N Dakota to challenge AQCS program takeover

The government of North Dakota said it plans to challenge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s takeover of an air quality control program at two coal-fired power plants in the state, according to The Bismarck Tribune.

The EPA said it will require Minnkota Power Co-op's Milton R. Young Station and Basin Electric Co-op's Leland Olds Station to install a catalytic technology to cut emissions of nitrous oxides (NOx) from both plants. The state said that technology has not been proven to work on lignite coal. Instead, the state favors a selective non-catalytic technology that is less expensive, is proven to work on lignite coal and will remove up to 50 percent of the NOx from the plant’s emissions.

EPA said the dispute involves how the state wants to meet regulations under the federal Regional Haze program. The EPA will release its final plan with the provision to take over the state program by May 13 and will then hold a period of public comment.

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