Please attend MassDEP E.O. 562 listening sessions next week
I am writing to urge you to attend one of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) listening sessions next week. Although the agency has identified regulations it wants to amend and rescind (see letter from Commissioner Suuberg here); the purpose of the listening session appears to be more general (see press release here). It is likely other stakeholders will be seeking changes to allow additional pollution in waterways, additional water withdrawals, more development in important habitat areas, and more limited public access to waterways, as they have in the past.
Listening Session Times/Locations:
- Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 4-6 pm – MassDEP’s Central Regional Office, Suasco Conference Room, 8 New Bond Street, Worcester.
- Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 4-6 pm – Springfield Central Library, 220 State Street, Springfield.
- Thursday, October 1, 2015, 4-6 pm – MassDEP’s Boston headquarters, Conference Rooms A, B & C, second floor, 1 Winter Street, Boston.
It is critically for us to show MassDEP that the environmental community supports strong protection of our land and water resources- PLEASE consider coming to one of these or ask another staff person or volunteer from your organization to attend.
MassDEP is responsible for administering the Water Management Act, the Wetland Protection Act, and the Waterways Act (Chapter 91), among many other important statutory protections for water quality and quantity, wildlife habitat, and public access to waterways. Please stand up for these important regulations, and let the agency know if you think some of these could be strengthened.
Feel free to draw from the letter that MLTC, the MA Riverways Alliance and MACC sent to Undersecretary Madden of the Executive Office of Administration and Finance if you would like some ideas on speaking points. Letter available here. It is always most compelling when you speak from your own experience including such elements as:
· How have DEP's regulations protected lands and rivers that are important to you and your members?
· Why is it important to keep these regulatory environmental protections strong?
· What, in your opinion, should be strengthened?
It is also useful to listen to other stakeholders and be prepared to respond. Finally - even if you don't talk at all, it's useful for DEP staff to know you came - so make sure you sign in, with your organizational affiliation.
Please let me know if you plan to attend one of these sessions and let me know which one - I'll be in Worcester on Tuesday.
Thank you for your great advocacy!