Carbon Capture Coalition Statement on EPA Granting Louisiana Primacy over Class VI Wells for Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide
December 29, 2023 | News
The following statement may be attributed to Jessie Stolark, executive director of the Carbon Capture Coalition on the recent announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted primary enforcement authority to the state of Louisiana over Class VI wells:
“The Carbon Capture Coalition welcomes this announcement and urges EPA to continue its timely and comprehensive review of other states’ primacy applications and individual well applications. Safe and permanent injection and storage of CO2 in deep geologic formations represent a well-understood and commercial practice in the U.S. and worldwide. The rules that govern permanent geologic storage of CO2 are extremely rigorous. Through the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class VI program and associated reporting requirements, EPA and states with primacy maintain a robust system of monitoring, reporting, and verification to validate secure geologic storage and claim the 45Q tax credit.
“EPA regulates the safe and permanent storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) in appropriate geologic formations that is captured from industrial, power and direct air capture facilities. EPA can, in turn, grant primary enforcement authority—referred to as primacy—to individual states, territories, or Tribal Nations, which delegates authority to administer certain injection well classes. Granting primacy empowers states to manage and regulate Class VI injection wells within their jurisdiction that must meet or exceed those of the EPA to qualify for Class VI primacy. Louisiana is the third state in the nation to be granted this authority, joining Wyoming and North Dakota.
“Timely and efficient permitting decisions for Class VI wells, as well as those associated with state primacy, will play a central role in enabling carbon management technologies to scale at the rate necessary for projects to make meaningful contributions to greenhouse gas emissions reductions. EPA’s Class VI program is the lynchpin in ensuring that geologic storage can scale to meet anticipated storage demand from the now more than 190 carbon management (carbon capture, utilization, transport, storage, and CO2 removal) projects that have been publicly announced; most of these projects are intending to store captured CO2 in Class VI wells.
“Today, the Class VI program at EPA has 61 projects with a total of 172 individual Class VI well applications under review, in addition to state primacy applications under consideration. EPA must move to swiftly and rigorously review and make determinations on these projects and primacy applications if these technologies are to fulfill their emissions reduction potential. We look forward to working with EPA and Congress to ensure this program has the necessary resources, technology and training to efficiently complete a growing number of reviews and community engagement processes as carbon management projects scale in deployment.”
The Carbon Capture Coalition is a nonpartisan collaboration of more than 100 companies, unions, conservation and environmental policy organizations, building federal policy support to enable economywide, commercial scale deployment of carbon management technologies. This includes carbon capture, removal, transport, reuse, and storage from industrial facilities, power plants, and ambient air. Members of the Coalition work together to advocate for the full portfolio of policies required to commercialize a domestic carbon management sector and inform policymakers as well as stakeholders on the essential role this suite of technologies must play in achieving these shared objectives.