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APPLICANT WITHDRAWS REQUEST FOR CARBON DIOXIDE RESEARCH PERMIT

Release Date: 7/2/2002
Contact Information: Mike Ardito, U.S. EPA, (415) 972-3081, ardito.michael@epa.gov

     Experiment Was Proposed for Deep Ocean off Kauai
                               
     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has learned that sponsors of a carbon dioxide experiment proposed for ocean waters offshore from Nawiliwili, Kauai agreed to withdraw their application for a research permit.

     "The formal withdrawal of this application brings to an end our review of the proposal.  We thank the many individuals who provided written comments and those who provided testimony at our public hearings," said Alexis Strauss, the EPA's water division director for the Pacific Southwest region.

     The international consortium's contractor, the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, withdrew its application last week without stating a reason.

     The applicant planned to collect data on carbon dioxide plumes injected into deep ocean waters at an EPA ocean dredged-material disposal site four nautical miles offshore.  The proposed experiment was part of a larger effort to evaluate options for managing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
                         
     The proposed experiment drew much criticism from individuals and public interest organizations.  Written and oral comments received by the EPA were unanimous in opposition to this proposed experiment.  In particular, there were concerns from the public that  the initial experiment would lead to large-scale dumping of carbon dioxide off the coast of Hawaii.

     On March 14, the EPA issued an initial public notice about  the proposed research permit and requested public comment.  Based on comments received during the 30-day comment period, the EPA extended the comment period and conducted public hearings to collect additional comments on May 21 in Honolulu and May 22 on Kauai.  The extended public comment period ended on June 14.

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