The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized two rules relating to carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). The first of the rules is aimed at protecting drinking water. The rule creates a new class of injection well, a Class VI well established under the EPA’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program. It requires the wells that are used for geologic sequestration to be properly sited, constructed, monitored, tested and closed.
The second rule that the EPA finalized focuses on greenhouse gas reporting for facilities that use geologic sequestration. It requires permit holders to create a CO2 monitoring, reporting and verification system. The CO2 that is sequestered must be reported using a mass balance approach under the Clean Air Act. The rule ultimately allows the EPA to track how much CO2 is being sequestered by the facilities.
It is hard to determine how much these rules will impact the CCS industry, as there currently aren’t many projects underway. The rules will likely have the greatest impact on enhanced oil recovery operations until other projects begin.