EPA Publishes NODA on UIC Program

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published its Notice of Data Available (NODA) for the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program for carbon dioxide geologic sequestration wells. The NODA expands on the proposed rule of July 2008 with information received from new data and research from the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL) on sequestration projects and modeling that predicts the potential impact on ground water from geologic sequestration.

It also expands on the injection depth of geologic sequestration wells and discusses a waiver process that the EPA would use to “allow [CO2] injection above and between underground sources of drinking water under specific conditions in lieu of a blanket prohibition on injection above and between underground sources of drinking water.” To receive a waiver the injection well operator would need to demonstrate to “regulatory authorities that such injection can be undertaken and completed in a manner that prevents fluid movement into overlying (and underlying) USDWs, thereby preventing the endangerment of public health from USDW contamination.”

There will be a 45-day public comment period with a public hearing being held in Chicago, Illinois, on September 17, 2009.