EPA Issues Guidance on CO2 Geologic Sequestration

U.S. EPA has released a final guidance to assist underground injection control (UIC) programs in processing permit applications for pilot and other small-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) geologic-sequestration projects.

"We are taking the proactive step of releasing early guidance to help ensure that underground injection of CO2 is done in an environmentally responsible manner to protect underground sources of drinking water and public health," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator for water. "The data we collect from pilot projects will help us as we work to develop a long-term management framework for commercial-scale geologic sequestration."

CO2 geologic-sequestration projects involve capturing CO2 from an emission source, such as a power plant, and inject the greenhouse gas into deep subsurface rock formations for storage. The practice is part of a portfolio of technologies and technical approaches under consideration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.

The guidance will assist UIC program directors and permit writers as they evaluate applications for the appropriateness of injection sites, the area of review, well construction, operation, monitoring, and site closure in order to protect underground sources of drinking water and public health. The guidance and more information about geologic sequestration can be found at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/uic/wells_sequestration.html.

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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