North Dakota

EPA signs off on North Dakota regulation of CO2 wells

The Trump administration proposes giving North Dakota the power to regulate underground wells used for long-term storage of waste carbon dioxide captured from industrial sources such as coal-fired power plants.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt signed off on the proposal Tuesday. A final decision will come after a 60-day public comment period.

North Dakota would be the first state to get such authority. The state's rules for CO2 wells would need to be as stringent as federal standards approved in 2010, and the EPA would oversee the state program.

Pruitt says handing regulation over to the state would help advance carbon capture and sequestration technology.

Sierra Club spokesman Wayde Schafer questions whether the money-strapped state would have enough funds to effectively manage the regulatory program.