Responsible land management earns state award

The North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) presented Great River Energy with a reclamation award for outstanding stewardship of the land during the decommissioning and demolition of the Stanton Station power plant.

Randy Christmann of the North Dakota Public Service Commission presents the reclamation award to Great River Energy’s Rich Garman, senior project manager, business development, and Jennifer Charles, leader, environmental services.

The PSC presented its 2019 North Dakota Award for Excellence in Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation to Great River Energy for “environmentally responsible reclamation of Stanton Station.”

“It might seem ironic at a Lignite Energy Council meeting to give an award to a company that closed a coal plant,” Randy Christmann of the PSC said. “The irony is not lost on me. But things do come to a natural end. And when they do, proper cleanup is important.”

Stanton Station was built before the North Dakota siting act was passed into law and with no siting certificate, there was no PSC requirement for decommissioning and reclamation.

“Even though we do not have jurisdiction over Stanton Station, Great River Energy was kind enough to give me a courtesy call prior to their public announcement to close the station. After expressing my disappointment about the forthcoming closure, I said I would really like to see it removed and the land reclaimed. Great River Energy immediately expressed its commitment to do so,” Christmann said.

In closing, Christmann thanked Great River Energy for its dedication to the reclamation work at the site.

The 188-megawatt Stanton Station power plant operated for just over 50 years. The plant was retired in 2017 because it was no longer economic to operate in the Midwest Independent System Operator energy market.