18 Year Old Petitioner Will Get Opportunity To Push Climate Change Rule Before EQB

On November 19 the Environmental Quality Board will consider a rulemaking petition submitted by 18 year old Ashley Funk from Mount Pleasant, Pa that asks the Board to adopted a state regulation requiring a 6 percent reduction in baseline carbon dioxide emissions in Pennsylvania by 2050.

The agenda also includes proposed regulations setting RACT limits on major sources of nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds, the 3-Year Fee Program Cost Report on the Water and Wastewater Plant Operator Certification Program and a final regulation on the measurement and reporting of condensable particulate emissions.

The rulemaking petition on global warming was submitted to the Board in September by Ashley Funk and Kids vs. Global Warming.

Funk submitted rulemaking petitions to the EQB in May 2012,  July 2012 and October 2012 which were returned to the petitioner in November 2012 as not meeting the guidelines for rulemaking petitions to be brought before the Board.

In December 2012, Funk and the petitioners appealed the return of the petition to Commonwealth Court and the Environmental Hearing Board. (PA Environment Digest 12/24/13)

In July 2013 Commonwealth Court sided with DEP and the EQB and rejected Funk’s appeal without prejudice saying it did not have jurisdiction in the issue because the Environmental Hearing Board had not acted.

On October 24, 2013 the Environmental Hearing Board approved a motion by Funk to dismiss the appeal as a result of an action by DEP determining Funk’s October petition to be complete and would be submitted to the Environmental Quality Board for consideration at the November meeting.

Funk will have the opportunity to present the petition to the Board in a short presentation and then it will be up to the 20 member Board, which adopts all of DEP’s regulations, to vote on whether to adopt the petition for study by the agency.

If accepted, DEP must report back to the Board within 60 days with its recommendation on whether or not to adopt the regulation asked for by the petitioner, a different version of the rule or not to move ahead with any regulation. 

If there is no meeting of the EQB within the 60 days or the agency cannot evaluate the petition within that timeframe, DEP is required to report to the Board on how much time it will take.

The 20 members of the Board include eleven state agencies: Department of Environmental Protection (Chair), Agriculture, Health, Community and Economic Development, the Public Utility Commission, the Fish and Boat Commission, the Game Commission, Labor and Industry, the Governor's Office of Policy, the Historical and Museum Commission, Transportation; five members of the Citizens Advisory Council and four members of the Senate and House.

Click Here to learn more about the EQB rulemaking petition process.

Ashley Funk was also the 2012 winner of the Sue Wiseman Scholarship from Keep PA Beautiful for her efforts to clean up litter and illegal dumps in and around Mount Pleasant Borough, Westmoreland County.

The meeting will be held in Room 105 of the Rachel Carson Building beginning at 9:00.

For more information and available handouts, visit the Environmental Quality Board webpage.


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