Delegation Pushes Back Against EPA Overregulation

ND Lawmakers say Federal Agency Should Respect State Plan to Address Haze

Washington — Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven and Congressman Rick Berg today pushed back against an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal to regulate coal fired energy plants in North Dakota and urged the agency to jettison plans to overrule the State's efforts to reduce haze. 

In a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the Congressional delegation strongly objected to an EPA plan to overrule North Dakota’s State Implementation Plan (SIP) on regional haze. 

"We believe that this action is unwarranted. The State of North Dakota met its Clean Air Act requirements in developing its SIP," the delegation writes to Jackson.  "The EPA should respect the State’s determination and accept the State’s SIP as the right plan to address regional haze in North Dakota." 

Last month, EPA stated its intent to issue a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) to overrule North Dakota’s State Implementation Plan on regional haze. However, the State of North Dakota met all of the federal requirements when it developed its plan to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from coal fired power plants.  

The EPA was not satisfied with the State's plan and mandated that North Dakota industry spend hundreds of millions of dollars on technology that the North Dakota Department of Health determined is not technically feasible and would result in visibility differences that would be unnoticeable to the human eye. 

"The difference between the State’s SIP and the EPA’s  proposed FIP is about how to achieve clean air objectives in a reasonable and cost-effective manner.  We believe that the State of North Dakota has accomplished that objective and provided a reasoned explanation for its plan," the delegation writes.