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May 12, 2023

Mass. changes rules for 10-town pilot program barring fossil fuels from new developments

Rendering | Courtesy of RODE Architects In an example of a green building design, RODE Architects has designed an all-electric, mixed-use apartment building for the former Fairway Beef site in Worcester.

After incorporating changes based on public feedback, state energy officials say they expect to finalize rules by July 1 for a program that will enable 10 cities and towns to require new building construction or major renovation projects to be fossil fuel-free.

The Department of Energy Resources in December published a draft regulation for the demonstration project, and alerted the Legislature this week that the proposed rules have been amended and undergone revisions that one official said clarify processes and address feedback from potential participating municipalities.

Final regulations are expected to be promulgated by July 1, when DOER will begin accepting applications, with plans to review them based on the order that home rule petitions were filed with the Legislature. The draft regulations call for applications to be filed by Sept. 1, although the timeline is subject to changes by the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy.

In order, the ten communities currently in line to potentially be among the first to advance the controversial effort are Arlington, Lexington, Brookline, Acton, Concord, Cambridge, Lincoln, Newton, West Tisbury and Aquinnah.

In response to feedback from people who asked that the pilot be expanded, DOER acknowledged "broad interest" in the demonstration program, but said the law authorizing it "is clear that no more than 10 communities can be approved to participate at this time."

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May 12, 2023

I'm living amongst single minded twits!

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