Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
Air Pollution Control Board
Regulation for Emissions Trading [9 VAC 5 ‑ 140]
Action Repeal CO 2 Budget Trading Program as required by Executive Order 9 (Revision A22)
Comment Period Ended on 10/26/2022
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10/19/22  6:29 pm
Commenter: Zander Pellegrino

Urge You to Stay In RGGI

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this intended action. 

I am writing to urge the Air Pollution Control Board to stay in RGGI. Leaving RGGI right now will further entrench environmental injustices in Virginian communities.

  • Leaving RGGI would ensure that only well resourced counties and municipalities got flood protection. Because the Community Flood Preparedness Funds are administered by application, previous grant awards have gone to counties that can write successful applications. This past year we saw the urgent need for proactive flood protection throughout our state. There were floods everywhere; from Abingdon to Virginia Beach to Alexandria.

    However, if you look at the list of grantees on the CFPF grant award website, you see many familiar names. You see Alexandria, you see Hampton Roads, you see Fairfax County. These are the counties and municipalities with dedicated stormwater and or sustainability positions. They have the resources to capture these funds with successful proposals.

    What about the far southwest? I found Skip Styles’ quote in this piece to be compelling:

    • “In rural counties, some of which are extremely at risk from flooding, there may not be any other funding for resilience work, says Skip Styles, executive director of the nonprofit Wetland Watch.
      ‘They don’t have people who are used to dealing with federal grants,’ Styles says.

      There’s one county where the staff is so small, Styles says, that the county floodplain manager has to check bear traps on the way into work. ‘He’s also the animal control officer,’ Styles says.”

  • Leaving RGGI would abandon our most vulnerable Virginians just when energy bills are highest. The RGGI funding for home weatherization is out the door right now. It is keeping people in their homes who otherwise would have had to uproot their lives and lose their house.

    Importantly, these are Virginians who do not qualify for the other home repair or weatherization programs that our state offers. In fact, many homes who have received RGGI funds were listed as “deferred” for repairs under other programs because the need was too great.

    That’s the part that gets me. RGGI is filling a much needed gap to help our most vulnerable neighbors. These are veterans on fixed incomes and eldery folks trying to stay in their homes.

    It is a wonderful thing when our government is able to support people. Why would we stop doing that for our neighbors who need it most?


CommentID: 190941