US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has announced that EPA has signed a proposed rulemaking to approve North Dakota’s application to implement and enforce its own Class VI Underground Injection Control (UIC) programme.

Class VI injection wells are used for long-term storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from industrial and energy related sources. This action reinforces Pruitt’s commitment to cooperative federalism, and will help advanced carbon capture, storage (CCS) and sequestration technologies.

Administrator Pruitt said, “North Dakotans know better than anyone the needs of their environment, economy, and communities.”

“By taking action toward authorising North Dakota’s Class VI programme, we will empower state regulators, provide needed certainty, and advance CCS technologies, all while ensuring drinking water sources remain protected,” he continued.

EPA is proposing to determine that North Dakota is capable of enforcing its Class VI programme in a manner consistent with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and all application regulations to protect underground sources of drinking water. If EPA ultimately approves the state’s programme, the North Dakota Industrial Commission will have primary enforcement responsibility. EPA will continue to administer the UIC programme for wells on Indian lands per the SDWA.