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Dalrymple Presses EPA on Issues Important to North Dakota
Post Date: Feb 23 2015

By ND Governor's Office
Gov. Jack Dalrymple met with Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D. C. to discuss the agency’s proposed carbon emissions standards for existing coal-based power plants and other environmental issues important to North Dakota.
Dalrymple shared with McCarthy his concerns about the EPA’s development of new standards for carbon dioxide emissions.  Any new emission standards must be practical and offer flexibility for power generators to comply, he said.
“Coal-fired power plants provide about 80 percent of North Dakota’s residential and commercial energy supply while also providing power to surrounding states,” Dalrymple said.  “These power plants have continued to reduce emissions while providing an efficient and cost-effective energy source. Unattainable standards would only serve to undermine the nation’s energy security and would lead to lost jobs and higher utility costs for consumers.”
In North Dakota, private industry and researchers are developing innovative solutions to further reduce carbon emissions, including work underway at the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center to capture carbon and utilized it for advanced oil recovery, Dalrymple said.
The EPA’s proposed carbon emission standards would require North Dakota to reduce its CO2 emissions by 11 percent. The EPA is expected to finalize its Clean Power Plan this summer.
Dalrymple also shared with McCarthy his concerns about the potential for EPA overreach under the auspices of the Clean Water Act. The EPA and U .S. Army Corps of Engineers have proposed a broader definition of what constitutes “Waters of the United States” which would expand federal authority to regulate virtually all surface water including small wetlands, ditches and seasonal streams.
Dalrymple said state officials were not consulted as the proposed rule was drafted, and he urged McCarthy to withdraw the proposed rule change. 

“North Dakota already has laws in place to manage and protect all waters of the state,” Dalrymple said. “The proposed rule is not workable for North Dakota’s farmers, ranchers, other landowners and the state’s business community.”
Dalrymple also updated McCarthy on the state’s progress in reducing the flaring of natural gas. Last year, the state adopted new regulations that require oil producers to submit a gas capturing plan in order to receive a drilling permit. Producers are required to follow through with approved gas capture plans or face mandatory reductions in oil production. The regulations include targets to reduce flaring to only 10 percent by 2020, and ultimately to five percent.
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