staff member JP Nicot attended the Ground Water Protection Council
meeting in New Orleans on January 14-16, 2008. The meeting touched
upon several topics relevant to the Underground Injection Control
(UIC) program including carbon storage. The focus of the carbon
storage presentations (to be posted on the GWPC web site - http://www.gwpc.org/home/GWPC_Home.dwt ) was on “MMV” (monitoring and verification). The
last day of the meeting was co-sponsored by EPA and included a
panel discussion which gave the opportunity to the audience to
ask questions on the presentations and on MMV in general. Monitoring
is another aspect of carbon storage breaking new ground. Current
UIC rules require some monitoring but at a much smaller scale
than will probably be needed for carbon storage.
Earlier, Bruce Kobelski, in charge of the rulemaking for carbon
storage at EPA, gave a short presentation on the rulemaking progress.
He was non-committal and didn’t reveal much of the current
contents of the draft rules (to be released in July 2008) but
reiterated the conclusions of the December meeting in Washington
D.C., mostly conveying stakeholders’ wishes (need for some
performance-based components in the rules, AOR cannot be fixed
radius, “adaptive rules” written in such a language
that no rewriting is needed as science and technology progress)
or making statements already made in the past (not sure about
impurities in the CO2 stream, EPA is developing a decision tool
–“VEF”). He also announced a workshop dedicated
to “financial responsibility and long-term liability”.
The presentations during the MMV-themed day were either on a very
specific topic (perfluorocarbon tracers and fingerprinting, ZERT
release in Montana) or more general in nature. However the agreement
(presenters and panelists) was that most of the work related to
knowledge of the subsurface must be done upfront and that gathering
baseline data was extremely important. The size/volume of the
subsurface to be baselined and the parameters to be collected
were not discussed but the general sense was to initially focus
on the vicinity of the injection area and then work in a centrifugal
way. How long post-closure monitoring should go was another topic
touched upon during the panel discussion with no clear conclusions.
the meeting was more educational in nature than substantial although
EPA did collect directly comments and suggestions by attendees.