News Update from Upper Savannah Council of Governments

COGs, Municipalities Can Participate in SC Air Quality Improvement Plan

The Palmetto Air Quality Collaborative (PAQC) is a 4-year planning initiative to develop innovative strategies to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution in South Carolina.

This initiative intends to lay the groundwork for lowering air emissions, engaging communities, and supporting workforce and economic development opportunities.

The PAQC is co-led by the SC Office of Resilience and SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and is funded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program.

The PAQC is encouraging potential stakeholders to provide input about emissions reduction priorities, current activities and concerns. Survey available here However please respond by Dec. 22, 2023, to ensure your feedback is considered for the first set of deadlines.

The Priority Climate Action Plan (PCAP) is due March 1, 2024. The PCAP will include a statewide greenhouse gas inventory and proposed measures to reduce emissions and air pollution.

Implementation grant applications are due April 1, 2024. The EPA Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program is offering competitive grants for states, regional agencies, municipalities and tribes to implement reduction measures and plans.

On Aug. 16, 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law, establishing funding for greenhouse gas planning and implementation efforts. The EPA was authorized to establish the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG), with South Carolina being one of 46 states to accept funding. The Columbia and Greenville-Spartanburg Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) also received funding.

Phase I of the CPRG provided states with $3 million and MSAs with $1 million. Phase II will provide $4.6 billion nationwide in competitive implementation grants. The SC Office of Resilience and SC DHEC are partnering as co-leads for this grant.

The PAQC Intergovernmental and Interagency Coordination Group is comprised of the SC Office of Resilience, SC DHEC, SC Energy Office and other state agencies. Representatives from South Carolina’s 10 councils of government, Association of Counties, and the Municipal Association will be invited to participate as well.