The EPA has finalized rules related to capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide (CCS) technology. CCS technology enables large emitters of carbon dioxide, such as coal fired power plants, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and store the carbon dioxide utilizing geologic sequestration.
The new rulings seek to protect drinking water and track the amount of carbon dioxide that is sequestered from facilities.
“The Obama Administration reaffirmed its commitment to leading the way in the clean energy future. We’re taking a major step towards path breaking innovations that will reduce greenhouse gases and put America in the forefront of the clean energy economy,” says EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “By providing clarity about greenhouse gas reporting and the necessary protections for drinking water sources during carbon sequestration, we’ve cleared the way for people to use this promising technology.”
The specifics of these rulings are as follows:
Drinking Water Protection:
EPA finalized a rule that sets requirements for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide, including the development of a new class of injection well called Class VI, established under EPA’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program. The rule requirements are designed to ensure that wells used for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide are appropriately sited, constructed, tested, monitored, and closed. The UIC Program was established under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Greenhouse Gas Reporting:
EPA also finalized a rule on the greenhouse gas reporting requirements for facilities that carry out geologic sequestration. Information gathered under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program will enable EPA to track the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered by these facilities. The program was established in 2009 under authority of the Clean Air Act and requires reporting of greenhouse gases from various source categories in the United States.