promulgated thereunder, or create a condition of air pollution.  If the department or local board of health determines that coal ash storage has a significant potential to create a nuisance condition, cause a discharge of pollutants to waters of the commonwealth in violation of chapter 21 or regulations promulgated thereunder, or create a condition of air pollution, the department and local board of health shall require approval pursuant to this section for such storage.  A person who stores more than 100 cubic yards of coal ash at any one time shall make a one-time notification to the department prior to commencement of such storage.  In the case of storage that began prior to the effective date of this section, the person causing such storage shall provide notice to the department or local board of health within 180 days of the effective date of this section.

              As of the effective date of this act, ongoing use of coal ash as refuse, except for use as fill, may continue as an interim use where either the generator or user of the coal ash submits an application for a permit to the department or local board of health within 180 days of the effective date of this act. Such interim use may continue until such time as the department or local board of health issues an approval or denial of the use, or one year from the date the application was submitted to the department or local board of health, whichever is earlier.  At its discretion, the department or local board of health may extend the time period for making a determination regarding the interim use when further information is required before the department or local board of health can make a determination on the application.   In no case shall this interim period exceed two years from the date the application was submitted to the department or local board of health. 

              SECTION 10. Chapter 164 of the general laws, as appearing in the 2010 official edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 69I the following section:

              Section 69I½.  Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter or any law to the contrary, a facility having a first date of commercial operation on or after January first, two thousand eleven, and any facility re-commencing operation after one year or more of non-operation, shall not utilize, combust or gasify coal. 

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