On Sept. 29, the PA Chamber convened its members virtually for the final DEP Quarterly event for 2021, with thanks to GZA GeoEnvironmental for its continued sponsorship and support of the event.
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell provided opening remarks, highlighting the release of the state’s revised Climate Action Plan and an energy workforce analysis. The Secretary also noted that DEP recently finalized revisions to the state’s brownfields clean-up standards and will be working with its technical advisory committees and stakeholders in a supplemental rulemaking to address an outstanding issue regarding vanadium – an issue the PA Chamber has requested be addressed.
Lisa Daniels, bureau director for safe drinking water, provided an overview of the state’s safe drinking water updates, including monitoring federal developments regarding implementation of the lead and copper rule as well as the state’s work to develop a standard for PFOA and PFAS. The state will propose a standard later this year.
Allison Acevedo, director for environmental justice, provided an overview and history of environmental justice in Pennsylvania and discussed potential revisions to the state’s EJ policy, which informs what community outreach and reviews certain projects in communities defined as environmental justice must undergo.
Finally, Mark Hammond, director for air quality, provided an update on the proposed RACT III rulemaking to implement the 2015 ozone standard, which is currently out for comment through Oct. 12, as well as a potential rulemaking to implement California Air Resources Board zero emission vehicle standards for passenger vehicles. Hammond also noted that current PA regulations automatically adopt CARB standards for heavy-duty diesel truck engines, and with recent California rule changes significantly increasing the price of new vehicles, PA DEP is looking for potential solutions to address the cost increases.
Please reach out to PA Chamber Director of Government Affairs Kevin Sunday at email@example.com with any questions or to provide feedback and issues of interest for comments to DEP regarding the requests for comment RACT III, PFAS MCL and environmental justice.