Virginia Directive on Carbon Emissions from Power Plants – Weekly Compliance Digest
Executive Directive 11 (2017)
What is it?
Last month, Terry McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia, signed Executive Directive 11 that instructs the Department of Environmental Quality to begin the process of establishing regulations in the state that will reduce carbon emissions from power plants.
The directive follows Executive Order 57, which required the Secretary of Natural Resources to convene a work group to study and recommend methods to reduce carbon emissions and build Virginia’s clean energy economy. Executive Directive 11 aims to ensure that Virginia’s regulation is ready for carbon trading and includes a structure that enforces carbon-reduction mechanisms.
What are the provisions?
The Executive Directive includes the following two main provisions:
- Develop a proposed regulation for the State Air Pollution Control Board’s consideration to abate, control, or limit carbon dioxide emissions from electric power facilities that:
- Includes provisions to ensure that Virginia’s regulation is “trading-ready” to allow for the use of market-based mechanisms and the trading of carbon dioxide allowances through a multi-state trading program.
- Establishes abatement mechanisms providing for a corresponding level of stringency to limits on carbon dioxide emissions imposed in other states with such limits.
- By no later than December 31, 2017, present the proposed regulation to the State Air Pollution Control Board for consideration for approval for public comment in accordance with the Board’s authority.
Currently, the following states have a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions: California and the nine states that form the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont).
What is next?
It’s worth noting that Virginia will have a gubernatorial election on November 7, 2017. Governor Terry McAuliffe can’t run for re-election due to term limits. If McAullife is succeeded by a Democrat, the executive directive is expected to remain in effect. But if a Republican wins the governorship, there is a strong possibility the executive directive would be rescinded.
Visit Enablon Insights again on Friday June 23, 2017 for a new Weekly Compliance Digest!
To learn more about EHS, Sustainability and Risk trends, we encourage you to read the NAEM 2016 Trends Report: Planning for a Sustainable Future, which presents the ideas and issues that will shape EHS and Sustainability Management.