LAREDO, TX – On Friday Apr 28, 2023 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opened public comment on a proposal to grant the State of Louisiana’s request for primary responsibility – or primacy – of Class VI carbon dioxide injection wells under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program, which is designed to protect underground sources of drinking water.
The state of Louisiana, much like Texas, is experiencing subsidence and uplift as a result of injection well operations. By granting Class VI primacy to state oil and gas agencies like the Railroad Commission of Texas, EPA is giving even more responsibility and authority to ineffective regulatory bodies which fail to adequately address ongoing environmental problems.
Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA must ensure that underground sources of drinking water are protected from contamination by the carbon dioxide stored in Class VI wells. There have been reports of “accidental” plume migration under the Class II UIC programs currently managed by states, wherein fluid and gas plume models have proven inaccurate, resulting in devastating and costly consequences. Giving the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and the Railroad Commission of Texas authority over more carbon dioxide injection well permitting will allow for widespread commercial deployment of CO2 infrastructure, exposing our communities to more risks that these agencies have demonstrated they are not prepared to prevent.