DANR Suspends Work on EPA’s Final Clean Power Plan for South Dakota

DENR's Public Input Meetings on EPA's Clean Power Plan Cancelled
On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, the U. S. Supreme Court issued a stay in EPA’s Clean Power Plan that halts or postpones the effectiveness of EPA’s Plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power plants. With the stay in place, DENR is cancelling the public input meetings that had been scheduled to fulfil EPA’s public participation requirements, to include the first meeting that was scheduled at the Milbank Visitor Center in Milbank on Feb. 23, 2016.

A bipartisan coalition of 29 states and state agencies challenged EPA’s Clean Power Plan on Oct. 23, 2015, the day it was published. Attorney General Marty Jackley joined this challenge on behalf of the State of South Dakota. The states argue the EPA exceeded its authority by double-regulating coal-fired power plants and forcing states to fundamentally shift their energy portfolios away from coal-fired generation.

The D.C. Circuit Court will hear oral arguments on the case on June 2. A final ruling from that court might not come for months and without the stay, the Clean Power Plan could have cost jobs, less reliability in the nation’s electric grid, and large increases in electric rates.

Those urging the U.S. Supreme Court to immediately halt the EPA’s unlawful power plan are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, along with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Mississippi Public Service Commission, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

Location Date Time Public Notice
Milbank Visitor Center 1001 East 4th Avenue, Milbank Tuesday February 23, 2016 Cancelled Milbank
Swiftel Event Hall – Daktronics Room A 824 32nd Avenue, Brookings Tuesday March 1, 2016 Cancelled

Ramada Hotel & Suites, Gallery 1 & 2 1301 W Russel, Sioux Falls

Tuesday March 8, 2016 Cancelled  

Best Western Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center, Sylvan I Room 2111 N LaCrosse, Rapid City

Tuesday March 15, 2016 Cancelled  

Foss Building - Matthew Training Center 523 E Capitol, Pierre

Tuesday March 22, 2016 Cancelled  

On October 23, 2015, EPA published its final Clean Power Plan for existing electric utility generators. That same day, attorneys representing 25 state and state agencies, which includes Attorney General Marty Jackley, filed a lawsuit challenging the Clean Power Plan. EPA developed the Clean Power Plan to control greenhouse gases from existing electric utility generators under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

The Clean Power Plan requires South Dakota to submit a 111(d) plan outlining how South Dakota plans on complying with EPA’s Clean Power Plan or request an extension by September 6, 2016. South Dakota plans on taking two paths to address the Clean Power Plan. The first path involves assisting the Attorney General’s Office in its lawsuit. The second path is to move forward with the development of the 111(d) plan in case the Attorney General’s lawsuit is unsuccessful. Now that the U. S. Supreme Court has stayed EPA’s Clean Power Plan, DENR is suspending its work on developing a 111(d) plan.

DENR’s Air Quality Program
The Air Quality Program within the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is responsible for developing the 111(d) plan to meet EPA's Clean Power Plan. The Air Quality Program is committed to working with the Public Utilities Commission, other state agencies, utilities, cooperatives, the public and other stakeholders to develop a plan that will keep the lights on and provide affordable electricity to South Dakotans. The Air Quality Program has developed a timeline for meeting EPA’s Clean Power Plan. This timeline will be adjusted, if necessary, once the legal process is complete.

The final Clean Power Plan will indirectly impact everyone in South Dakota and directly impact the Big Stone coal-fired power plant near Big Stone City and the natural gas-fired combined cycle combustion turbine at the Deer Creek Station near White.

Compliance Options
EPA has provided DENR with four options to comply with EPA’s goals established for South Dakota under the Clean Power Plan. They are:

  1. Sub-category rate-based limit based on a two-year average starting in 2030:
    1. Coal-fired steam generating unit = 1,305 pounds of carbon dioxide per net megawatt-hour.
    2. Natural-gas fired stationary combustion turbine = 771 pounds of carbon dioxide per net megawatt-hour.
  2. Statewide rate-based limit for all affected electric generating units of 1,167 pounds of carbon dioxide per net megawatt-hour based on a two-year average starting in 2030.
  3. Mass-based limit of 7,078,962 short tons of carbon dioxide based on two-year blocks starting with 2030-2031.
  4. Allow EPA to implement a federal 111(d) plan.
EPA’s proposed federal 111(d) plan was published in the federal register on October 23, 2015. DENR submitted comments by the January 21, 2016 deadline.

Two-year Extension Request to be Submitted to EPA
On September 6, 2016, DENR plans to request the two-year extension, but based on the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to stay the rule, this may not be necessary.

Public Input Received on Implementation of EPA’s Clean Power Plan
While DANR waits for the legal challenges to run their course, you may still provide input by submitting your comments online to or by sending comments by mail to the following address:
Attention: Brian Gustafson
Air Quality Program
523 East Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501

DENR is providing a copy of the comments DENR receives on implementing EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The comments are provided below and arranged alphabetically. For individuals, the comments are arranged alphabetically by the individual’s last name.

Johnson, Erik comments

Garske, Donna comments