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ENB - Statewide Notices 4/3/2013

Public Notice

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) Announces the 10th Anniversary of the Environmental Excellence Awards

Application Period Open

NYS DEC is now accepting applications for New York State's tenth annual Environmental Excellence Awards. This awards program recognizes and gives visibility to outstanding, innovative and sustainable projects or programs. Eligible applicants include businesses, educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations, facilities, government agencies and individuals implementing innovative, sustainable actions or working in creative partnership to improve and protect New York's environmental resources and contribute to a viable economy. The 2013 Application Brochure and "Tips for Applicants" document are available on NYS DEC's website at: www.dec.ny.gov/public/945.html.

IMPORTANT: Applications must be postmarked by Friday, May 10, 2013.

NYS DEC is especially interested in acknowledging projects that achieve significant environmental benefits through: initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; cutting-edge pollution prevention technologies; initiatives to "green" businesses, farms, schools, recreational facilities and hospitality facilities; innovative wind, solar and biomass projects; creative natural resource/habitat protection or restoration efforts; energy efficiency improvements; adaptation to climate change; waste reduction and recycling efforts; manufacturing process improvements; and creative approaches to urban forestry or farming, programs advancing "grown locally." Projects located in environmental justice communities are strongly encouraged.

To be eligible, a project must be in New York State; result in measurable environmental and economic benefits beyond what could have been achieved by using standard techniques or complying with regulatory requirements; be initiated within the past three years and be fully operational for at least 12 months. Applicants must be in compliance with New York Environmental Conservation Law, applicable permits and local laws.

Review criteria will include an assessment of: environmental benefits; economic benefits; innovative approach of the project; advancement of sustainability; how creative partnerships were created or strengthened by the project; demonstration of commitment, leadership and environmental excellence, demonstration of transferability and the demonstration that practices go beyond standard techniques or compliance requirements.

Winners will be honored at a 10th anniversary celebration and awards ceremony that will be held in early winter. At the ceremony, winners will have an opportunity to present and display information about their award winning project or program.

For more information about the Environmental Excellence Awards program, contact: NYS DEC - Division of Environmental Permits and Pollution Prevention, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1750, Phone (518) 402-9469, Fax (518) 402-9168, E-mail: awards@dec.ny.gov.

Notice of Positive Declaration and Public Scoping

Proposed Amendments to the CO2 Budget Trading Program, General Provisions and CO2 Allowance Auction Program

6 NYCRR - Parts 200 and 242 and 21 NYCRR Part 507

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) proposes to amend the regulations that implement the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), "CO2 Budget Trading Program" (Program) Part 242 of Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (NYCRR) and "General Provisions" 6 NYCRR Part 200; and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) proposes to amend the "CO2 Allowance Auction Program" 21 NYCRR Part 507. Pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR; Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law with implementing regulations at 6 NYCRR Part 617), the Proposed Rulemaking is an Unlisted Action (as defined in 6 NYCRR §617.2[ak]). NYS DEC, in consultation with NYSERDA, determined NYS DEC should serve as lead agency for the environmental review of this action. Based on an initial review of the action, NYS DEC determined that the proposed rulemaking is likely to have a positive impact on the environment, and is unlikely to have any significant adverse environmental impacts. However, NYS DEC has determined that the preparation of an SGEIS is appropriate to provide maximum opportunity for public participation in the rulemaking process. NYS DEC issued a Positive Declaration for the Proposed Rulemaking on April 1, 2013. As lead agency, NYS DEC will conduct public scoping (see 6 NYCRR §617.8) and has prepared a Draft Scoping Document for public review and comment.

As lead agency, NYS DEC determined that the CO2 emission cap reduction, which forms the basis for this action, will have a positive impact on the environment and is not likely to have any significant adverse environmental impacts. Notwithstanding this fact, given the importance of these regulations and to ensure maximum public participation in the adoption process, NYS DEC will prepare an SGEIS as a means to: describe the objectives and rationale for the proposed amendments; address any impact the proposed amendments may have on the single issue identified in the Final GEIS for the initial promulgation of the RGGI regulations, accepted on August 13, 2008, that could potentially adversely impact the environment, namely "emissions leakage"; present alternatives; and provide the opportunity for additional public participation.

Since NYS DEC believes that the proposed amendments will result in positive impacts to the environment, the SGEIS will address the single potential issue of "emissions leakage." Emissions leakage refers to the potential for the Program to cause a shift of electricity generation from capped sources subject to the Program to higher-emitting sources not subject to the Program, in and out of the RGGI region. The SGEIS will analyze the potential shift in generation to sources not covered by the cap and whether this could result in a potential increase of greenhouse gas emissions that could offset reductions from the Program. In addition, the SGEIS will consider the potential for increases in other pollutants, such as oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide and mercury that could have an adverse impact on the environment.

NYS DEC is seeking written comment on this approach. Comments will be accepted by NYS DEC contact listed below through close of business on May 6, 2013. The Positive Declaration and Draft Scoping document as well as the Final GEIS for the RGGI program can be found on the NYS DEC's website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/89881.html.

Contact: Michael P. Sheehan, NYSDEC - Division of Air Resources, 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233-3251, Phone: (518) 402-8396

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