Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA)

EPA`s proposed underground injection control regulations

As the drivers for global climate change become better understood by scientists, politicians, industry, and the public, there is growing consensus that action should be taken to limit atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). Even as wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels, and other alternative energy sources become increasingly important, the United States will continue to rely upon fossil fuels for decades to come to meet its energy needs and achieve energy independence from foreign oil.

Coal, which currently provides more than 50% of the nation’s domestic electricity,1 will remain an integral part of the U.S. energy portfolio even as the world transitions away from carbon-based fuels. Geologic CO2 sequestration, where CO2 emissions are captured, injected, and permanently stored in deep subsurface brine reservoirs, may allow coal-fueled power plants to operate and expand to meet those interim demands with minimal increases in GHG emissions. U.S. federal and state regulators are faced with the challenge of developing a regulatory framework necessary to support the development, verification, and implementation of such technologies to control GHG emissions.

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