Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Agriculture
House Committee on Long-Term Debt and Capital Expenditures
Joint Committee on Energy
Joint Committee on Government Regulations
Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
United States Environmental Protection Agency

"Our stewardship of the environment is our legacy to future generations. We must preserve and protect our natural resources by providing local and state decision-makers with the tools and resources to preserve, protect and enhance our environment."
 image of a field and the ocean
-Speaker Tom Finneran
Massachusetts is blessed with thousands of acres of open space, recreation areas, and waterways. The Legislature has demonstrated a strong commitment to preserving and protecting the Commonwealth's limited natural resources. Tom Finneran believes that Massachusetts' citizens need to expand recycling strategies to eliminate much of the solid and hazardous waste streams. In addition, preserving rapidly vanishing open space must be a priority for all.

Under Speaker Finneran's leadership, the House enacted the Community Preservation Act to make such preservation easier for cities and towns by allowing communities to preserve open space, protect historic sites, and produce affordable housing. Another major piece of legislation, the Brownfields Act, is turning abandoned and contaminated industrial sites into productive properties again through the use of tax incentives, state financing, and subsidized insurance. Speaker Finneran's efforts were also integral in the passage of the Rivers Bill in 1996, which protected the Commonwealth's private and public water supply by tripling the open space around rivers. Since 1996, this bill has kept ground water cleaner, provided flood control, prevented storm damage, protected land containing shellfish, prevented pollution, and protected both wildlife habitat and fisheries.

In 2002, the House passed an Environmental Bond Bill that allowed the state to reinvest in its green infrastructure from park improvements and pollution prevention to open space acquisition. The bill contains capital funds for the Self-Help and Urban Self-Help programs, aiding communities in purchasing land for open space and recreation; the Agricultural Preservation Restriction program, keeping family farms in agricultural production; and land acquisition programs for forests, parks, reservations, recreational facilities, and wildlife habitat. It also provides funds for pollution protection, hazardous waste cleanup, and other environmental protection programs.

Tom Finneran remains committed to helping Massachusetts and its communities make long-term decisions about natural resources and ensure that future generations can truly appreciate the state's magnificent natural heritage.

Voter Record: Environment
Support Oppose Bill # and Explanation Date
 #   Amendment to H. 5100. This amendment allotted funding for interests pertaining to natural resources and environmental protection, gaming, recycling, fisheries and wildlife, the MDC, improvement in infrastructure, and emergency food provisions. House passed. (Y153 N1) 5/15/02
 #   H. 5308. This bill provided for the emergency maintenance of the Commonwealth's environmental assets. House passed. (Y151 N0) 6/28/00
 #   H. 4866. This bill, the Community Preservation Act, gave communities the tools to preserve open space, protect historical sites, and produce affordable housing. House passed. (Y139 N14) 11/3/99
 #   H. 6275. This bill, known as the "Rivers Bill," provided protection for the Commonwealth's private and public water supply. House passed. (Y129 N22) 7/25/96