This action finalizes minimum Federal requirements under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for underground injection of carbon dioxide (CO2) for the purpose of geologic sequestration (GS). GS is one of a portfolio of options that could be deployed to reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere and help to mitigate climate change. This final rule applies to owners or operators of wells that will be used to inject CO2 into the subsurface for the purpose of long-term storage. It establishes a new class of well, Class VI, and sets minimum technical criteria for the permitting, geologic site characterization, area of review (AoR) and corrective action, financial responsibility, well construction, operation, mechanical integrity testing (MIT), monitoring, well plugging, post-injection site care (PISC), and site closure of Class VI wells for the purposes of protecting underground sources of drinking water (USDWs). The elements of this rulemaking are based on the existing Underground Injection Control (UIC) regulatory framework, with modifications to address the unique nature of CO2 injection for GS. This rule will help ensure consistency in permitting underground injection of CO2 at GS operations across the United States and provide requirements to prevent endangerment of USDWs in anticipation of the eventual use of GS to reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere and to mitigate climate change.
Agency Contact: Mary Rose (Molly) Bayer, Underground Injection Control Program, Drinking Water Protection Division, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (MC-4606M), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone