EPA Regional Haze
In September 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) threatened to override North Dakota's already diligent plan to reduce regional haze and implement a federal implementation plan (FIP). EPA’s plan would have led to increased energy costs for North Dakotans, would not have been technically feasible and would have resulted in visibility differences undetectable to the human eye. Improving visibility is the objective of the regional haze program. In March 2012, EPA issued its final rule saying it would accept part of North Dakota’s state implementation plan (SIP) for regional haze, which meant Basin Electric would not have to spend an additional hundreds of millions of dollars on technology not proven to work with lignite coal at the Leland Olds Station. Read the full story: North Dakota's clean air plan prevails
The following stories published in Basin Electric's magazine, Basin Today, address EPA's actions over the last few years.
- The EPA quickstep part 1 (July-August 2010)
- The EPA quickstep part 2 (September-October 2010)
- Target: Coal ash (November-December 2010)
- EPA is stepping on states' toes (May-June 2011)
- North Dakota's clean air plan prevails (March-April 2012)
- Is EPA killing coal at the cost of consumers and the economy? (May-June 2012)
- EPA proposes regional haze plan in Wyoming (July-August 2012)
- Regional haze taking center stage in Wyoming (September-October 2013)
Wyoming and the Regional Haze debate
In May 2012, EPA also issued a notice of intent to issue a partial FIP on Wyoming’s SIP that requires Laramie River Station to install selective non-catalytic reduction technology in addition to the low NOx burners and advanced separated over-fire air required by Wyoming’s SIP. The final rule is scheduled to be issued Dec. 14, 2012. Read the full story: EPA proposes regional haze plan in Wyoming
Wyoming, along with the industries that work to provide energy to the state and the nation, are committed to clean air, clear visibility, and continued protection of the state’s natural areas. To accomplish that, Wyoming has a state implementation plan for regional haze. To date, Wyoming’s total reduction of NOx tons brought about through its state implementation plan is among the highest in the nation. Despite that, the Environmental Protection Agency has said that it wants to set aside the state’s regional haze program in order to implement a federal program.
In early 2014, the EPA also issued a partial FIP on Wyoming’s SIP that requires Laramie River Station to install Selective Catalytic Reduction NOx controls on all three units in addition to the low NOx burners and ASOFA required by Wyoming’s SIP. The Governor of Wyoming, its two Senators and Congresswoman have strongly communicated to EPA their support for Wyoming’s BART determinations, and their belief that the State’s determinations are entitled to respect and that EPA should not substitute its judgment for the State’s decisions.