BOSTON, MA — Every year since 1985 the environmental organization Mass Audubon has provided to the public a Legislative Report Card which evaluates MA elected officials based on their voting record on any and all environmental bills or budget line items with environmental implications in the previous legislative year. Mass Audubon began this annual report over thirty years ago to inform citizens of their state legislators’ performances in protecting the nature of the commonwealth.
When asked about his grade in the report card, Representative Miceli replied “I am very honored to have received a 100% rating from the Mass Audubon organization, and I’ve always been proud to forward their noble pursuits through my role as a legislator. Their staff has always been an invaluable resource for any and all environmental information pertaining to the Commonwealth.”
The Mass Audubon organization comes to their grades through an evaluation of the elected officials’ roll call votes, votes where each individual member’s vote is recorded rather than a simple majority vote. Other factors Mass Audubon takes into effect when evaluating legislators are:
- Quality of environmental bills filed or cosponsored by legislators
- A legislator’s personal philosophy, ethic or affiliation with national, state, regional or local environmental organizations
- Time and energy spent by a legislator advocating for specific district related environmental bills, projects or grants
This last factor has been at the front of Representative Miceli’s agenda for the past year, due to the attempts by New England Transrail to move forward with their project on the Olin Superfund Site.
When asked about the project, Representative Miceli shared, “I’m gravely concerned. We have a situation that could become the greatest environmental issue our district and even our region has experienced, and rather than our community being assured that the Transrail is taking all the right steps and safety measures, they seem to be doing the exact opposite.”
Miceli continued, “The Environmental Protection Agency and the Surface Transportation Board worked in collaboration and found that further investigations were needed and that the earliest a Record of Decision would be made would be in 2017, which still have not been released. Despite this, Transrail has been taking every opportunity to rush through safety measures that plain and simply exist for very good reasons.”
“I have always held environmental issues to great importance, but never in the past have I and other environmental organizations I’ve worked with like Mass Audobon or the Wilmington Environmental Restoration Committee had an opportunity to avoid an environmental crisis like we have presently through loud and strong opposition to the New England Transrail project. I look forward to continuing to work with organizations like these and with my colleagues in the legislature to continue to protect the environment of the Commonwealth,” added Miceli.
If anyone would like a copy of the Mass Audobon report card, it can be found at www.massaudobon.org or by contacting Representative Miceli’s office at 617-722-2305.
(NOTE: The above press release is from State Rep. Jim Miceli’s Office.)
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