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Governor’s Environmental Bill A ‘Holiday Gift’

December 24, 2007

Boston, MA – A holiday gift for the environment in Massachusetts – that's the way Bay State environmentalists are reacting to Governor Deval Patrick's environmental bond bill.

The $1.4 billion measure, unveiled Friday, is the largest such bond bill in the state's history. If it's approved by the legislature, the money will go to a variety of environmental efforts, including land acquisition and improvement of water and air quality.

Ian Bowles, the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, says the funds would also help the state Department of Conservation and Recreation clear its backlog of repair and maintenance on bridges and other public facilities.

"We've inherited a system that's had a decade or more of lack of investment, so Governor Patrick is making a large step to address a big part of the problem."

James McCaffrey, director of the Massachusetts Sierra Club, believes the money would be well spent.

"We applaud the administration and Secretary Bowles for filing such a landmark environmental bond. It's a tremendous opportunity for Massachusetts' forest and park systems to get back on track."

Other parts of the bill would fund air and water monitoring, and cleanup of solid waste facilities. Bowles says he's optimistic the bill will be approved, partly because of widespread support among environmental and business organizations.

Kevin Clay/John Robinson, Public News Service - MA