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August 17, 2020

DEC Proposes GHG Regulations to Implement CLCPA

On Friday, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction regulations to implement the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The DEC is proposing a new 6 NYCRR Part 496, Statewide Greenhouse Gas Emissions Limits. Consistent with the CLCPA, proposed Part 496 would adopt limits on the emissions of GHGs in 2030 and 2050 as a percentage of 1990 GHG emissions. The proposed regulations will be posted in the NYS Register on August 19 and can be found here

The CLCPA requires 40- and 85-percent emission reductions by 2030 and 2050, respectively, based on New York’s statewide 1990 GHG emissions. As such, the proposed Part 496 would establish a 1990 baseline for statewide greenhouse gas emissions of 401.38 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) using a global warming potential over an integrated 20-year time frame (GWP20). Proposed Part 496 would also establish statewide GHG emissions limits of: 

  • 240.83 million metric tons CO2e for 2030 (60 percent of 1990 baseline)
  • 60.21 million metric tons CO2e for 2050 (15 percent of 1990 baseline)

Statewide GHG emissions include both GHGs produced in New York State and emissions produced outside New York State associated with imported electricity and fossil fuels. The GHGs subject to the emission limits include: 

  • Carbon dioxide
  • Methane
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Hydrofluorocarbons
  •  Perfluorocarbons
  • Sulfur hexafluoride

For accounting purposes, the DEC breaks up statewide GHG emissions into four broad sectors based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) protocol:

  1. Energy
  2. Industrial Processes and Product Use
  3.  Agriculture Forestry and Other Land Use
  4. Waste

The proposed Part 496 regulations come at a time when the federal government is seeking to roll back national GHG emission reduction requirements and will impact state policies, agency actions, and permits and approvals for projects and operations in almost every sector of the economy.
Written public comments on the proposed Part 496 will be accepted by the DEC through October 27. The DEC will also host two virtual public hearings on October 20at 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Danielle Mettler-LaFeir, partner, at dmettler@barclaydamon.com; Angela Sicker, associate, at asicker@barclaydamon.com; or another member of the firm’s Environmental Practice Area.

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