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South Carolina's Energy Future and the EPA Clean Power Plan

On June 25, 2013, the White House announced President Obama's Climate Action Plan. This Climate Plan focused on three major efforts: cut carbon pollution in America, prepare the Unites States for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to combat global climate change.

At the direction of President Obama, on August 3, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final rule on the Clean Power Plan for existing power plants [under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act].

The final Clean Power Plan requires each state to develop its own plan for reducing carbon emissions, which has to be submitted within three years. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is currently reviewing the final rule documents and will determine the next steps based on this initial review.

Next Steps

By forming statewide, collaborative partnerships, South Carolina has taken a proactive approach in shaping these national standards. DHEC remains committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure that the development of this national ruling is done in a manner that provides maximum flexibility in development and implementation at the state level, is tailored to meet our state's unique economic challenges, and is right for South Carolina.  

Several public engagement sessions are being planned throughout the state in the coming months to provide information on the final rule and future opportunities. Check back often for the latest information.

Want to get involved?  Plan to attend the meeting nearest you

New: On October 23, 2015, the EPA published a proposed federal plan and model trading rules to implement the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission guidelines (EGs) for existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units (EGUs) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). Public comments are being accepted over the next 90 days, or until January 21, 2016.

Public Engagement

In late 2013, the EPA presented a series of questions for state regulators and the utility industry. Over the next eight months, the EPA held listening sessions and additional meetings across the country to engage stakeholders. Concurrently, DHEC also began having informal discussions with various entities and individuals with the primary goal of assisting the EPA with its outreach efforts.

One of DHEC's first outreach efforts involved a listening session between South Carolina's utility stakeholders and the EPA on November 5, 2013. 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 the S.C. Energy Coalition, which grew to include representatives from the environmental conservation and environmental justice communities.

Relevant Documents

Below is a select list of relevant documents about the plan and South Carolina's involvement:

View all comments submitted to the EPA on the proposed Clean Power Plant docket. (Comment period closed December 2014)

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