From Argus Media:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday issued a final rule that exempts CO2 injected underground from hazardous waste regulations, a step the agency said would help ensure “safe and effective deployment” of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies.
The rule, issued under the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act, is intended to fill gaps in policy on CCS and help spur its use at stationary sources such as power plants. The resources conservation act governs the handling of municipal and industrial waste.
CCS is not yet used at a commercial-scale operation, but a few projects are under construction and EPA has proposed requiring new coal-fired power plants to capture at 30-50pc of CO2 emissions. CCS project developers have noted that regulatory gaps make planning difficult in spite of government initiatives to promote the technologies.
The new rule follows EPA's creation in 2010 of a new class of underground storage wells specifically for CO2sequestration under the Safe Water Drinking Act — Class IV wells. That ruling also established how wells used for CCS should be sited, constructed, tested and monitored.