Informal Comment Period on Clean Power Plan Held by Va. DEQ Aug. 13–Oct. 13, 2015; Six Listening Sessions held Sep. 16 to Oct. 6; Stakeholder Group Established and Began Meeting in November 2015

On August 13, 2015, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced an informal comment period on how the Commonwealth should respond to the final version of the Clean Power Plan, announced by the U.S. EPA on August 3, 2015.  The comment period ran from August 13 through October 13, 2015.  DEQ notes that because there was no formal DEQ proposal available for comment at this time, and the agency will not provide a response to comments received during this period.

In September and October 2015, the DEQ held six informal listening sessions on the Clean Power Plan.  The dates and locations were as follows:

9/16/15,DEQ Valley Regional Office, 4411 Early Road in Harrisonburg.

9/22/15, DEQ Blue Ridge Regional Office, 3019 Peters Creek Road in Roanoke.

9/28/15, Fairfax County South County High School, 8501 Silverbrook Road in Lorton.

9/30/15: Board of Supervisors Board Room, Henrico County Government Center, 4301 East Parham Road in Henrico.

10/1/15: Mountain Empire Community College, Phillips-Taylor Hall, 3441 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap.

10/6/15, Tidewater Community College, Building A (Room A101), 120 Campus Drive in Portsmouth.

According to the DEQ’s 8/13/15 news release on the comment period (available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/ConnectWithDEQ/NewsReleases.aspx),  the “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…. 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.”

In November 2015, the DEQ convened a stakeholders group to advise on elements that could be included in Virginia’s compliance plan under the Clean  Power Plan.  Click on this link for information from the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall on the November 12, 2015, meeting of that stakeholder group.

For more on the Clean Power Plan, please see the August 3, 2015, News Grouper post.

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