The Commission on Energy Infrastructure Siting and Permitting is seeking public input through March 15 on questions related to the siting of clean energy infrastructure.

The public is invited to comment on four questions related to siting and permitting clean energy infrastructure:
1. How should Massachusetts balance the need to accelerate deployment of clean energy, ensure communities have input into the siting and permitting process, and ensure the benefits of the clean energy transition are shared equitably?
2. How should the above be accomplished while also protecting health, safety, and community livability, particularly for vulnerable or under-resourced populations?
3. How should we accomplish the above while also protecting the environment?
4. Who should have a seat at the table when decisions are made about where to locate clean energy infrastructure and what restrictions apply?

The online survey also seeks input on several more specific questions covering topics related to the siting and permitting processes. Topics include the definition of clean energy infrastructure, state- and local-level permitting reforms, environmental impacts, community engagement, community benefit agreements, and processes under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act and the Energy Facilities Siting Board.

Gov. Maura Healey established the Commission on Energy Infrastructure Siting and Permitting last September to develop recommendations for reforms to reduce barriers to clean energy infrastructure development. Such infrastructure predominately includes electric generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure that will be necessary to meet the required emissions limits outlined in the Commonwealth’s Clean Energy and Climate Plan, which calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared to 1990 levels by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

The state projects that Massachusetts will need to significantly expand energy infrastructure, including thousands of megawatts of new solar and wind generation, storage capacity, and the transmission and distribution infrastructure necessary to interconnect these resources and deliver electricity to customers.

The CEISP is tasked with developing recommendations on how to reduce permitting timelines, ensure that communities have input on siting and permitting, and ensure that the benefits of the clean energy transition are shared equitably.

The CEISP must submit its recommendations to the governor by March 31. The committee’s recommendations are expected to be followed by legislative action.

The MMA is represented on the CEISP by Acton Town Manager John Mangiaratti.

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