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Virginia adopts rule to cut carbon emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants

New York — The Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board on Friday approved a regulation to reduce and cap carbon dioxide emissions from large fossil fuel-fired power plants.

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In an effort to address climate change, the regulation is designed to cap emissions from 32 fossil fuel-fired power plants with more than 25 MW of generation capacity starting in 2020 and then require a 30% emissions reduction over the following 10 years.

The regulation, when implemented, will set an initial cap of 28 million mt of CO2.

Virginia will become the 12th state in the US, and the first southern state, to regulate carbon pollution, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality said in a statement.

"In the coming months, the Northam Administration will continue to explore options that comply with state law to ensure that regulated entities are able to reduce pollution at the lowest cost through a number of market-based approaches," the DEQ said.

"Reducing climate pollution and the impacts of climate change is critically important to protecting public health, safety and the economic well-being of the commonwealth," Matthew Strickler, Virginia's secretary of natural resources, said in the statement.

"Today's historic vote sets the commonwealth on a path to slow global warming, and signals to clean energy businesses that Virginia is poised for a significant expansion of solar and wind power," Strickler added.

-- Jared Anderson, jared.anderson@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, newsdesk@spglobal.com