|3/17/2017 11:53 am
Date / Time filed with the Register of Regulations
VA.R. Document Number: R____-______
Virginia Register Publication Information
Transmittal Sheet: Response to Petition for Rulemaking
Initial Agency Notice
||Air Pollution Control Board
||Karen G. Sabasteanski
||Department of Environmental Quality
629 East Main Street
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
|9 vac 5 - 80:
||Permits for Stationary Sources
State: Section 10.1-1308 of the Code of Virginia
Federal: Clean Air Act (Sections 110, 112, 165, 173, 182 and Title V)
40 Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 51, 61, 63, 63, 70 and 72
|Date Petition Received
||Susan V. Coleman
As a citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I hereby petition the Department of
Environmental Quality's Air Pollution Control Board to simultaneously promulgate both
an emergency rulemaking and a formal rulemaking to limit and reduce total carbon dioxide
pollution in the Commonwealth by 30% by 2030, from its largest source, electric generating
The Air Pollution Control Board has clear legal authority to limit and reduce carbon
pollution and other greenhouse gases (GHG), by powers vested by the Virginia Code
Specifically, Virginia law provides that the Air Board \"shall have the power to promulgate
regulations, including emergency regulations, abating, controlling and prohibiting
air pollution throughout or in any part of the Commonwealth . . ." (§ 10.1-1308(A)).
Virginia law clearly encompasses carbon dioxide in its legal definition of air pollution:
\"Air pollution means the presence in the outdoor atmosphere of one or more substances
which are or may be harmful or injurious to human health, welfare or safety, to animal
or plant life, or to property, or which unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment
by the people of life or property" (§ 10.1-1300).
Moreover, the Air Board has already identified carbon dioxide and other GHGs as a
category of emissions that shall be \"subject to regulation" (9 VAC 5-85-30(C)).
Most importantly, limiting and reducing carbon pollution would achieve the Board's
charge to prevent harm to \"public health, safety or welfare; the health of animal
or plant life; [and] property, whether . . . recreational, commercial, industrial,
[or] agricultural" (9 VAC 10 Chapter 10).
As a nurse, I am working in the public health sphere and believe the Air Board should
limit and reduce carbon pollution to protect human and economic health, because:
Carbon pollution is an immediate threat to human health and the economy: sea level
rise makes Virginia's coast one of the most imperiled places in the nation. As sea
levels continue to rise, storm surges become higher as well, making most of the Hampton
Roads region vulnerable to hurricane flooding. Without significant infrastructure
investment, Tangier Island may be uninhabitable by the end of the century. Inland
areas will see worsened flooding as well, due to heavy storm precipitation, which
increased 27% between 1958 and 2012 across the Southeast. Henry Paulson's Risky Business
Institute estimates there will be $17.5 billion in additional sea-level rise damage
and storm damage in Virginia by 2030. We have a duty to exhibit moral leadership.
Warmer temperatures also increase ozone levels, aggravating lung diseases such as
asthma, including in Richmond, which already suffers some of the worst asthma rates
in America. This issue significantly and disproportionately impacts the youth of Virginia,
both in productivity and in quality of life.
Carbon pollution immediately threatens plant and animal life. Climate change will
likely reduce the productivity of livestock, which comprise the bulk of Virginia's
farm commodities. Hotter summers will likely reduce corn yields, one of Virginia's
largest crop commodities. In addition, the threat of emerging zoonotic diseases due
to climate changes not only threatens livestock, but human health. Veterinary, environmental
and human health are all inextricably linked.
Injury to property, both public and private, is already occurring today: the Norfolk
Naval Base is impacted in a variety of ways, including impaired electricity availability,
transportation inaccessibility, and piers that must be raised at a cost of $60 million
each. Weakened armed forces bases poses a great risk to national security.
In addition to concerns of public health and safety, climate change wreaks havoc
on cross-sector stakeholders caused by displacement, transportation and utility interruptions,
and increases in disease incidence related to flooding conditions and disrupted housing.
The cost of prevention, whether measured in dollars or lives impacted, is so much
less than that of attempting to recover after tragedy.
The Air Board can cost effectively limit and reduce carbon pollution by 30% from 2015
levels by 2030 because:
Virginia already reduced carbon emissions by a similar amount between 2000 and 2015,
while the state economy continued to grow.
30% by 2030 would be similar to the amount required in Virginia by the U.S. EPA's
Clean Power Plan, which underwent significant economic analysis, and which Governor
McAuliffe already supports.
Doing so would benefit the economy, because clean energy resources like solar, wind,
and energy efficiency are now as affordable as, or more affordable than, conventional
carbon-based energy resources.
For the above-stated legal, economic, and human health and safety reasons, I hereby
petition the Air Pollution Control Board to initiate an emergency and formal rulemaking.
The State Air Pollution Control Board, based on discussion and action at its March
16, 2017, meeting and as required by Virginia law, is submitting notice of the petition
for publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations on April 17, 2017, and announcing
a public comment period. The public comment period begins on April 17, 2017, and closes
on July 17, 2017.
Following receipt of comments on the petition, the Board will consider whether to
grant or deny the petition for rulemaking. Board consideration will occur at a meeting
of the Board. Board book material on the matter will be available approximately 3
weeks in advance of the meeting.
||04/17/2017 (comment period will also begin on this date)
|Comment End Date