The first step towards a Clean Air Massachusetts
First of all,
we’d like to say thank you for visiting this part of our webpage. We believe contacting local elected officials is one of the most efficient steps for enacting real change. We're very excited that you made it here.
If you're just browsing today, we still highly encourage you to look at and be informed on our policy recommendations. They are examples of what feasible steps can be taken to reduce the burden of PM2.5 air pollution.
We have provided an email template that encompasses what we believe should be done at the state and local levels. If you would like to add a more personalized element, we would encourage you to add why PM2.5 control is important to you, your family, community, and town. For finding your representatives, we have linked a few websites and descriptions of how to use them at the bottom of the page.
“All politics are local.”
While we highly encourage all action, we want to highlight how important it is to contact local representatives. As Tip O’Neill once said, “all politics are local”, and your local representatives are the most likely to implement change quickly.
Thank you again for your commitment to a Clean Air Massachusetts. It’s your action that gives us hope for a brighter, cleaner, healthier future.
Our Policy Recommendations
Below are our general policy recommendations. We have separated them by size and scope.
- Convert all municipal vehicle fleets – cars, trucks, buses - to hybrid and fully electric
- Place solar panels on the roofs of municipal buildings
- Preferentially purchase electricity produced by renewable energy
- Block construction of gas pipelines, compressor stations and other components of the natural gas network
- Prohibit gas hook-ups in new construction
- Revise building codes to increase energy efficiency
- Reduce pollutant emissions and air pollution levels by accelerating progress away from fossil fuels toward net zero carbon. Two powerful tools for accelerating this transition are to phase out all governmental subsidies and tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry, while at the same time increasing individual and system levels incentives for wind and solar power.
- Urge ISO-New England, the operator of the region’s electric power grid, to favor renewable energy over electricity produced by fossil fuel combustion
- Recognize the significant health and environmental impacts of methane gas and resist the temptation to continue to rely on gas for power generation and heating
- End all subsidies and tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry
- Resist any temptation to move to nuclear power
Contacting your local policy-maker has the greatest direct impact on you. Policies enacted will be closer to home, and your representative is more likely to respond to any request.
If you live in a city in Massachusetts, then you should contact your local Mayor’s office. Find your mayor here. If you live in a town in Massachusetts, you should contact your local Select Board. They should be relatively easy to find on your city/town website.
Make sure that you not only get your representative’s name but also their email address.
Once you have the emails for your local representative(s), press the email now button below. This will take you to your local mail browser. At this point, you can now add the email addresses of your local representatives. If you would like, you can also add why PM2.5 control is important to you in the email.
Use our pre-written email template below to send a message to your local elected official!
In order to make it easier to demand change from your local officials, we have consolidated the findings of our study and policy recommendations into a pre-written email. We encourage you to use this template as a base and add to it if you feel inclined. Below is a button that will add the text into your email browser so all you have to do is add the address and hit send! We hope you find this to be a valuable tool for creating change in your community.
Dear Elected Official,
I am writing to call your attention to an important new study on the health effects of air pollution in Massachusetts released by the Global Observatory on Planetary Health at Boston College.
This report found that air pollution is responsible for 2,780 premature deaths in Massachusetts each year – nearly 5% of all deaths in the state. Air pollution is also responsible for 300 underweight babies, 15,000 cases of childhood asthma, and 2,000,000 lost IQ points in Massachusetts children. This is unacceptable.
Fossil fuels – gas, oil and coal – are the principal source of this pollution.
The report finds that pollution-related health effects occur in EVERY city in town across Massachusetts. The impacts are most severe in low-income communities, but no town is spared regardless of size, location, demographics or median family income. Air pollution does not respect political boundaries.
Air pollution can be prevented.
The report offers recommendations for preventing air pollution in Massachusetts:
- converting municipal vehicles to electric,
- prohibiting new gas hook-ups, and
- revising building codes to increase energy efficiency.
Please see the full list at bc.edu/cleanairmass.
I urge you to pay serious attention to these findings and to act on them. Air pollution poses a clear and present danger to the health of every Massachusetts resident.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of your action and our sincere gratitude. Research is a critical component of environmental health and air pollution control, but it also requires action to be taken. Every time somebody sends an email, we know the work we put into this project over the last 3 years was well worth it.