The nine states that are members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative have written the EPA to ask that RGGI be used as a model for forthcoming national regulations on emissions from existing power plants.
The EPA has already released rules on how much carbon dioxide new power plants are allowed to emit, But the rules that will crack down on existing plants are still in the works.
Tom Burack, the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Services, together with representatives from the eight other New England states, says that RGGI already has set limits on emissions. “This should serve as the pathway for our state’s compliance on any proposed EPA regulations from these power plants,” he explained in a phone interview Monday.
The RGGI states want a flexible approach to regulating power plants, that would allow and Burack thinks the EPA might be willing to give it to them.
“I think that EPA has signaled quite clearly that they are interested in looking at all different ways that flexibility might be provided in states,” says Burack, “Such that in fact they could write guidelines that in theory could have each of the fifty states doing something different.”
The EPA is expected to complete the rules for existing plants by next summer.