Comment Periods

Unprecedented Surge in Regulatory Proceedings Creates Opportunities for Public Input on Energy and Environment

As recent Massachusetts climate and environmental justice legislation comes into effect, the state is re-examining regulations and public engagement processes. The effect has been a notable increase in requests for public input. The upside is that our agencies, and the utilities they should be regulating, are now mandated by law to consider public input. So far, there doesn’t seem to be set of rules for this outreach between departments.

To help get the word out, No Fracked Gas in Mass will be including posting these notices and descriptions or action guides to the issues in these dockets when we can, since details from the agencies or proponents on what they’re about are seldom adequate, if they’re provided at all, and sometimes lead time is VERY short.

Some of these postings are also for federal comment periods. We’ll always specify.

We’ll continue fleshing out details, adding new ones as they come up, and refining the website arrangement, so check back often to see what’s going on.


SURVEY DEADLINE: None Specified
MA: Department of Energy Resources (DOER)
Technical Potential of Solar Study – Solar Siting Survey

View October 25 Public Workshop on Technical Potential of Solar Study on Events Page

COMMENT DEADLINE: January 13, 2023
The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)
Draft Environmental Justice strategy and maps will be available for public comment
EEA is pleased to announce that it is undertaking two significant initiatives: (1) release of the draft EEA secretariat-wide Environmental Justice (EJ) Strategy and (2) release of updated EJ Maps, to be shared with the Environmental Justice Council for a vote on November 9, 2022. Further explanations of these initiatives appear below. Please contact EEA’s Director of Environmental Justice, Rishi Reddi, at rishi.p.reddi@mass.gov or, EEA’s Deputy Director of EJ for External Stakeholder Coordination, Carline Lemoine at carline.lemoine2@mass.gov, with any further questions. All materials can be found through at EEA’s Environmental Justice webpage this week. 
 
Strategy The EEA EJ Strategy is required under Executive Order 552 and within EEA’s EJ Policy. The document was developed by a Secretariat-wide EJ Task Force that was convened in September 2020 comprising representatives of each of EEA’s agencies, major offices, and affiliated organizations.  The draft strategy contains chapters that pertain to each of these agencies and offices and is tailored to the unique mandate of each entity.  It also provides a consistent approach to common issues, such as the development of EJ metrics to measure progress, staff training for awareness of EJ issues, commitment to diversity in hiring, inclusion of EJ criteria in grant disbursement and commitment to provision of languages services.  The draft strategy will be available for public comment from November 9, 2022 to January 13, 2023 through a link available at EEA’s Environmental Justice webpage, including translated versions. EEA intends to hold in-person public meetings on November 28, 2022 (Boston) and December 15, 2022 (Springfield) and two remote meetings on January 10, 2023 (day and early evening). EEA plans to issue the final EJ Strategy in mid-March and invites you to review and provide comments on this important document which we hope will advance environmental justice across the commonwealth.  
 
COMMENT DEADLINE: January 2, 2023
ENERGY FACILITIES SITING BOARD, MA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES
Subject:
 EFSB22-05 Eversource Longmeadow/Springfield expansion project noticed for hearing & comments/intervention
 
Hearing on 12/14 with comments & intervention due 1/2. Here is the English notice, they provided Spanish as well:  
 
Details: The Siting Board will conduct a remote public comment hearing regarding the Project using Zoom videoconferencing on Wednesday, December 14, 2022, at 6:00 pm. Attendees can join by clicking (or entering) the following link
 
 
The Siting Board will accept written comments on the Project. Written comments will be most useful to the Siting Board if submitted by Monday, January 2, 2023. Persons or groups who wish to be involved in the Siting Board proceeding beyond providing comments at the public comment hearing or submitting written comments may seek either to intervene as a party or to participate as a limited participant. A petition to intervene or participate must be filed with the Siting Board in electronic format, by email or email attachment, to dpu.efiling@mass.gov and to andre.gibeau@mass.gov no later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Monday, January 2, 2023. 
 
COMMENT DEADLINE: December 7, 2022
Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER)
Municipal Aggregation Guide Available for Review
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) seeks public comment on its draft Municipal Aggregation Manual and Best Practices Guide. The Guide was developed in response to municipalities’ increased interest in establishing municipal aggregations. It seeks to provide information that supports the effective and efficient formation of municipal aggregations, equips municipalities to advocate for municipal interests when forming a municipal aggregation, and improves collaboration with DOER on municipal aggregation formation.
 
Comments should be submitted via email to Marian Swain, Deputy Director of Policy & Planning, at marian.swain@mass.gov by 5:00 pm, Wednesday, December 7. Please note that all comments received will be posted publicly on this webpage following the deadline.
 

COMMENT DEADLINE: December 5, 2022
US Environmental Protection Agency, Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund
The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund provides competitive funding for financial and technical assistance to enable zero-emission technologies and projects that reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions and criteria air pollution, including in low-income and disadvantaged communities. Congress has appropriated $27 billion in FY 2022 to implement this new program. These funds are available to EPA to award grants until September 30, 2024. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites the public to comment on the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund program design and implementation. Responses may be used by the EPA to assist in developing program design and guidance.
See NFGiM Events page for listening sessions November 1 and 9.

COMMENT DEADLINE: November 18, 2022
MA-DOER, Clean Peak Energy Standard Distribution Circuit Multiplier Guideline Released for Public Comment

The Department of Energy Resources has posted a draft Clean Peak Distribution Circuit Multiplier Guideline for public comment. In addition to the Guideline, the Department has also posted the preliminary list of eligible circuits, based on the draft guideline. The Guideline and Eligible Circuits List can be found on the Department’s website

The deadline for submitting written comments on this guideline is Friday, November 18, 2022 by 5pm. Written comments should be submitted to DOER.CPS@mass.gov with “DCM Guideline Comments” in the subject line. As an alternative, the public may submit written comments via mail to the Department of Energy Resources, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1020, Boston, MA 02114, attention Samantha Meserve. Please be advised that there may be delays in receiving written comments via the mail.  If you have any questions, please direct them to DOER.CPS@mass.gov.

COMMENT DEADLINE: November 16, 2022
MA EEA, MA Climate Change Assessment for public comment

After over a year of extensive data analysis and stakeholder engagement, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA) is sharing a draft of the MA Climate Change Assessment for public comment. The documents available for review are posted on the project website and include:

  • Draft Executive Summary – available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, and Cape Verdean Kriolu
  • Draft Main Report— available in English 
  • Draft Regional Report Summaries –available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, and Cape Verdean Kriolu
  • Draft Appendices— available in English 

Please submit your feedback by November 16 at 5pm using the survey form found on the project website. Please share widely with your networks; we encourage anyone who is interested to review and provide feedback. Thank you in advance for your time and input!  

COMMENT DEADLINE: November 10, 2022
DOER – Written Comments on Long Duration Energy Storage Study

Section 80 of An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward (H.5060) requires the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) in consultation with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) to retain a consultant or consultant team to provide an overview of the existing energy storage market in the Commonwealth, a market report focused on emerging mid- and long-duration storage technologies, and a study concerning the potential benefits of mid- and long-duration storage to Massachusetts ratepayers as the Commonwealth seeks to achieve its Clean Energy and Climate Plan targets through 2050.  

MassCEC and DOER will be accepting written comments to receive input from interested stakeholders on the potential scope of the study through November 10. Please send written feedback to both grid@masscec.com and aurora.edington@mass.gov with an email titled “LDES Study Comments: Your Organization Name.” A set of slides with information on the 2022 Climate Bill language on the study, codified language on the definition of energy storage, and suggested feedback areas may be found here.

SURVEY DEADLINE: November 7, 2022
MA: Attorney General’s Office
Survey on Environmental Justice and Energy Equity
The MA Attorney General’s Office is looking at whether the Dept. of Public Utilities & Environmental Facilities Siting Board processes are accessible to everyone. They are inviting feedback about participation in government proceedings that affect our daily lives like energy utility rates and siting for energy infrastructure projects. Their stated goal is to promote environmental justice and energy equity. Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) encourages people across the state to fill out this 10 minute survey. Available in English and Spanish.

COMMENT DEADLINE: November 7, 2022
FED: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Comments on FERC Winter Gas-Electric Forum


ISO-New England, our region’s grid operator, filed a “Draft Problem Statement and Call to Action on LNG and Energy Adequacy” with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In response, FERC held a “Winter Gas-Electric Forum” in Burlington, VT on September 8, 2022. The 8 hour long forum was broken up into 4 panels, with a mix of energy industry, governmental, and advocacy officials.

FERC is accepting public comment on the Forum and ISO-New England’s statement.
This is a critical time to make your voice heard! Several voices during the forum argued for more pipeline capacity for New England, even though our demand has never again reached it’s peak back in 2006.

Any party wishing to submit comments regarding the topics discussed at the forum may do so on or before November 7, 2022.

Comments may be filed electronically via the Internet.[1]  Instructions are available on the Commission’s website http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.  For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, (202) 502-8659. 

» See our special page with information on this proceeding
This includes links to view the forum and will soon include our synopsis and talking points.


COMMENT DEADLINE: November 1, 2022, (not firm – can submit after meeting also)
ISO New England Open Board Meeting
See NFGiM Events page for listing.


COMMENT DEADLINE: October 21, 2022, end of day
MA: Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)
Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2050 Proposals

Hearings on October 6th, 7th and 11th:
view on Events Page

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) is developing the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2050 that will help the Commonwealth achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.  We invite you to join in a set of public hearings to provide feedback on EEA’s proposals for 2050, including statewide emissions limit, emissions sublimits for specific sectors, goals for natural and working lands, and strategies to achieve these emissions limit, sublimits and goals. 

Each public hearing will be virtual and begin with the same presentation, followed by public oral comments.  Recordings of the presentation will be posted at www.mass.gov/2050CECP after the hearings. 

» Presentation slides

Written feedback on the proposals is accepted at www.mass.gov/2050CECP and gwsa@mass.gov until end of day October 21, 2022.