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EPA clarifies CCS technology

World Coal,

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final rule that will help create a consistent national framework to ensure the safe and effective deployment of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies.

“Carbon capture and sequestration technology can help us reduce carbon pollution and move us toward a cleaner, more stable environment,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response at EPA. “Today’s rule provides regulatory clarity to help facilitate the implementation of this technology in a safe and responsible way.”

CCS technologies allow carbon dioxide (CO2) to be captured at stationary sources such as coal-fired power plants, and then injected underground for long-term storage.

The new rule clarifies that CO2 streams captured from emission sources, injected underground via UIC Class VI wells approved for the purpose of geologic sequestration under the Safe Drinking Water Act, and meeting certain other conditions, will be excluded from EPA’s hazardous waste regulations. The rule also clarifies that CO2 injected underground via UIC Class II wells for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is not expected to be a waste management activity.

EPA concluded that the management of CO2 streams under these conditions does not present a substantial risk to human health or the environment. The ruling will help provide a clear pathway for the deployment of CCS technologies in a safe and environmentally protective manner while also ensuring protection of underground sources of drinking water.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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