EPA Approves North Dakota’s Request to Implement and Enforce Class VI Underground Injection Control Program

(April 10, 2018) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it has approved the State of North Dakota’s request to implement and enforce its own Class VI Underground Injection Control (UIC) program. As part of the agency’s efforts to increase cooperative federalism, this action marks the first time that any state has received primacy for Class VI UIC wells. Class VI UIC wells are used for the long-term storage of carbon dioxide captured from industrial and energy related sources.

“The State of North Dakota is a proven partner in ensuring the safe and responsible development of our country’s oil and gas resources,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “By allowing North Dakota to protect its own underground sources of drinking water, we are increasing the state’s accountability in local environmental protection. We look forward to working with the state to ensure a smooth transition and that all North Dakotans continue to have safe drinking water.”

After taking public comments and conducting a thorough review, EPA determined that the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) is capable of enforcing its Class VI UIC program in a manner consistent with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and all applicable regulations to protect underground sources of drinking water. EPA’s approval allows NDIC to implement and enforce its Class VI program and issue Class VI permits. EPA will continue to administer the UIC Program for wells on Indian lands per the SDWA.

For any questions, please feel free to reach out to myself or Anita Thompkins, Director, Drinking Water Protection Division at Thompkins.anita@epa.gov.

For additional information: https://www.epa.gov/uic/primary-enforcement-authority-underground-injection-control-program