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Greenhouse Gas Cap-And-Trade Petition Complete, Will Be On Next EQB Meeting Agenda

The Department of Environmental Protection has notified the over 60 groups and individuals their petition asking the Environmental Quality Board to establish a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program to address climate change is complete.

The December 26 letter to the petitioners was provided to EQB members for their information February 15.

The next step in the process is for the Board to consider whether to accept the petition for study at its next meeting, either on March 19 or April 16.

On November 27, Robert B. McKinstry, Jr., the Clean Air Council, Widener University Environmental Law and Sustainability Center, eco(n)law LLC and 61 other individuals, groups, businesses and local governments submitted an over 400 page rulemaking petition setting up a market-based program that would eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from major sources in Pennsylvania by 2052.

The petitioners say Pennsylvania already has statutory authority under the state Air Pollution Control Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.  In addition, greenhouse gas emissions are a pollutant required to be regulated under the federal Clean Air Act.

In addition, the petitioners also say Article I, Section 27 of the state’s constitution-- the Environmental Rights Amendment guaranteeing Pennsylvanians the right to clean air, pure water and the preservation of the environment-- imposes a duty on the Environmental Quality Board and the Commonwealth to act as a public trustee for common natural resources like clean air to reduce pollutants that adversely affect that resource.

Click Here for a copy of the letter to petitioners.  Click Here for a copy of the petition.

2nd Petition

This is the second petition the EQB has received asking DEP to set up a greenhouse gas reduction program.

In 2014 the Environmental Quality Board rejected a petition submitted in 2013 by 19-year-old Ashley Funk from Allegheny County asking for a 6 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in Pennsylvania by 2050 using a 2012 baseline.

In rejecting the petition, DEP said a national approach to greenhouse gas emissions is needed like EPA’s now defunct Clean Power Plan because climate change is a national and global issue and should cover all sources of carbon dioxide emissions, not just power plants.

The 20-member Environmental Quality Board adopts all of DEP’s regulations.  Click Here for more information on the rulemaking petition process.  Questions should be directed to Laura Edinger by calling 717-772-3277 or sending email to:

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[Posted: Feb. 15, 2019]


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