On Jan. 14, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) announced $50 million in funds to achieve climate change resiliency in the state’s energy resources, coastal regions and transportation infrastructure. The bulk of the funding will establish a $40 million municipal grant program that seeks to make energy infrastructure more resilient by using clean energy technology. The grant program will be administered by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. Funding for the grants will come from alternative compliance payments, which electricity suppliers are required to pay if they do not meet state renewable portfolio standards. Another $10 million will go toward critical coastal infrastructure, paid for through existing capital funding. The governor also hopes to secure another $2 million in funding as part of his 2015 budget proposal.
Further, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will conduct a statewide vulnerability assessment and will be required to adopt climate adaptation plans by 2015. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection also will work with communities to determine drinking water infrastructure vulnerability. Finally, Massachusetts will hire a state climatologist to help utilities and state agencies prepare and forecast for extreme events associated with climate change.