Carbon dioxide streams excluded from EPA hazardous regulations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule that would exclude from hazardous waste regulations captured carbon dioxide (CO2) streams that are injected into underground wells designed for geologic sequestration.

The proposal concludes that the management of CO2 streams under the proposed conditions does not present a substantial risk to people’s health or the environment.

EPA said the proposed rule is complementary to a recently finalized Safe Drinking Water Act rule that sets requirements for geologic sequestration, including the development of a new class of injection well called Class VI. The Class VI requirements are designed to ensure that wells used for geologic sequestration of CO2 streams are appropriately sited, constructed, tested, monitored, and closed.

EPA is proposing the exclusion as part of the agency’s effort to reduce barriers to the use of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies.  EPA requests that comments submitted on the rule share analytical data on the overall composition of captured CO2 streams, including physical and chemical characteristics, to help the agency determine if additional actions are necessary to ensure the safe use of CCS technologies.

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