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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Statement: PennEnvironment applauds regulatory agency vote to approve RGGI

HARRISBURG -- The Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC)  approved Pennsylvania’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Wednesday by a vote of 3-2. Established in 2008, RGGI is a bipartisan multi-state program that addresses carbon pollution by setting a cap on carbon emissions from power plants, which is lowered each year. It is considered the most successful state-level program for reducing global warming pollution in the nation. Currently, 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) participate in this program. 

This decision follows nearly two years of regulatory review and public input, including a public comment period at the end of 2020 that showed Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support joining this program. In addition, the Environmental Quality Board voted earlier this summer to adopt the final rulemaking as well. While Wednesday’s decision marks the final step in the regulatory process, legal and legislative challenges are expected throughout the fall.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Bacteria pose risk at 100% of Erie beaches tested

Erie, PA – With Pennsylvanians returning to local beaches this summer, a new report warns that more work is needed to ensure that all waters are safe for swimming. In 2020, two Erie County beaches were potentially unsafe for swimming on at least 25% of the days they were tested, according to PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center’s annual analysis of bacteria testing, Safe for Swimming?.  The report comes as Congress considers investments in water infrastructure.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

‘Toxic Ten’ report singles out Allegheny County’s new most- toxic air polluter

PITTSBURGH --  Allegheny County’s “Toxic Ten” industrial air polluters collectively released more than 1 million pounds of toxic air pollution in 2019, according to a new report by PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center. The pollution included toxic chemicals such as benzene (a carcinogen), chromium (a carcinogen and respiratory irritant), and manganese (a neurotoxin). The full ranking, along with a tool allowing residents to find out how close they live to the Toxic Ten, is available at www.ToxicTen.org.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

New Study: PA electric vehicle program expansion could lead to 18-million-ton yearly reduction in state’s climate pollution

PHILADELPHIA – Pennsylvania could reduce its climate pollution by 18 million metric tons annually -- the equivalent of taking nearly 4 million gas-powered vehicles off the road --  by expanding its clean cars program to include a Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV) program, according to a new study released Thursday.  This report comes out just after the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) proposed the Keystone State embrace a ZEV program. 

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News Release | Environment America Research & Policy Center

Lawmakers and public push Whole Foods to put “Planet Over Plastic” at upcoming annual meeting

AUSTIN, Texas --  Environment America Research & Policy Center, U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Student PIRG sent 59,000 petitions and a letter signed by more than 40 state lawmakers Thursday to Whole Foods urging them to put planet over plastic.

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