The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed a Geologic Sequestration (GS) rule under the Safe Drinking Water Act’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) program . EPA is currently implementing this well permitting program, and is further developing a series of guidance documents to assist applicants and reviewers for Class VI UIC well permits.
Geologic Sequestration (GS) is the process of injecting carbon dioxide, captured from an industrial or energy-related source, into deep subsurface rock formations for long-term storage. Scientists at research institutions, universities, and federal agencies, including USEPA, have been investigating the application of injection well technologies for GS to reduce carbon emissions to the atmosphere for more than a decade.
In December 2010, EPA finalized UIC program regulations for the injection of carbon dioxide for the purposes of GS. The final rule created the first new class of injection well in over 30 years – Class VI – with specific requirements for permitting, site characterization, area of review evaluation, financial responsibility, well construction, operation, monitoring, well plugging, post-injection site care, and site closure of Class VI wells for the purpose of protecting USDWs.
Since 2011, EPA has actively implemented the UIC Class VI GS program, nationally. The current implementation efforts include: developing a suite of technical guidance documents focused on the principal UIC program elements; working with states interested in receiving approval for Class VI GS primacy; engaging in early and pre-permit application discussions on GS projects; developing Class VI permits, and evaluating electronic data management options for GS projects.
Bruce J. Kobelski has been with EPA’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) program in Washington, DC Headquarters since 1986 and currently serves as the Team Co-Leader for Geologic Sequestration in the Drinking Water Protection Division. He has authored several technical reports including the 2001 Report to Congress on Class I Hazardous Waste Wells, the 2004 Study on Coalbed Methane Hydraulic Fracturing, and recent studies assessing research needs for Geologic Sequestration.
Mary Rose Bayer is a geologist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, serving as Co-Leader for the Geologic Sequestration Team. Molly has been with the Drinking Water Protection Division, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water in Washington, DC Headquarters since 2007 and is the primary contact for the Geologic Sequestration UIC Class VI rule and its implementation. She has authored or co-authored a number of papers and presentations on the rule.
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