BOSTON – The Senate passed a compromise bill providing for the preservation and improvement of land, parks and clean energy in the Commonwealth, Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) announced.
“Massachusetts has some of the world’s most precious natural resources,” stated Senator Moore, “This funding allows the state to protect our natural resources through initiatives improving water quality and supporting innovative green projects to name a few. These necessary investments will ensure these resources will be enjoyed for years to come.”
The compromise bill included an amendment filed by Senator Moore to the Senate version earlier this month to provide $200,000 for expanded heating and air conditioning upgrades to the Auburn Town Hall.

Auburn also received $500,000 to reimburse the town for the construction of the Dr. Arthur and Dr. Martha Pappas Recreation Complex and $350,000 to expand the parking lot at the West Street state boat ramp access at Dark Brook Reservoir and to relocate the adjacent fire tower training facility.

This legislation authorizes:

• $10 million for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for general improvements and replacements to infrastructure;
• $1.625 million for a conservation district grant program;
• $75.4 million for the Department of Environmental Protection for investment in water and air quality protection;
• $4 million to restore fresh water aquatic fisheries;
• $20 million for the design, construction, reconstruction, repair or removal of state-owned dams;
• $30 million for the dredging of coastal public harbors;
• $57.5 million for the Department of Conservation and Recreation for acquisition of land and interests in land;
• $15 million for the design, construction, reconstruction, repair, improvement, or rehabilitation of flood control facilities and water resource protection related facilities;
• $10.1 million for watershed protection and rehabilitation and technical assistance grants for the removal of aquatic invasive plants;
• $5 million for the Department of Energy and Resources’ Leading by Example Program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts;
• $7 million for a matching grant program for the repair, construction, and modernization of equipment and capital improvements of marine industrial infrastructure located in designated port areas or maritime industrial zones;
• $48.860 million for the design, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair or removal of municipally-owned dams and for inland-flood control projects;
• $20 million for the Department of Agricultural Resources for the agricultural preservation restriction program;
• $2 million for the Department of Agricultural Resources for the agricultural environmental enhancement program for the abatement of all forms of pollution generated from agricultural activities;
• $149.7 million for coastal facilities improvements in designated and non-designated port areas;
• $24.150 million for integrated energy and environmental projects;
• $30.350 million for the improvement of recreational opportunities and ecological integrity protection;
• $3 million for oil or hazardous waste assessment, containment, cleanup, control, removal, or response;
• $30 million for the Department of Fish and Game for the acquisition of land to protect native flora and fauna communities;
• $2 million for conserving and recovering rare and endangered plant and animal species
• $3.4 million for upland habitat management of forestlands, shrub lands, and grasslands;
• $5 million for recreational trails matching grants;
• $62 million for the accelerated energy program to improve the energy efficiency of state-owned facilities; and
• $120 million for the design, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or removal of coastal infrastructure.

In addition, the capital plan:

• Updates the conservation partnership grant created in the 2008 environmental bond bill;
• Requires the Department of Conservation and Recreation to identify areas in which deer overpopulation is negatively impacting forestation, water resources, or plant growth on department-owned land and to develop a plan to cull deer herds by October 1, 2014;
• Requires that any agency that acquires land protected by Article 97 must obtain the approval of the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs prior to implementing any prohibition on fishing, hunting, or trapping; and
• Requires the State Treasurer to annually issue guidance to state agencies on the issuance of “green bonds.”

The compromise bill will now be sent to Governor Patrick for his consideration for final passage.