DEP Files Lawsuit Against Reference Bureau To Publish Final RGGI Carbon Pollution Reduction Regulations

On February 3, the Associated Press reported the Department of Environmental Protection filed a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court to compel the Legislative Reference Bureau to publish the final RGGI Carbon Pollution Reduction Regulations covering power plants in the PA Bulletin so they can become effective.

            The lawsuit is a follow-up to Gov. Wolf’s January 10 veto of a concurrent resolution that would have blocked the regulations.

In his veto message, Gov. Wolf said the resolution was procedurally defective because the General Assembly failed to adopt it within the statutory time frame prescribed in the Regulatory Review Act.  Read more here.

DEP’s Court complaint maintains the Legislative Reference Bureau has no discretion to publish a final regulation that has received all required approvals.

In addition, DEP argues, as Gov. Wolf had, that the resolution attempting to block the regulations was not acted on within the statutory deadlines.

As a result of the operation of law, the final RGGI regulation was deemed approved.

            The Associated Press reported Republicans controlling the General Assembly believe they should be given time to override Gov. Wolf’s veto of the resolution by a two-thirds vote.  There is no time limit on when the General Assembly is required to take an override vote.

            In a declaration accompanying the Court complaint, DEP said as a result of the delay in publication, DEP could not participate in the first RGGI credit auction and lost approximately $162 million.

            “If Pennsylvania cannot join RGGI until July 1, 2022, [DEP] estimates that Pennsylvania will lose approximately $283 million in proceeds and associated air pollution reductions.”

            For more information on the regulation, visit DEP’s RGGI webpage.

Court Documents:

— DEP Court Filing: Complaint Petition

— DEP Court Filing: Petition For Expedited & Summary Relief

— DEP Court Filing: Declaration PA Will Lose $283 Million If RGGI Delayed Until July


— AP: Wolf Files Lawsuit To Force Publication Of RGGI Carbon Pricing Plan

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