The Massachusetts GHG Policy Expands Its Scope

In October 2007, the Massachusetts MEPA office issued its Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) Policy, requiring certain limited categories of projects subject to MEPA to assess the GHG impacts of those projects and include mitigation of those impacts in the environmental impact review. In short, projects with obvious traffic or air emissions impacts were subject to the policy.

On August 8, 2008, Governor Patrick signed the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008. Among other provisions, the Act provided specific statutory authority for the MEPA GHG Policy and provided that greenhouse gas emissions should be addressed in any state permits.

As a result of this change, the MEPA office has revised the MEPA GHG Policy to require that any project that will require an Environmental Impact Report must comply with the GHG Policy. This revision to the jurisdiction of the policy will be applicable to any project proponent who files an Environmental Notification Form after the February 2, 2009 MEPA filing deadline. The Secretary has retained discretion to require compliance with the GHG Policy for any Notice of Project Change filed after the February 2, 2009 filing deadline. For your convenience, the MEPA office has provided a summary of the changes to the policy.

Let the fun begin.

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