Several barriers to effective climate action in our town were identified by the Collins Center for Public Management in its August 2020 Organizational Assessment of Sustainability Functions. Based in part on the recommendations in that report, it is essential to reconstitute the Select Board's Climate Action Committee (SBCAC) as the Zero Emissions Advisory Board (ZEAB), a public body subject to the Open Meeting Law.

Appointees to the reconstituted ZEAB, through their expertise and commitment to climate action goals, should serve as advisers and partners to executive and elected leadership, especially the Town Administrator and Select Board, in defining and actualizing the Town’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), most notably the achievement of Zero Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions across both municipal and community wide functions by 2040. ZEAB should lead climate action in the Town, including proposing climate mitigation strategy, tactics, priorities, milestones, and public communication. Central to ZEAB’s work shall be consideration of environmental justice, of those most vulnerable to climate effects, and of those with the least means to contribute to climate solutions. It shall also coordinate with state level climate action.


The ZEAB, or its designated member(s), shall:

  1. Meet monthly with the Town Administrator, according to an agenda set by the Town Administrator and chair of the ZEAB, to prioritize, review, and approve policies, programs, & projects consistent with the Town’s CAP.
  2. Facilitate quarterly CAP conversations among the Town Administrator & Town department heads, to track progress & coordinate policies.
  3. Draft the CAP, in consultation with the Town Administrator, for annual re-consideration by the Select Board.
  4. Review & report on CAP progress in the Annual Town Report.

2023 ZEAB Updates (monthly newsletter)

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Brookline Announces Plans to Install Five Public EV Charging Stations and Additional Stations For Use By Town Vehicles

Coolidge Corner Public Charging Station Expected Within Weeks

In January, 2023, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities released matching funds to cities and towns, to install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations on public property. In Brookline, funds will be used to site charging stations for public use in parking lots on Webster Street, Fuller Street, Kent Street, at Town Hall, and in Coolidge Corner. 

Three additional charging stations will be used by Town vehicles at sites operated by the Department of Public Works: the Newton Street Transfer Station, the Municipal Service Center on Hammond Street, and the Water and Sewer Garage on Netherlands Road. Police and Fire Department charging stations are also being considered as part of the Town’s fleet electrification effort.

The Coolidge Corner station, expected to become operational within weeks of this update, is a Level 2 charger with two ports, capable of charging a variety of makes and models of EVs. Four other locations are in the design phase and the Town is aiming for a Fall opening date for those locations including Kent Street Lot, Fuller Street Lot, Town Hall Lot, and Webster Street Lot. 

Tom Barrasso, Brookline’s Sustainability Director and the Department of Public Works are leading the Town’s efforts to install the chargers, with Barrasso focusing on how the program fits into longer-range and town-wide sustainability planning, and DPW leading implementation. In an interview with ZEAB, Director Barrasso emphasized that the newly-announced charging stations represent an important step toward achieving Brookline’s climate goals, and that there is broad interest throughout the town’s governmental departments in both transitioning the public fleet to EVs and making EV charging more convenient and more readily available to Brookline residents.

How Will the Chargers Be Funded?

The charging station at Town Hall is supported by funds from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources’ annual Green Communities Grant competition. Funds to support the purchase and installation of the additional charging stations came from a combination of grants through MassEVIP and collaboration with Greenspot. These expenditures will be matched by the funds released in January by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. User fees will offset electricity expenses as well as fees charged to the Town by a third party vendor who will maintain the charging stations.

“We know the climate crisis requires bold and immediate action,” said Town Administrator Chas Carey. “I’m proud that we’re continuing to execute on the Select Board’s forward-thinking green agenda by electrifying our municipal fleet and expanding the network of public charging stations. In order to meet our critical climate goals, we must continue leveraging funding from a variety of sources, such as the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.”

ZEAB applauds Brookline’s public employees for their dedication to this important project, and invites you to join in the vital and ongoing work toward a liveable future for all.