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.
|"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
-Speaker Tom Finneran
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.
||Bill # and Explanation
||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)
||H. 5308. This bill provided
for the emergency maintenance of the Commonwealth's environmental
assets. House passed. (Y151 N0)
||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)
||H. 6275. This bill,
known as the "Rivers Bill," provided protection for
the Commonwealth's private and public water supply. House passed.