BISMARCK, ND – The Federal District Court for the District of Wyoming has now issued an order permitting North Dakota to intervene as a party, joining the State of Wyoming, in a challenge to the US Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) authority to impose federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing practices.
“I am pleased the Court has allowed North Dakota to participate as a party to uphold our state’s strong and comprehensive fracking regulations,” said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. “We will be there alongside Wyoming in protecting our own state’s authority to regulate the industry,” he said.
Stenehjem continued, “The BLM’s final rules, released on March 20, 2015, were issued despite North Dakota’s efforts to persuade the BLM that the state’s longstanding laws and regulations already effectively govern oil and gas development and protect our underground water sources.”
North Dakota is asking the Court to invalidate the BLM’s regulations not only because those regulations interfere with the state’s comprehensive oil and gas development rules and environmental protection standards, but also because the federal government, through the Environmental Protection Agency, has already delegated authority to the states to monitor and protect underground water sources.
“The BLM is overreaching its authority and seeking to impose an unnecessary and costly layer of federal bureaucracy on the state’s existing regulatory processes,” said Stenehjem.