DEP Newsroom
 
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection

Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07/13/2021
 
CONTACT:
Jamar Thrasher, DEP
717-319-1758

 
Environmental Quality Board Adopts Final CO2 Budget Trading Program Rulemaking
Board adopts RGGI regulation by vote of 15 to 4

 
Harrisburg, PA – Today, members of Pennsylvania’s Environmental Quality Board (EQB), voted to adopt the final-form rulemaking of the multistate CO2 budget trading program, also known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional CO2 Budget Trading Program. The vote was 15 to 4.
 
“This is a milestone in helping Pennsylvanians get one step closer to combating the ills of climate change,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
 
Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI would establish a program to limit CO2 emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric power plants located in Pennsylvania. Emissions of CO2 is a greenhouse gas and is a major contributor to climate change, which is detrimental to public health and welfare in Pennsylvania. Following this EQB meeting, the next step in the regulatory process is review by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC).
 
Pennsylvania has the fifth leading CO2 emitting electricity generation sector in the United States, and RGGI is a significant component in achieving Pennsylvania’s goals to reduce net GHG emissions from 2005 levels by 26% by 2025 and 80% by 2050.
 
RGGI is a “cap and invest” program that sets a regulatory limit on CO2 emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric generating units (EGU) and permits trading of CO2 allowances to effect cost efficient compliance with the regulatory limit. RGGI provides a ''two-prong'' approach to reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuel-fired EGUs. The first prong is a declining CO2 emissions budget and the second prong involves investment of the proceeds resulting from the auction of CO2 allowances to further reduce CO2 emissions. Each participating state establishes its own annual CO2 emissions budget which sets the total amount of CO2 emitted from fossil fuel-fired EGUs in a year.
 
This final-form rulemaking is authorized under the Air Pollution Control Act (APCA), which grants the Board the authority to adopt rules and regulations for the prevention, control, reduction, and abatement of air pollution in Pennsylvania. This final-form rulemaking would effectuate least cost CO2 emission reductions for the years 2022 through 2030.
 
What is commonly referred to as the ''RGGI cap'' on emissions is a reference to the total of all the state CO2 emissions budgets. This final-form rulemaking includes a declining annual CO2 emissions budget, which starts at 78 million tons in 2022 and ends at 58 million tons in 2030. This is anticipated to reduce CO2 emissions in Pennsylvania by 31% compared to 2019. The declining annual CO2 emissions budget is equivalent to the CO2 allowance budget, which is the number of CO2 allowances available each year.
TMI-2 SOLUTIONS, LLC’S ANSWER OPPOSING THREE MILE ISLAND ALERT’S PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF CLI-21-08
 
Dated 4/30/2021 Docketed 5/10/2021
Categorical Exclusions from Environmental Review
N2
Michael J.  Keegan
Don't Waste Michigan
 
Document Title:
Federal Register Notice Re: Categorical Exclusions from Environmental Review
Document Type:
Federal Register Notice
Rulemaking- Proposed Rule
Document Date:
04/30/2021
Subject:  Summary of June 15, 2021, Meeting with Exelon Generation Company, LLC Vessel Nozzle Repair Related To A Planned Request For An Alternative Related To Reactor Pressure (EPID L-2021-LRM-0056)
 
ADAMS Accession No. ML21176A082
 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 21-027 July 8, 2021
CONTACT: David McIntyre, 301-415-8200
 
NRC Begins Environmental Justice Review of Agency Programs
 
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is conducting a systematic review of how the agency’s programs, policies and activities address environmental justice. As part of the review, agency staff will seek public comment related to how the NRC addresses environmental justice, given its mission of protecting people and the environment.
 
“We anticipate that these meetings will invite a wide range of useful perspectives, from community groups, non-governmental organizations, labor unions, and nuclear power plant operators,” said NRC Chairman Christopher T. Hanson. “What we learn will help enhance the staff’s reviews of license applications and other activities that we regulate.”
 
The Commission directed the review in a staff requirements memorandum dated April 23, giving the staff nine months to conduct the review. An Environmental Justice Review Team has been established within the NRC Office of the Executive Director for Operations and has begun reviewing recent Executive Orders and assessing practices of other federal, state and tribal governments. The team will also review the adequacy of the NRC’s 2004 Policy Statement on the Treatment of Environmental Justice Matters in NRC Regulatory and Licensing Actions. The team will evaluate whether the NRC should incorporate environmental justice beyond implementation through the National Environmental Policy Act, as set out in the policy statement, and consider whether there may be benefits from establishing formal mechanisms to gather external stakeholder input.
 
The Environmental Justice Review Team will hold two public meetings by webinar July 15 to provide an overview of its review and receive public comment. The webinars will be held from 1:30-3p.m. and 8-9:30p.m., both Eastern Time. Details for accessing the webinars are available in the public meetings notices linked above.
 
A notice will be published on July 9 in the Federal Register asking specific questions to inform the team’s review and describing other means to provide public comment.
 
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection

Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07/8/2021
 
CONTACT:
Jamar Thrasher, DEP
717-787-1323

 
ADVISORY – JULY 13 – HARRISBURG – Environmental Quality Board to Consider Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Final Regulation

 
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board will hold a meeting on Tuesday July 13, 2021 to consider the final form rulemaking for Pennsylvania to take part in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The meeting will be held at 9:00 AM and will be streamed at pacast.com/live/dep. The Rachel Carson State Office Building remains closed to the public.
 
The final RGGI regulation takes into account the thousands of comments received across 10 virtual public hearings and 60 day comment period. The final version of the regulation, along with supporting documents, can be found at dep.pa.gov/rggi under “Consideration of Final Rulemaking: CO2 Budget Trading Program (25 Pa. Code Chapter 145).”
 
Benefits of the regulation, if enacted, include:
• Less air pollution – RGGI would eliminate more than 188 million tons of carbon pollution over 10 years
• Improved health by preventing $6.3 billion of health care costs due to cleaner air
• Up to 30,000 new jobs created and an increase in Gross State Product by $2 billion
 
More information about RGGI and Pennsylvania can be found at dep.pa.gov/rggi
 
WHAT: Environmental Quality Board Meeting
WHEN: Tuesday, July 13, 2021, at 9:00 AM
WHERE: Streaming at pacast.com/live/dep
Sen. Heinrich & Lujan, new Rep. Melanie Stansbury, and Gov. Lujan Grisham to DOE Secretary Granholm:
We are strongly opposed to the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level waste (HLW) in New Mexico.
 
Letter attached.
 
New post on Los Alamos Reporter
CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION NEWS
 
U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján, and U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham sent a letter to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm opposing the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level waste (HLW) in New Mexico.
 
“We are strongly opposed to the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level waste (HLW) in New Mexico.  There is currently no permanent disposal strategy for SNF and HLW in place at the Department of Energy.  This leaves us extremely concerned that ‘interim’ storage sites with initial 40-year leases, like one proposed for Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing in New Mexico, will become the country’s de facto permanent nuclear waste storage facilities.  We cannot accept that result,” they wrote.
 
There are currently two pending applications before the NRC for licenses to construct and operate consolidated interim storage facilities (CISFs) - one in Andrews, Texas, and one in Lea County, New Mexico. 
 
“Without a strategy in place at the Department of Energy for permanent waste disposal, any CISF constructed in or near New Mexico could become a waste storage site that is, in essence, permanent.  New Mexico has not and will not consent to such a situation,” they continued.
 
The New Mexico lawmakers cautioned that, “We cannot repeat such harms by establishing interim nuclear waste storage sites, especially without a permanent waste disposal strategy.  We would welcome collaborative work to establish a coherent, consent-based federal policy on managing and disposing of SNF and HLW, and look forward to engaging in that work with you.”  
 
Last month, Senator Heinrich raised his concerns about interim storage directly with Secretary Granholm during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing to review the President’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget request for the U.S. Department of Energy.
 
The full text of the letter is available here and below:
 
Dear Secretary Granholm,
 
We are strongly opposed to the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level waste (HLW) in New Mexico.  There is currently no permanent disposal strategy for SNF and HLW in place at the Department of Energy.  This leaves us extremely concerned that “interim” storage sites with initial 40-year leases, like one proposed for Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing in New Mexico, will become the country’s de facto permanent nuclear waste storage facilities.  We cannot accept that result.  
 
As you have recognized, the consent of those affected is a critical component of any approach to nuclear waste storage.  There are currently two pending applications before the NRC for licenses to construct and operate consolidated interim storage facilities (CISFs) - one in Andrews, Texas, and one in Lea County, New Mexico.  Without a strategy in place at the Department of Energy for permanent waste disposal, any CISF constructed in or near New Mexico could become a waste storage site that is, in essence, permanent.  New Mexico has not and will not consent to such a situation. 
 
New Mexico is proud to host Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.  The people of New Mexico have long been at the forefront of our national security mission and the discovery of nuclear science and technologies.  Unfortunately, in some cases, this has resulted in situations that have harmed the health and wellbeing of New Mexicans. We cannot repeat such harms by establishing interim nuclear waste storage sites, especially without a permanent waste disposal strategy.  We would welcome collaborative work to establish a coherent, consent-based federal policy on managing and disposing of SNF and HLW, and look forward to engaging in that work with you.  

 

Subject:  BRAIDWOOD STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; BYRON STATION, UNIT NOS. 1 AND 2; CALVERT CLIFFS NUCLEAR POWER PLANT, UNITS 1 AND 2; CLINTON POWER STATION, UNIT NO. 1; DRESDEN NUCLEAR POWER STATION, UNITS 2 AND 3; JAMES A. FITZPATRICK NUCLEAR POWER PLANT; LASALLE COUNTY STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; LIMERICK GENERATING STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; NINE MILE POINT NUCLEAR STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION, UNITS 2 AND 3; QUAD CITIES NUCLEAR POWER STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2; AND R. E. GINNA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT — PROPOSED ALTERNATIVE TO EXPAND THE USE OF ASME CODE CASES N-878 AND N-880 TO CARBON STEEL PIPING (EPIDS L-2021-LLR-0000, -0002, AND -0003)
 
ADAMS Accession No: ML21166A168
 

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