NYSDEC Proposes Regulations and Requirements for New and Existing Electric Generating Facilities

Environmental Law

 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) has announced two proposed regulations focused on new and expanding major electric generating facilities. The first regulation will establish a regulatory framework to analyze environmental justice issues with regard to the siting or expansion of major electric generating facilities. NYSDEC environmental justice efforts focus on improving the environment in communities, specifically minority and low-income communities, and addressing disproportionate adverse environmental impacts that may exist in those communities. The regulation will require applicants to review and evaluate whether the construction or operation of a facility will have a significant and disproportionate adverse environmental impact. “Under our proposed regulations, an applicant must undertake an environmental justice analysis if a proposed electric generating facility’s potential adverse environmental and public health impacts may affect an environmental justice area. Our proposed regulations are the first in the nation that seek to protect public health and the environment in overburdened communities,” NYSDEC Commissioner Martens said.

The second proposed regulation will establish CO2 emission limits for proposed new major electric generating facilities with a generating capacity of at least 25 megawatts, or existing facilities increasing capacity by at least 25 megawatts. The objective is to lower greenhouse gas emissions and further reduce the carbon footprint of New York’s power sector. For the first time, the proposed regulation will set specific limits on the allowable CO2 emission rate of new and expanding power plants. This rule will make New York State a leader in establishing CO2 performance standards for new and expanding electric generating facilities. Establishing such limits will force innovation and development to reduce CO2 emissions, as well as reduce New York’s impact on global climate change.

For more information on environmental justice issues and regulations of new and existing electric generating facilities, please contact Miriam Villani or Jason Kaplan.

Posted by Miriam Villani