Environment, Agriculture, and Energy [< Go back]

Michael has always valued the importance of protecting our environment, preserving our natural resources, helping our farmers, and he is working to modernize and reshape our Commonwealth’s energy landscape to ensure the long-term stability of how we power our homes, businesses, hospitals, and schools.

·    As part of a $1.9 billion, 4-year capital plan for the preservation and improvement of land, parks and clean energy in the Commonwealth, Michael worked closely together with his SouthCoast Legislative Delegation colleagues to advocate for and successfully secure the following:

o  $20 million for capital improvements to the Fall River State Pier;

o  $10 million for preservation of historical vessels berthed in Battleship Cove;

o  $10 million for capital improvements to Horseneck Beach Reservation, including the protection of the 32 waterfront campground site;

o  $7.5 million for the redevelopment of the Fall River City Pier;

o  $4.75 million for the Assawompsett Pond Complex Flood Study and Mitigation, which includes the communities, Freetown, Lakeville and Rochester.

o  $250,000 for the shellfish propagation program in Westport;

o  $250,000 for the Somerset Breed’s Brook Culvert Restoration in Somerset;

o  $100,000 for the Sear’s Farm Environmental Assessment and Remediation Study in Swansea.

·    In the current 2013-2014 legislative session, Michael successfully advocated for his legislation that encourages increased mercury reduction by restructuring manufacturer-funded programs for collecting mercury-added products, while requiring leading Massachusetts manufacturers to play a key role in funding statewide efforts to reduce mercury and achieve a cleaner environment.

·    As a friend and strong advocate of the farming community, Michael recently led successful efforts to expand the Commonwealth’s Agricultural Board to ensure the Board is more representative of the state’s farming industry by requiring that farmers make up at least 9 members of the board and represent diverse agricultural operations across the state.

·    Michael successfully got an amendment included into the recently passed Economic Development legislation that extends the state’s 3% investment tax credit to help our small farms and fishing operations invest money into their locally owned operations and support our Commonwealth’s farming and fishing industry.

·    Leading efforts to address unprecedented market conditions affecting cranberry growers across Southeastern Massachusetts, especially those local farmers across the SouthCoast, Michael was able to secure an amendment in the FY15 budget that provides immediate economic relief for struggling cranberry farmers by ensuring that they have the ability to stay in the Chapter 61A tax program at no additional cost and would be protected until 2017 when depressed market conditions are expected to improve.

·    Because of the support of local fishing groups across the SouthCoast, Michael played a leading role in getting a law passed in 2010 that benefits all Massachusetts saltwater anglers by establishing a state saltwater fishing registry that required recreational saltwater anglers to purchase a license to fish beginning in 2011. The revenues from the purchase of the fishing licenses are dedicated to improving recreational saltwater fishing opportunities, including programs to improve public access for recreational fishing across the Commonwealth. 

·    Michael was a strong opponent of the proposed siting of an LNG facility in Weaver’s Cove. Working with then Senator Menard, Representative Sullivan and others, Michael was part of successful effort in passing Chapter 295 of the Acts of 2008 that creates a buffer zone protecting the neighborhoods, schools, businesses, hospitals, senior housing complexes, etc., from the extreme dangers of placing an LNG terminal in a densely populated area like Fall River.

·    Michael has always strongly supported and been committed to protecting the coastal waters of Westport, Fall River and all of Buzzards Bay. As part of this tireless advocacy, Michael helped to pass legislation further preventing oil spills in Buzzards Bay into law. 

·    Michael successfully worked with others to establish the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve, which protects over 13,000 acres of land (including parts the Freetown-Fall River State Forest) for public drinking water supply, extensive wildlife habitat, forests and public recreational opportunities. The purpose of the over 13,600 acre Bioreserve is to protect, restore and enhance the biological diversity and ecological integrity of a large scale ecosystem representative of the region; to permanently protect public water supplies and cultural resources; to offer interpretive and educational programs; and to provide opportunities for appropriate public use and enjoyment of this natural environment.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Somerset Town Hall
140 Wood Street
Somerset, MA 02726
(508) 673-8408
Fall River Government Center
1 Gov't Center Fall River, MA 02723
Room 235
(508) 646-0650
Boston State House
Room 213-B
Boston, MA 02133
(617) 722-1114



 

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