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EPA Empowers State Regulators, Encourages Energy Innovation by Signing Proposed Rule to Approve North Dakota Carbon Sequestration Wells Application

05/09/2017
Contact Information: 
U.S. EPA Media Relations (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt today announced that EPA has signed a proposed rulemaking to approve North Dakota’s application to implement and enforce its own Class VI Underground Injection Control (UIC) program. Class VI injection wells are used for long-term storage of carbon dioxide captured from industrial and energy related sources. This action reinforces Administrator Pruitt’s commitment to cooperative federalism, and will help advance carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies.

“North Dakotans know better than anyone the needs of their environment, economy, and communities,” said Administrator Pruitt. “By taking action toward authorizing North Dakota’s Class VI program, we will empower state regulators, provide needed certainty, and advance CCS technologies, all while ensuring drinking water sources remain protected.”

EPA is proposing to determine that North Dakota is capable of enforcing its Class VI program in a manner consistent with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and all applicable regulations to protect underground sources of drinking water. If EPA ultimately approves the state’s program, the North Dakota Industrial Commission will have primary enforcement responsibility. EPA will continue to administer the UIC Program for wells on Indian lands per the SDWA.

Click here to view the Federal Register notice proposing program approval, which was signed today. Once the notice publishes in the Federal Register a 60-day public comment period will begin. Following the close of the comment period, EPA will review and respond to public comments in preparation for making a final decision on North Dakota’s application.

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