BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today thanked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for making North Dakota the first state to receive final approval to regulate geologic storage of carbon dioxide.
In a phone call this morning, Pruitt informed the governor that he has signed North Dakota’s application granting the state primary regulatory authority, or primacy, over Class VI underground injection of carbon dioxide for long-term storage. The authority will take effect when the final rule is published in the Federal Register, expected to occur in about one week.
The state began to prepare for primacy after the North Dakota Legislature gave the state Industrial Commission’s Oil and Gas Division regulatory authority over carbon storage in 2009. The three-member Industrial Commission consists of Burgum as chair and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring as members.
“This long-awaited approval provides regulatory certainty and a path forward to ensure the long-term viability of North Dakota’s lignite coal and energy generation industries through carbon capture and storage, while also benefiting the environment by reducing greenhouse gases,” Burgum said. “We believe states are in the best position to regulate this activity, and the Oil and Gas Division is ready and capable to take the lead on this responsibility. We’re grateful to Administrator Pruitt and the EPA for their thoughtful, proactive and expeditious efforts following years of delay and to North Dakota’s congressional delegation for continually pushing for approval of our primacy application.”
“The State of North Dakota is a proven partner in the safe and responsible development of our country’s natural resources,” Pruitt said. “By allowing North Dakota to protect its underground sources of drinking water, we are practicing cooperative federalism and increasing the state’s involvement in local environmental protection. EPA will work with the state to ensure a smooth transition and that all North Dakotans continue to have safe drinking water.
For more about today’s action and the benefits of carbon capture and storage, read the Industrial Commission’s full news release here.