On June 25, 2013, the White House announced President Obama's Climate Action Plan. This Climate Plan included three major components: to cut carbon pollution in America, to prepare the Unites States for the impacts of climate change, and to lead international efforts to combat global climate change. On June 2, 2014, at the direction of President Obama, and after an unprecedented outreach effort, the EPA released the Clean Power Plan [111(d)] proposal, under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.
To initiate discussion surrounding this proposal and before the EPA put pen to paper, the EPA presented a series of questions for state regulators and the utility industry. The EPA held "listening sessions" and additional stakeholder meetings across the country to kick off crucial engagement of stakeholders. The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) also began having informal discussions with various entities and individuals with the primary goal of assisting the EPA with their unprecedented outreach efforts.
One of DHEC's first outreach efforts involved a "listening session" between the South Carolina utility stakeholders and the EPA. The discussion was centered on the series of questions posed by the EPA. Stakeholders that attended this listening session were later invited to be a part of a "SC energy stakeholder coalition" which would ultimately include representatives from the environmental conservation community and environmental justice communities. Several partners from the SC energy stakeholder coalition submitted comment letters to the EPA 111(d) docket.
For several months, coalition participants have been sharing information from their perspectives and areas of expertise in preparation for the EPA's June 2, 2014, proposed 111(d) rule for regulating carbon from existing utilities. This proactive effort has provided stakeholders the opportunity to not only gain knowledge of regulating carbon pollution under the Clean Air Act, but also the opportunity to voice concerns, promote opportunities, and advice the EPA in its development of the proposed rule. It has also resulted in a set of "guiding" principles, through consensus of the stakeholders, for the EPA's consideration as they move forward with carbon regulation under the Clean Air Act.
DHEC Informational Session for EPA's Clean Power Plan Proposal (Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act)
With the announcement of President Obama's Climate Action Plan on June 25, 2013, and the recent release of the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan Proposal on June 2, 2014, DHEC hosted an informational session on Thursday, July 24, 2014, 4:00 – 6:00 PM, at DHEC's main office (2600 Bull Street in Columbia). The objective of this meeting was to share information on the Clean Power Plan proposal and to encourage interested stakeholders to participate in EPA's comment period. For more information on EPA's proposal, visit EPA's Clean Power Plan Proposal webpage.
Update! DHEC plans to hold an additional informational session in the spring of 2015.
Selected Relevant Documents
Update! On January 7, 2015, the EPA announced its plan to issue final carbon pollution rules for new 111(b) and existing 111(d) power plants by mid-summer of 2015. EPA is also planning to begin the regulatory process for proposing a federal plan (visit link to EPA's fact sheet ) during the summer 2015. The federal plan will be subject to public comment. The EPA will finalize the federal plan by the summer of 2016.