Eight business groups from five US states have sent a letter to the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Michael Regan, seeking to expedite applications from states to obtain primacy over Class VI injection wells.
Several states are seeking primacy over Class VI wells, which are wells dedicated to permanent geologic carbon dioxide injection. With the vast majority of new carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects looking toward permanent injection rather than enhanced oil recovery, Class VI well permits are expected to get backed up going through the EPA.
States that gain primacy over Class VI wells will be able to have their own regulatory agencies take on permit applications. Currently, only North Dakota and Wyoming have state primacy over Class VI wells.
“We join the growing, bipartisan chorus of stakeholders and policymakers who are calling attention to this lack of movement that is obstructing needed investments in CCS,” the organisations said in the letter.
“Our members are collectively pursuing billions of dollars in new investments in CCS, which will provide secure, good paying jobs and generate new revenue streams for communities across the country.
“Certainty and predictability are key factors businesses and producers need to make definitive investments in CCS technology, and that starts with a reasonable timeline for primacy and permitting decisions.”
The groups that sent the letter are the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry; Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council; Chemical Industry Council of Illinois; Illinois Manufacturers’ Association; New Mexico Chamber of Commerce; Texas Economic Development Council; Greater Houston Partnership and the West Virginia Manufacturers Association.
The letter joins one sent from Louisiana organisations to Regan asking for the EPA to address this concern. Louisiana submitted an application to the EPA to obtain state primacy almost a year and a half ago.
“Without immediate improvement, the current Class VI permitting timeline will continue to serve as a barrier to meeting emission reduction goals — including the ones the Biden Administration has set — while discouraging much-needed infrastructure investments across the country,” the later letter said.