Home Energy and Environment AG Mark Herring Opinion: Virginia Air Pollution Control Board Can Set Statewide...

AG Mark Herring Opinion: Virginia Air Pollution Control Board Can Set Statewide Cap on Greenhouse Gases

949
5
SHARE

Just got the following memo (see below) from Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s office. According to Herring’s office, “Attorney General Herring has issued the attached official opinion at the request of Delegate David Toscano, who inquired about the authority of the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, and whether the Board has the authority to establish some sort of statewide cap on emissions.” Key points are (bolding added by me for emphasis):

1) “In Virginia, the Board is the governmental entity legally authorized to regulate the emission of air pollutants.”

2) “The Board is authorized to develop comprehensive programs for the ‘abatement[] and control of all sources of air pollution in the Commonwealth . . . .’”

3) “…§ 10.1-1308(A)… allows the Board to promulgate regulations ‘abating, controlling and prohibiting air pollution throughout or in any part of the Commonwealth . . . .’”

4) Therefore, “the State Air Pollution Control Board is legally authorized to regulate GHG emissions, including establishing a statewide cap on GHG emissions for all new and existing fossil fuel electric generating plants.”

  • Glen Besa

    The ball is now in Gov McAuliffe’s and the next Governor’s court. We can’t afford to elect any climate deniers. It is long past time for Virginia to #ActonClimate

  • Glen Besa

    BTW, Thank you Attorney General Mark Herring and Delegate Toscano!

    • Agreed! And thank goodness Mark Herring is AG, not the hard-right, climate-science-denying Mark Obenshain (who Herring beat in a recount in 2013). Yet again, proof that everyone’s vote really matters!

  • VA House Dem Leader David Toscano:

    “Can Virginia fight air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions at the state level? I’m glad I asked: yes, we can.

    In March, when a climate change denier was confirmed as the head of the US EPA, I wrote to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring for an official opinion about existing state law or authority to address carbon pollution and emission of greenhouse gases (GHG).

    My request particularly highlighted the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board.
    Today he issued a very significant opinion, concluding that the Air Pollution Control Board “is legally authorized to regulate GHG emissions, including establishing a cap on GHG emissions for all new and existing fossil fuel electric generating plants.” This is a huge development in the fight to mitigate further climate change, which the Trump administration has pushed off to the states.”