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EPA announces Wyoming’s primacy for Class VI Underground Injection Control Programme

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World Coal,

At a recent press conference, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Associate Deputy Administrator, Doug Benevento, joined Wyoming Governor, Mark Gordon; Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Director, Todd Parfitt and EPA Region 8 Administrator, Greg Sopkin, to announce the approval of Wyoming’s request for primary enforcement responsibility (primacy) for Class VI wells under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Programme. They also highlighted the final revisions to specific effluent guidelines and standards for ‘steam electric’ power plants, which will reduce pollution nationwide by nearly a 1 million lbs/y over the 2015 rule while saving the US power sector approximately US$140 million/y, including saving power plants in Wyoming US$8.1 million/y.

“The Trump Administration is empowering states like Wyoming to develop and manage strong programs that protect the environment and public health while supporting local economies,” said Benevento. “With this important action, EPA is recognising Wyoming as a proven partner in the safe and responsible management of drinking water.”

“This final rule exemplifies our commitment to ensuring states like Wyoming have primacy over programmes that directly affect their citizens,” commented Sopkin. “My office enjoys a great working relationship with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and it’s through these actions that we continue to protect human health and the environment.”

“Wyoming was proud to host the EPA in Cheyenne today to share this very important update that will affect the future of Wyoming, our coal and power plants that burn our coal,” added Gordon. “Our newfound Class VI injection well regulatory primacy is part of the state's larger strategy to keep coal burning, reduce carbon emissions and keep jobs in Wyoming. The advancements we’ve made in carbon capture research alongside the Department of Energy and the strategic partnerships we’ve formed uniquely position the state to extend the life of coal and reduce emissions.”

“The Trump administration is supporting states taking the lead to address a changing climate through innovative technologies, not crushing regulation,” said US Senator, John Barrasso. “This final rule will give Wyoming the authority to permit many more carbon capture projects. Wyoming is blessed with an abundance of resources like coal, natural gas, and oil that power America’s homes and businesses. Under the EPA’s final rule, Washington will recognise Wyoming’s expertise in capturing excess carbon and sequestering it underground.”

“As a leader in the energy industry, Wyoming has the know-how to manage its own programme that will provide for the future of clean coal, such as carbon capture and sequestration,” mentioned US Senator, Mike Enzi. “I applaud the EPA for cementing this new rule granting Wyoming this important authority. Investments made to advance new coal technologies allows for more affordable energy options for Americans – and allows Wyoming to continue being a leader in fuelling the nation.”

“I applaud the EPA for signing this final rule that gives Wyoming the ability to enforce regulations over Class VI wells in our state," US Congresswoman, Liz Cheney, said. "The Trump Administration correctly recognises that these decisions are best made by state and local officials, instead of heavy-handed mandates passed down from federal bureaucrats. Because of this rule, our state will now have more freedom to craft these rules in a way that works best for us, allowing for expanded growth and new opportunities. I look forward to working with President Trump and the EPA on additional ways that we can return more decision-making authority to the state and local level.”

The announcement will give Wyoming – a proven partner in the safe and responsible management of drinking water – more autonomy to protect groundwater for Wyomingites. This marks the second time that any state has received primacy for Class VI UIC wells, which are used for the long-term storage of carbon dioxide captured from industrial and energy related sources.

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