CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is working on a feasibility study related to the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants and is seeking public comment and data. That information will be accepted through the end of the year.
The study concerns the feasibility of developing a state plan for the regulation of emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, in order to comply with the requirements in the EPA’s rule. This feasibility study, which is being conducted with participation from Marshall University researchers, is mandated by House Bill 2004, which passed the Legislature earlier this year. The study requires a comprehensive analysis of the potential effects the rule, which is 111 (d) of the Clean Air Act, on the state, its people and its economy. Those who wish to supply comments and information for use in this study should consult the legislation, which can be read in its entirety here
The DEP has 180 days from the effective date of the 111 (d) rule to conduct this study. That clock starts when the rule is published in the federal register, which is expected to occur later this month.
If development of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) is deemed feasible, the next step would be to develop such a plan and submit it to the West Virginia Legislature for approval prior to submittal of the plan to the EPA. States must – by Sept. 6, 2016 – either submit a final SIP or file an initial plan with an extension request. Final completed state plans must be submitted no later than Sept. 6, 2018.
The EPA has said it will impose a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) on states that do not submit state plans. The proposed FIP is not anticipated to be finalized until after the DEP’s report to the state Legislature is due. The EPA also has not yet finalized model state plans.
Anyone with data that could be useful in the development of the feasibility study and/or state plan, or who would like to provide comments about the Clean Power Plan in general, is invited to share that information with the DEP. Comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
, with “Clean Power Plan Study Comments” in the subject line, by Dec. 31, 2015. Information can also be mailed by that date to:
Clean Power Plan Study Comments
West Virginia DEP
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304
Formal requests for data from electric utilities, various consumer, citizen and industry groups and government entities have also been sent out.
The goal of the Clean Power Plan is to – by 2030 – cut carbon pollution from the power sector 32 percent below 2005 levels. For more information on the EPA’s rule, the DEP’s feasibility study and important dates related to both, click here
For more DEP news and information, go to www.dep.wv.gov
. Also, be sure to connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter and find us on YouTube by searching “Environment Matters.” For specific information about our REAP (Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan), West Virginia Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), West Virginia Watershed Improvement Branch, Youth Environmental Program and Human Resources initiatives, connect on Facebook.