Environment
3:39 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Rhode Island In Good Shape To Meet EPA's Carbon Emission Plan

Rhode Island is in good shape to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed plan to reduce emissions from power plants, according to scientists with the Department of Environmental Management.

The EPA’s proposed plan is to cut emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and an additional 5 percent by 2030. It’s using emissions from 2005 as a baseline. The DEM’s supervising air quality specialist Frank Stevenson said the plan takes into consideration existing regional initiatives to cut carbon pollution. And that’s good news.

“It appears as though the first goal that’s established by the regulation, isn’t that far under what we’re doing right now as far as our electrical generating facilities," said Stevenson. "That makes us feel a little better that we don’t have that far to work towards achieving this first goal, which is for 2020.”

Stevenson said the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has helped the state achieve significant reductions, 40 percent since 2005. He said the DEM still has a long way to go in deciding how it's going to proceed in attaining the further reductions.

The agency is still digesting the EPA’s plan, which is more than 600 pages long. For the next few weeks, Stevenson said the DEM will closely examine the plan and then submit comments that the federal agency will take into consideration before it finalizes its proposal. 

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