Stuart L. Spencer
Arkansas Environmental, Energy, and Water Law
The Arkansas Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) held its first stakeholder meeting on the Affordable Clean Energy Rule (ACE) on Thursday, October 24, 2019.
The ACE rule was issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 19, 2019.
During the stakeholder meeting, which was open to attendees via either in-person, online, or telephone participation, DEQ Office of Air Quality (OAQ) leadership staff provided information and responded to questions.
The DEQ OAQ Associate Director Mitch Rouse welcomed participants to the meeting and generally teed up the issues that would be discussed. Mr. Rouse began by providing the background on the ACE rule and the general path that would be followed moving forward.
DEQ OAQ State Implementation Plan Supervisor, Tricia Treece, proceeded through a PowerPoint presentation comprised of 20 plus slides. The slides provided an overview of the ACE rule, a comparison of the ACE rule to its predecessor, the Clean Power Plan, and then moved on to topics such as requirements for state plans, technical information collection, emissions standards determination and adoption, plan submission, and timeline.
Ms. Treece closed her presentation by indicating that facilities subject to the ACE rule will receive letters seeking technical information in the coming weeks. After DEQ OAQ staff reviews the data it receives, a subsequent stakeholder meeting will be held. The date for the meeting has not yet been determined. That meeting will be followed by a draft ACE state plan being proposed, subject to a public comment period. State plans are due to EPA in the Summer of 2022.
DEQ OAQ Planning Branch Manager and Policy Advisor Will Montgomery closed out the meeting by taking audience questions. He indicated that the information collected from the subject facilities will be made publically available once it is evaluated by DEQ.
Mitchell Williams Law Firm will be announcing in the near future a webinar addressing the ACE rollout and implementation. This will be the first in a series of webinars on Clean Air Act topics.
The DEQ slides can be downloaded here.