Vacating a Superior Court judge's ruling, the SJC ruled that Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations do not fulfill the specific requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008.
The ruling requires the department to promulgate regulations "that address multiple sources of categories of sources of greenhouse gas emissions, impose a limit on emissions that may be released, limit the aggregate emissions released from each group of regulated sources or categories of sources, set emission limits for each year, and set limits that decline on an annual basis."
"This is a historic day," Jenny Rushlow, the Conservation Law Foundation's lead attorney on the case, said in a statement. "Today our highest court declared clearly and unequivocally that our leaders can no longer sit on their hands while Massachusetts communities are put at risk from the effects of climate change. Thanks to this landmark decision, our role as a national leader in battling climate change has only been stalled but not sacrificed. Now, with action from DEP, we can get back on track and ensure that the health of our families and future generations is always a top priority."
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