Tuesday, May 12, 2020

DEP Citizens Advisory Council Holds Virtual Meeting May 19 On Carbon Pollution Reduction Program

The DEP Citizens Advisory Council is scheduled to hold a virtual meeting May 19 to discuss DEP’s proposed carbon pollution reduction program covering power plants that is compatible with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. (formal notice)
Hayley Book, DEP Senior Advisory on Energy and Climate, will give a presentation to Council on the proposed carbon pollution reduction program, prior to a full discussion by the Council.
RGGI is a market-based cap-and-invest by northeast states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
DEP met with the Citizens Advisory Council on November 19 to outline the process for developing the regulations needed to implement the program.
DEP released a draft regulation establishing a proposed cap-and-invest program on January 30, However, it did not include key provisions related to the overall cap on carbon emissions and how much the cap would be reduced each year.
DEP first reviewed it with the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee on February 13, DEP’s Citizens Advisory Committee on February 18 and the Climate Change Advisory Committee on February 25.
DEP again met with the Citizens Advisory Council and the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee April 23 on the proposal to hear a presentation on the latest modeling results.
The Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee met on May 7 to discuss the proposal and voted 9 to 9, with one abstention, to not approve a motion to recommend DEP go to the Environmental Quality Board with the proposal.
DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell also said the agency has been holding meetings with individual stakeholders on the proposal.
In addition, there have been multiple hearings and information meetings in the Senate and House already on the proposal.  Click Here for more background on Senate and House reviews.
Gov. Wolf’s Executive Order directs DEP to present a proposed regulation reducing carbon pollution from power plants to the Environmental Quality Board in July.
For more information on RGGI, visit DEP’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative 
Also on the agenda is a discussion of the Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) III Air Quality regulation proposal.
DEP Written Report
The monthly written report to Council on DEP activities is also available. DEP reported--
-- PFAS Sampling has been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  When work resumes DEP’s Bureau of Laboratories has been certified to use a new testing method which can detect lower levels of PFAS chemicals.
-- Work with Drexel University on developing a maximum contaminant level for PFAS is continuing and is expected on or before December.
-- VOC/Methane Controls On Oil & Gas Industry should be published for public comment on May 23.
-- All RACT II Air Quality permits were issued as of April 27 and DEP anticipate submitting all State Implementation Plan revisions to DEP by May 9.
-- The PA Energy Development Authority posted its latest annual report for 2018-19
-- Next meeting of Drive Electric PA Coalition is July 16.
The meeting will begin at 12:30 p.mClick Here for instructions on registering for the virtual meeting. 
For available handouts and presentations, visit the DEP Citizens Advisory Council webpage.  Questions should be directed to Keith Salador, Executive Director, 717-787-8171 or ksalador@pa.gov.
Related Articles:
[Posted: May 12, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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