The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is announcing an informal public comment period on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Power Plan. The plan has been established to cut carbon emissions (greenhouse gases) from existing power plants that generate electricity from fossil fuels. These new EPA rules may have a significant impact on the Commonwealth. Therefore, prior to taking any formal action, DEQ is gathering general input from the public to help inform the Commonwealth's review and implementation of EPA's final rules for existing power plants (see implement EPA's emission guidelines for existing power plants (see EPA’s website at http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards).
In addition to receiving general input from the public, the Commonwealth is also interested in identifying and collecting input from vulnerable and overburdened communities. These communities include low-income communities, communities of color, areas where people are most vulnerable to climate change, and communities where economies may be affected by changes in the utility power and related sectors.
How to comment to DEQ: You may email written comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, send a fax (804-698-4510), or send postal mail to the Air Division, Department of Environmental Quality, PO Box 1105, Richmond VA 23218 from August 13 to October 13, 2015. Please provide your full name, address and telephone number. Note that there is no formal Commonwealth proposal available for comment at this time, and that DEQ will not be preparing a response to comments.
Public listening sessions: DEQ will meet informally with the public to receive public input on the best way for Virginia to implement EPA's carbon reduction plan for existing power plants at a series of listening sessions around the state. The only topic under consideration will be the plan for existing power plants. These listening sessions are only for receiving input from the public, and there will be no formal presentations from DEQ. The dates and times of these listening sessions will be announced shortly.
Federal information: EPA has also issued two other rules for the control of carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants:
• Final new source performance standard for new power plants.
• Proposed federal plan and model rule for existing power plants. This rule is open for public comment; follow EPA's instructions in the preamble to the rule.
You can learn more about these rules at EPA's website: http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards.
Virginia information: DEQ has established a web page with information about Virginia's actions for meeting the federal requirements: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Air/GreenhouseGasPlan.aspx. This page will be updated periodically as new information and opportunities for public comment become available.