RCRA Hazardous Waste Systems: Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Streams Being Sequestered
Geologic Sequestration (GS) is the process of injecting carbon dioxide (CO2), captured from an industrial (e.g., steel and cement production) or energy-related source (e.g., a power plant or natural gas processing facility), into deep subsurface rock formations for long-term storage.
EPA is proposing to exclude carbon dioxide (CO2) streams from EPAs hazardous waste regulations if they meet certain conditions, including injection for the purpose of Geologic Sequestration (GS) into specific wells regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. EPA concluded that the management of CO2 streams under the proposed conditions does not present a substantial risk to human health or the environment, and will encourage the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies in a safe and environmentally protective manner while also ensuring protection of Underground Sources of Drinking Water (USDW).
This proposed rule is complementary to a recently finalized Safe Drinking Water Act rule that sets requirements for GS, including the development of a new class of injection well called Class VI, established under EPAs Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program. The UIC Class VI requirements are designed to ensure that wells used for geologic sequestration of CO2 streams are appropriately sited, constructed, tested, monitored, and closed in a manner that ensures USDW protection.
This proposal is consistent with recommendations made by President Obamas interagency task force on this topic and helps create a consistent national framework to ensure the safe and effective deployment of technologies that will help position the United States as a leader in the global clean energy race.
Federal Register: Proposed Rule August 8, 2011
Federal Register Notice: Technical Correction September 9, 2011
The support materials for this rule and the public comments EPA receives on the proposal are available for public review online, as explained below. Please note that proposed rule materials will not be available from Regulations.gov until the rule is published in the Federal Register
To use Regulations.gov:In the Keyword or ID Search box, type in the docket number EPA-HQ-RCRA-2010-0695 and press Enter to receive search results.