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Dec. 15 Meeting to Discuss Potential Revisions to Underground Injection Well Rules

Nov. 17, 2011 -- The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is considering revisions to Title 122 – Rules and Regulations for Underground Injection and Mineral Production Wells. The Department is hosting an associated Title 122 Stakeholder meeting on December 15, 2011 beginning at 9:30 AM at the Department’s Van Dorn Annex located at 2717 S 8th Street, Suite #4 in Lincoln to discuss these possible changes.

The Department will open the meeting by explaining the consideration of the changes to Title 122 and then address questions. The primary focus of the revisions is the addition of requirements for new Class VI injection wells. Class VI wells will be used to inject carbon dioxide (CO2) into secure geologic formations. The sources that are most likely to generate the CO2 that would be transported to injection wells include coal-fired power plants, ethanol facilities, and Portland cement plants.

The U.S. EPA has already promulgated rules for the geologic sequestration of CO2 as part of a portfolio of options that could be used to reduce the impact of CO2 emissions. The federal rules apply to owners and operators of the wells that inject CO2 into the subsurface for the purpose of long-term storage – these would be Class VI wells described above.

The Department intends to apply to EPA for the authority to administer the associated regulatory program in the State of Nebraska. The consideration of the revisions to Title 122 include technical criteria for the permitting, geologic site characterization, area of review and corrective action, financial responsibility, well construction, operation, mechanical integrity testing, monitoring, well plugging and abandonment, post-injection site care, and site closure of Class VI wells. These additions are needed to ensure the protection of Nebraska’s groundwater.

If you have questions on the Department’s potential Title 122 additions, please contact Jenny Coughlin (402) 471-4290. If you have questions on the logistics of the meeting, please direct them to Julie Ward (402) 471-6974.