Hoeven: EPA Makes North Dakota Primary Regulator for Class VI Injection Wells

Over Past Decade, Senator has Worked to Provide Regulatory Framework to Advance Geologic Sequestration Projects

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted the State of North Dakota regulatory primacy over Class VI injection wells, which are used for geological sequestration or long-term storage of CO2. Last year, Hoeven secured EPA approval for a proposed rule granting North Dakota’s application to regulate Class VI injection wells and that rule was finalized today.  

“Our state is leading the way in the development of clean coal technologies,” said Hoeven. “Now, with North Dakota as the primary regulator for Class VI wells, industry will have greater regulatory certainty to advance carbon capture and sequestration projects for both traditional and renewable energy sources. This is an important step in our work to put in place the right regulatory framework to advance these cutting-edge technologies and make them economically feasible.”

Hoeven has been pressing the EPA to approve the state’s request to provide regulatory certainty to advance carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies for both traditional and renewable energy sources. 

Granting North Dakota regulatory primacy over Class VI wells will provide certainty for energy producers to utilize permanent carbon storage, so CCS technology can become more economically feasible. 

For example, Red Trail Energy is working to integrate CCS at its Richardton, North Dakota plant to reduce the carbon footprint of the ethanol production facility. 

As governor in 2008, Hoeven established the North Dakota CO2 Storage Workgroup, which was tasked with developing a regulatory framework for the long-term storage of CO2. The workgroup resulted in 2009 legislation granting regulatory authority over geologic sequestration of CO2 to the North Dakota Industrial Commission and established trust funds for state oversight and long-term liability. That legislation was amended in 2013 to meet new EPA standards. In June 2013, North Dakota submitted an application to become the primary regulatory body for Class VI injection wells. Hoeven pressed then-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to approve the state’s request and has been working to move the application forward with the new Administration. The application had been pending until the EPA signed the proposed rule in August 2017.