Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
His Excellency Charles D. Baker
Governor of the Commonwealth
State House, Boston
Dear Governor Baker,
On behalf of the cities and towns of the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Municipal Association is
writing concerning H. 4835, An Act Promoting Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental and
Natural Resource Protection, and Investment in Recreational Assets and Opportunity, commonly
known as the environmental bond bill. The MMA supports the provisions and funding in H. 4835
that support the many environmental initiatives designed to help communities and the
Commonwealth adapt to climate change and build resilient infrastructure. In addition, we offer
specific comment on three aspects of the bill, including one new mandate we oppose.
Agricultural Composting Programs
The MMA supports language that would place agricultural composting programs under the purview
of the Department of the Environmental Protection. Given the Department’s experience with site
assignment, track record on environmental issues and close working relationship with local officials,
the MMA believes that MassDEP is the most appropriate department to oversee agricultural
composting programs and administer compliance with the process under 310 CMR 16.00. In order for the state’s ambitious food waste reduction goals to be met through composting, including farm-
based composting, the rules guiding this goal must have broad public support, and the public must be confident that the rules adequately protect public health.
Animal Inspector Training
Sections 23 and 102 of H. 4835 would establish training programs for municipal animal inspectors. It
is important that municipal animal inspectors receive adequate training, and the MMA looks forward
to the opportunity to provide input on program design and implementation to ensure this training is
effective and does not place new administrative or cost burdens on towns and cities.
Animal Inspector Records
Sections 24 and 100 of H. 4835 appear to impose an unfunded mandate on cities and towns by
requiring that municipal animal inspectors maintain a record of all inspections and enter records into
a database maintained by the Director of Animal Health. This would place a new mandate on
understaffed municipal animal control departments. We respectfully ask you to veto Sections 24 and
100, and conduct additional study to determine the best way to maintain these types of records.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to provide input on this important legislation. If you have
any questions, please do not hesitate to have your staff contact me or MMA Legislative Director John
Robertson at 617-426-7272, ext. 122 at any time.
Geoffrey C. Beckwith
Executive Director & CEO