Public Comment Period Open Through January 14th, 2021
The Environmental Quality Board will begin accepting public comments on Saturday, November 7th, 2020 through Thursday, January 14th, 2021 regarding proposed regulations that would reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution from power plants within Pennsylvania and establish Pennsylvania’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional CO2 Budget Trading Program.
“The impacts of climate change have had and will continue to have a dramatic effect on Pennsylvania communities and economies,” said the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We believe our participation in RGGI will help protect residents and future generations from the negative impacts of climate change.”
Climate change impacts are being caused by the emission and atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gas pollution, namely CO2. Scientists have confirmed that increased CO2 pollution from human activity is causing changes to global climate. Major scientific institutions including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the American Medical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and many others support this position.
There are multiple ways to provide comments on the regulation. Comments on the proposed rulemaking will be accepted electronically through DEP’s eComment system or e-mail at RegComments@pa.gov. A subject heading of “CO2 Budget Trading Program” and a return name and address must be included in each transmission.
Written comments may be submitted by U.S. postal mail to the Environmental Quality Board, P.O. Box 8477, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8477. Express mail should be addressed to the Environmental Quality Board, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 16th Floor, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101.
In accordance with Governor Tom Wolf’s emergency disaster declaration and based on advice from the Pennsylvania Department of Health regarding the mitigation of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Board will hold 10 virtual public hearings from December 8-14, 2020.
Persons wishing to present testimony at a hearing must contact Jennifer Swan for the Department and the Environmental Quality Board, (717) 783-8727 or RA-EPEQB@pa.gov, at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing to sign up to present testimony. To help provide interested persons with an opportunity to present testimony, organizations are limited to designating one witness to present testimony on their behalf at one of the hearings.
Verbal testimony is limited to five minutes for each witness. Video demonstrations and screen sharing by witnesses will not be permitted. Internet connection is not necessary to provide verbal comments at a virtual public hearing, but a telephone line is required.
Witnesses are requested to submit a written copy of their verbal testimony by e-mail to RegComments@pa.gov after providing testimony at a hearing.
Information on how to access the hearings will be available on the Board’s webpage found through the Public Participation tab on DEP’s website. Prior to each hearing, individuals are encouraged to visit the Board’s webpage for the most current information for accessing each hearing.
Any members of the public wishing to observe the public hearing without providing testimony are also directed to access the Board’s webpage. Those who have not signed up to provide testimony with Ms. Swan in advance will remain muted for the duration of the public hearing.
Persons in need of accommodations as provided for in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 should contact the Board at (717) 783-8727 or through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TDD) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users) to discuss how the Board may accommodate their needs. Persons in need of language interpretation services should reach out to Jennifer Swan by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, information listed above.