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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 4: Adoption of 2020 statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit; compliance measures; information gathering; costs-benefit analysis; de minimus threshold for emissions reduction requirements; voluntary actions for reductions; public hearings; updates to plan

Section 4. (a) The secretary shall adopt the 2020 statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit pursuant to subsection (b) of section 3 which shall be between 10 per cent and 25 per cent below the 1990 emissions level and a plan for achieving said reduction. The secretary shall consult with all state agencies and regional authorities with jurisdiction over sources of greenhouse gases on all elements of the emissions limit and plan that pertain to energy-related matters including, but not limited to, electrical generation, load based-standards or requirements, the provision of reliable and affordable electrical service and statewide fuel supplies, to ensure the greenhouse gas emissions reduction activities to be adopted and implemented by the secretary are complementary, non-duplicative and can be implemented in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The 2020 statewide emissions limit and implementation plan shall comply with this section.

(b) The secretary shall analyze the feasibility of measures to comply with the emissions limit established in subsection (a). Such measures shall include, but not be limited to, the electric generating facility aggregate limit established pursuant to section 12, direct emissions reduction measures from other sectors of the economy, alternative compliance mechanisms, market-based compliance mechanisms and potential monetary and nonmonetary incentives for sources and categories of sources that the secretary finds are necessary or desirable to facilitate the achievement of reductions of greenhouse gas emissions limits.

(c) The secretary shall consider all relevant information pertaining to greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and programs in other states and nations.

(d) The secretary shall evaluate the total potential costs and economic and noneconomic benefits of various reduction measures to the economy, environment and public health, using the best available economic models, emissions estimation techniques and other scientific methods.

(e) The secretary shall take into account the relative contribution of each source or source category to statewide greenhouse gas emissions and shall recommend a de minimis threshold of greenhouse gas emissions below which emissions reduction requirements shall not apply.

(f) The secretary shall identify opportunities for emissions reduction measures from all verifiable and enforceable voluntary actions.

(g) The secretary shall conduct public hearings on the proposed 2020 emission limit and implementing plan. The secretary shall conduct a portion of these workshops in regions that have the most significant exposure to air pollutants, including, but not limited to, communities with minority populations, communities with low-income populations, or both.

(h) The secretary shall update its plan for achieving the maximum technologically feasible reductions of greenhouse gas emissions at least once every 5 years, including the plans to implement the 2030, 2040 and 2050 statewide emission limits.