CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state DEP has complied with a legislative mandate and completed a feasibility study of the state’s possible response to the federal EPA’s Clean Power Plan for existing coal-fired power plants.
The study, which was submitted Wednesday, takes a comprehensive look at potential effects the rule, which cuts down on greenhouse emissions, would have on West Virginia.
The legislature passed the bill last year requiring the feasibility study. Since then, the Clean Power Plan has been put on hold by the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s now just a wait and see, DEP Senior Policy Advisor Tom Clarke.
“We’ve complied with the legislative mandate but it remains to be seen what will come out of the litigation. If the (rule) is upheld by the courts then either we will have to prepare and submit a plan or EPA will impose one for us,” Clarke said.
The DEP got help on the feasibility study from Marshall University’s Center for Business and Economic Research and a subcontractor, Clarke said.
The findings are based on a comprehensive analysis of 11 factors including the feasibility of the state plan, the ability of the state to meet EPA deadlines with that plan and a look at the possible changing of state laws to develop the plan.
The feasibility study came up with some good information, according to Clarke.
“If we eventually have to do a plan this will be helpful,” he said.