Gov. Jack Dalrymple has urged EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to scrap an EPA plan to take over North Dakota's authority to regulate its air quality. Dalrymple met with Jackson Sunday in Washington, D. C.
"During our meeting, I told Administrator Jackson that North Dakota has successfully designed, implemented and enforced air quality programs that have resulted in the state being one of only 12 to comply with all federal ambient air quality standards," Dalrymple said. "The EPA's proposal to take over our regional haze plan doesn't make environmental or economic sense."
The EPA should abide by the Clean Air Act which allows the state to regulate its own industries. The state has a long and proven history of operating its Clean Air Permit program, but the EPA proposes requiring the state's coal plants and other industries to install equipment that is not proven to work and is extremely expensive. The proposed mandate would ultimately drive up consumers' energy costs and harm the state's economy, Dalrymple said.
The EPA's plan would cost about 14 times more than the state plan, and it's not proven to provide any more environmental benefits. EPA's plan would unnecessarily harm electricity consumers in North Dakota and neighboring states as well as the utilities that provide power to consumers and North Dakota's entire economy, Dalrymple said.
North Dakota continues working to improve its air quality despite being among states with the nation's cleanest air. The state has spent four years developing a regional haze plan that would require equipment upgrades proven to reduce emissions by 60 percent and at costs substantially lower than the EPA's plan. The equipment required under the EPA plan does not even carry a manufacturer's guarantee that it will work, Dalrymple said