Delaware moves forward with compliance work on court-stayed Clean Power Plan

Delaware, one of a number of states that didn’t freeze or outright abandon planning for compliance with the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan after the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the plan earlier this year, has scheduled a series of public meetings as part of its compliance effort.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Air Quality will hold three public workshops later this month to share information with Delawareans on climate change, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) and how Delaware plans to comply with it, as well as how to take advantage of grants and other programs offered by DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate.

Workshops will be held in Sussex County on Sept. 27, Kent County on Sept. 28 and New Castle County on Sept. 29.

“Through these workshops, we are inviting Delawareans to participate in the decision-making process and development of Delaware’s state Clean Power Plan,” said Valerie Gray, Division of Air Quality planning supervisor, in a Sept. 22 statement. “We want to involve our communities on how they could be impacted by this plan, and work together to develop strategies to further reduce emissions.”

The Clean Power Plan (CPP) was developed by the EPA to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. States are required to develop and submit their own compliance plans for reducing these emissions to the EPA. EPA’s CPP is modeled after the Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative (RGGI), a program that Delaware and nine New England and Mid-Atlantic states developed and implemented beginning in 2009. RGGI reduces CO2 emissions by establishing a regional cap on the amount of CO2 that power plants can emit through the issuance of a limited number of tradable CO2 allowances. Since 2008, power plant emissions have decreased by over 50%. Delaware plans to comply with the federal requirements through continued participation in the RGGI.

The long-awaited legal arguments over the Clean Power Plan are due to be held Sept. 27 before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The oral arguments will be heard by nine appeals court judges – effectively the full D.C. Circuit — and will take most of the day.

In February of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court granted requests by critics of the Clean Power Plan to stay implementation of the plan pending this litigation at the appeals court level.

Currently 27 state attorneys general, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and various advocacy and industry organizations, have signed on to challenge the EPA’s final rule. The rule would have states draft implementation plans to cut power sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions 32% by 2030. A number of states, including those in the Northeast, have lined up to support the Clean Power Plan, as have numerous high-tech companies as well as wind and solar interests and environmental groups.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.