As West Virginia authorities begin to figure out compliance strategies for the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed legislation allowing the WV Legislature to have final say in the state’s implementation plan.
The Clean Power Plan, proposed June 2, 2014, aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power sources under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.
Under previous state law, the state Department of Environmental Protection has the ability to create and submit the state’s compliance plan directly to the EPA, but the newly passed bill requires the plan to be submitted to the Legislature for approval first.
Mike Duncan, president and CEO for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, applauded Tomblin’s move on the organization’s blog, Behind The Plug.
“This law will ensure West Virginia’s elected officials have a say in the regulations that ultimately impact their state’s families and businesses,” Duncan stated. “Legislation like H.B. 2004, as well as similar actions by other state legislatures, underscores broad opposition across the country to EPA’s overzealous and illegal proposal.”
The bill passed the House overwhelmingly in the beginning of February before the Senate passed the measure Feb. 18 with a vote 24-10.
EPA is set to finalize the rule by summer 2015, and states are expected to be required to submit compliance sheets by summer 2016. EPA is also creating a federal compliance standard that is expected to be implemented in states that either don’t submit a compliance plan or whose plan doesn’t meet the rule’s standards.
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- On March 5, 2015