By Andrew Childers
Dec. 19 --The Environmental Protection Agency is issuing a final rule that
will exempt carbon dioxide streams captured from power plants and industrial
sources and injected underground for geologic sequestration from federal
hazardous waste regulations.
The agency did not make the text of the
final rule available Dec. 19.
The EPA said carbon dioxide injected into
Class VI wells approved for geological sequestration under the Safe Drinking
Water Act does not present a substantial risk to human health or the
environment and should be exempted from regulation under Subtitle C of the
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
The final rule provides the
regulatory framework necessary for large industrial sources such as power
plants to deploy carbon capture and sequestration systems, the agency
“Carbon capture and sequestration technology can help us reduce
carbon pollution and move us toward a cleaner, more stable environment,” Mathy
Stanislaus, EPA assistant administrator for solid waste and emergency
response, said in statement. “Today's rule provides regulatory clarity to help
facilitate the implementation of this technology in a safe and responsible
Class VI carbon sequestration wells are subject to recent
regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act that require them to be
appropriately sited, constructed, tested, monitored and closed to prevent
groundwater contamination (75 Fed. Reg. 77,230).
The EPA said its final
rule is intended to complement that regulation.
The EPA proposed the
rule in 2011, and the White House Office of Management and Budget completed
its review of the final rule in October .
The EPA also released for comment draft guidance on transitioning Class II wells that are
used to inject carbon dioxide for oil and gas development to Class VI wells
used for carbon capture and sequestration.
According to the draft
guidance, operators of Class II wells would be required to apply for and
obtain Class VI permits for theirs wells if Underground Injection Control
Program directors determine there is increased risk to underground drinking
The EPA will accept comment on the draft guidance until
March 1, 2014. Comments should be sent to GSRuleGuidanceComments@epa.gov.
contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Childers in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor
responsible for this story: Larry Pearl in Washington at email@example.com
Information on the final
rule will be made available at http://www.epa.gov/wastes/nonhaz/industrial/geo-sequester/.
The EPA's draft guidance is available at http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class6/upload/epa816p13004.pdf.
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