Permanence and Safety of CCS

What regulations are in place to govern CO2 injection(s)?

epa-uic-vi-injection-faq
Artistic rendering of an EPA UIC Class VI injection well designed for safely injecting CO2 underground for long term storage.
(click to enlarge)

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is tasked with the responsibility of establishing and enforcing any regulations associated with injecting and storing CO2 in the subsurface. In December 2010, EPA finalized minimum Federal requirements under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for underground CO2 injection for the purpose of geologic storage. This final rule applies to owners or operators of wells that will be used to inject CO2 into the subsurface for the purpose of long-term storage. It establishes a new class of well, Class VI, as part of the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program. The UIC Class VI regulations set minimum technical criteria for the permitting, geologic site characterization, corrective action (if necessary), financial responsibility, well construction, operation, monitoring, well plugging, post-injection site care (PISC), and site closure of Class VI wells for the purposes of protecting underground sources of drinking water (USDWs).

The elements of this rulemaking are based on the existing UIC regulatory framework, with modifications to address the unique nature of CO2 injection for geologic storage. This rule will help to ensure consistency in permitting underground CO2 injection at geologic storage operations across the United States and provide requirements to prevent endangerment of USDWs. In addition to these Federal requirements, many states have either enacted CCS requirements or are in the process of doing so.

The DOE has no responsibility in developing regulations for underground CO2 storage. However, the DOE does support the continued development and field testing of technologies that can be used by operators to verify that the regulations relating to the safe storage of CO2 underground are met.

Myth: Current regulations are inadequate to address the underground CO2 injection.
Reality: There are both Federal and state regulations that govern underground CO2 injection.

 

How are efforts through the Federal Government supporting the deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage technologies?

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