The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on August 4 proposed a rule to advance the use of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies, while protecting Americans’ health and the environment.
CCS technologies allow carbon dioxide (CO2) to be captured at stationary sources—like coal-fired power plants and large industrial operations—and injected underground for long-term storage in a process called geologic sequestration. The proposal is consistent with recommendations made by President Barack Obama’s interagency task force on CO2.
The proposal will exclude from the EPA’s hazardous waste regulations CO2 streams that are injected for geologic sequestration in wells designated for this purpose under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The EPA is proposing this exclusion as part of the agency’s effort to reduce barriers to the use of CCS technologies. The EPA requests that comments submitted on the rule share analytical data on the overall composition of captured CO2 streams, including physical and chemical characteristics, to help the agency determine if additional actions are necessary to ensure the safe use of CSS technologies.
Based on review of existing regulatory programs, the EPA’s proposal concludes that the management of CO2 streams under the proposed conditions does not present a substantial risk to people’s health or the environment, provides regulatory certainty to industries considering the use of CCS technologies, and encourages the deployment of CCS technologies in a safe and environmentally protective manner.