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EPA Lays Groundwork for Promising Technologies to Help Mitigate Climate Change

Release Date: 07/15/2008
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, (202) 564-4355 / jones.enesta@epa.gov; En español: Lina Younes, (202) 564-4355 / younes.lina@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - July 15, 2008) Today, EPA is proposing a rule that supports promising technologies to prevent industrial emissions of carbon dioxide. Secure, long-term underground storage of the greenhouse gas is one way scientific innovation could lessen the effects of climate change.

"Today's proposal paves the way for technologies that would protect public health and help reduce the effects of climate change," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "With proper site selection and management, geologic sequestration could play a major role in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."

EPA's proposed regulation creates a consistent, national framework for the injection of carbon dioxide underground and protection of underground drinking water resources. The rule would create a new class of injection wells under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act's Underground Injection Control (UIC) program.

The proposed rule builds on the existing UIC program, including extensive requirements to ensure wells are appropriately located, constructed, tested, monitored, and ultimately, closed with proper funding. It would apply to owners and operators of wells that will be used to inject carbon dioxide into the subsurface for the purpose of long-term storage.

Carbon capture and storage is part of a portfolio of technologies available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. EPA is coordinating with the Department of Energy on carbon sequestration research and development.

EPA is requesting public comments on the proposed rule for 120 days.

Proposal and information about geologic sequestration activities and the UIC program at: epa.gov/safewater/uic/wells_sequestration.html