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July 2022


Westford Climate Action's mission is to drive climate action. We promote sustainability and advocate on a local level for actions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and safeguard the health of our community for future generations.
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If you are receiving this newsletter for the first time, you may have signed up during our Earth Day 2022 celebration. If you do not wish to receive our newsletter, please click the unsubscribe option at the bottom of this newsletter.
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Westford Climate Action Hosts a Free Zoom Webinar on Promoting Clean Energy in Our Buildings on Wednesday, July 13 at 7:00 PM with Acton Select Board Member Jim Snyder-Grant
 
Westford’s Clean Energy and Sustainability Committee has determined that nearly 60% of our town's greenhouse gas emissions come from our buildings. How we choose to go forward with town building projects will have a major impact on climate change and our environment. Westford Climate Action will host a free webinar on Wednesday, July 13 at 7:00 pm with Acton Select Board Member Jim Snyder-Grant. Jim will share how Acton residents have passed proposed changes to their bylaws and building codes to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

About our speaker: Mr. Snyder-Grant retired from a career in software development in 2003. As well as being elected to Acton’s Select Board in 2020, he has served on a variety of Acton boards, committees, and non-profit boards, including Green Acton, the Acton Conservation Trust, the Acton Land Stewardship Committee, the Commission on Disabilities, the Community Preservation Committee, and the Acton 2020 Comprehensive Community Plan committee.
 

The webinar will be recorded and can be accessed at WestfordClimateAction.org  This event is co-sponsored by Westford’s Clean Energy and Sustainability Committee.
 
Earth Day 2022, Westford Climate Action, and You!
 
WCA was excited to welcome many of you at our month-long celebration of the Earth in April. Our Earth Day Festival was held on April 22nd on the Westford Common. We were thrilled to have co-sponsored the event with many great local organizations and welcomed our community to both celebrate our planet and consider how we can make an impact in combating climate change. Our speakers included State Representative Jim Arciero, Chair of the Select Board Andrea Peraner-Sweet, indigenous speaker and Westford resident Jill Gross, three students from the Westford school system, and exciting musical performances.  Additionally, we had a number of tables that were run by enthusiastic local organizations about all aspects of combating our climate crisis. Throughout the month of April we also held a nature walk every weekend and held a number of events related to the climate in partnership with the J.V. Fletcher Library.

As we reflected on all of Earth Month's events, we noticed how much Westford residents really care about our climate and are passionate about making a difference. We at Westford Climate Action would like to invite you to continue your involvement in climate advocacy within our community. Whether it is helping to plan events that are centered on our planet, being more conscientious about reducing your own consumption, advocating for net-zero local buildings plans to reduce towards net zero, and so much more, every little bit helps! We welcome you to attend our meetings to learn how you can get further involved in our efforts here in Westford! Please email us at westfordclimateaction@gmail.com to find out when we will hold our next meeting.

Thank you again to all the attendees and the people and organizations that helped make our 2022 month-long celebration of Earth Day possible.
'What to Know About the New Massachusetts "Clean Energy and Climate Plan" for 2025 and 2030
Click here to check out this informative article from WBUR's website  (July 5, 2022). Key points from the article:
  • The new climate plan sets greenhouse gas reduction targets of 33% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.
  • By 2025, the state says we need 200,000 electric vehicles [EVs] on the road and 15,000 public charging stations. By 2030, Massachusetts needs 900,000 EVs on the road and 75,000 public charging stations to meet the climate goals.
  • The Commonwealth's plan calls for the "widespread deployment" of cold-climate heat pumps to warm and cool buildings.
Importance of Individual Action: As stated in the report, “the collective choices that residents make about their next vehicles and heating systems will significantly impact the Commonwealth’s ability to achieve the 2025 and 2030 emissions limits and sub-limits.”
Legislative Corner
 
To help us meet our MA climate goals, a strong climate bill needs to be created and passed before the current legislative session ends on July 31. The Joint Climate Conference Committee is tasked with working on an omnibus bill derived from a House bill focused on promoting wind energy and a Senate bill called "An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward" which addresses emissions in the transportation, building, and energy sectors. 

Please consider writing an email using the template below to the six members of the Joint Climate Conference Committee urging them to create an omnibus bill. Address your letters by clicking on a representative or senator's link below which will open your email app and address the email;
Rep. Jeffrey Roy Jeffrey.Roy@mahouse.gov
Rep. Tackey Chan Tackey.Chan@mahouse.gov
Rep. Bradley Jones Bradley.Jones@mahouse.gov
Sen. Mike Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov
Sen. Cynthia Creem Cynthia.Creem@masenate.gov
Sen. Bruce Tarr Bruce.Tarr@masenate.gov

Sample template letter:
My name is [Name] and I’m a resident of [Town]. I’m writing because I hope that you will create a bill taking the best from both pieces of legislation in the House and Senate climate bills.

The House bill’s provisions on loosening the offshore wind price cap, upgrading our transmission infrastructure, increasing the amount of funding for MassCEC, and promoting energy storage are all critical to promoting clean energy in the Commonwealth. 

The Senate bill also has some important sections which should be made into law. This includes an EV rebate for low-income buyers, provisions for bus electrification, and building more charging infrastructure. It is also good to see the Senate raising the offshore wind goal to 10,000 megawatts. The provisions allowing some new communities to ban natural gas in new construction is a great step forward but it is disappointing to see that only ten communities would be allowed to do so. Finally, I also hope the section increasing air monitoring in communities with substantial air pollution and creating plans to reduce that pollution become law.  

Sincerely,
(Name)
It's Mosquito Season!
 
The mosquito season is upon us and signs for companies offering mosquito spraying services have been going up on lawns across town. But to ensure our water remains clean, our children and pets are safe from toxic chemicals, and our environment is protected, it’s important to check out what chemicals are used in these sprays. Some of these insecticides are carcinogenic.

What many residents don’t know is that the State offers free, all-natural, non-toxic spraying here in Westford.  All you have to do is go online and fill out the form for Central MA Mosquito Control Project. They will even come out more than once a season if you need another application.
Shave The Peak Alerts
 
Shave the Peak is a program from the Green Energy Consumers Alliance that empowers people to use less electricity during peak hours to lessen the demand on the grid. When demand is high, the utilities often employ additional peaker plants* to add more energy to the grid, often from fossil fuels like oil and coal. Sign up for Shave the Peak alerts to receive notifications about peak events. The alerts will let you know when a peak day is coming up and send you some suggestions for cutting down on electricity use during peak hours.
*Peaker power plants generally run only when there is a high demand, known as peak demand, for electricity.
You can sign up for alerts here.
Copyright © 2022 Westford Climate Action, All rights reserved.


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