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.
PITTSBURGH -- PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center and sixteen other groups representing a broad cross-section of Pittsburghers submitted a letter Friday calling on the Port Authority of Allegheny County to commit to fully electrify its fleet, to commit to using energy generated 100% from renewable sources, and to create detailed plans to ensure these goals
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.
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.
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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