Geologic carbon dioxide sequestration – Requirements established

Posted on December 21, 2010 by

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a final rule establishing the requirements for underground injection of carbon dioxide (CO2). The purpose of these rules is to ensure the safety and prevent the possible groundwater contamination that CO2 can cause . This rule was issued under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act. The rule requires site characterization to ensure injection wells are located in areas that can store CO2 safely. As per the rule, the wells must be constructed of materials compatible with injected material and include automatic shutoff systems to prevent unintended fluid movement. Well and storage site operators will be required to implement and update plans for management of the underground storage sites.
The agency says that the rule includes rigorous testing and monitoring requirements, including testing the mechanical integrity of the wells, groundwater monitoring and tracking of the underground CO2 to verify predictability of movements. This rule also clarifies and increases the financial responsibility requirements to ensure that operators have funds for closure, emergency and remedial action etc.