ND Lignite Coal officials speak on blackout risks due to EPA rule changes

Photo by: WDAY Radio File (Canva)
Photo by: WDAY Radio File (Canva)

(Bismarck, ND) -- The North Dakota Lignite Coal Industry says they are going to face several intense challenges going forward if recent Environmental Protection Agency rulings stay in place. 

Jason Bohrer, the President and CEO of the Lignite Energy Council, spoke with the Flag's What's on your Mind about the proposed changes. The EPA's ruling on Lignite Coal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, the Regional Haze Program, and the Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Plant Rule have all recently seen updates or changes that Bohrer believes will greatly challenge the North Dakota Lignite Coal Industry if no changes come down.

" [The EPA] are issuing rules that modeling indicates are going to take electricity generation facilities off the grid. That is going to increase reliability risks, increase the risks of blackout. The carbon rule in particular. Billions upon billions of dollars will be required to comply with that," said Bohrer to The Flag's What's on Your Mind. 

The changes, according to the EPA, would aim to reduce mercury emissions from lignite coal powered plants by 70%, ensure gas-fired plants control 90% of their carbon pollution, reduce pollutants discharged through wastewater, and introduce federal regulations on coal ash to avoid ground and water contamination. 

Original Air Date: 
Thursday, May 2, 2024