Online Staff Report
CHICAGO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting public comment on proposed permits that would allow the FutureGen Industrial Alliance, Inc., to inject carbon dioxide deep underground near Jacksonville, Ill.
This process — known as “carbon sequestration” — is a means of storing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
The proposed permits are the nation’s first Class VI underground injection permits for carbon sequestration.
EPA’s public comment period closes May 15; a public hearing will be held May 7.
FutureGen plans to capture carbon dioxide produced by a coal-fueled power plant formerly operated by Ameren Energy Resources in Meredosia, Ill. The captured carbon dioxide would then be transported and injected deep underground via the proposed wells, which would be constructed in Morgan County.
FutureGen’s goal is to capture and inject 1.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year for 20 years. Sequestering 1.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year is the equivalent of eliminating carbon emissions from 232,000 cars.
EPA’s hearing will begin at 7 p.m., May 7 at MacMurray College, 447 E. College Ave., Jacksonville, Ill. Oral and written comments will be accepted at the hearing. Two question-and-answer sessions will be held at MacMurray College before the public hearing: from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m.
Draft documents and information about the public hearing are available at the Jacksonville Public Library, 201 W. College Ave., or on EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/region5/water/uic/futuregen. Comments can be made online at www.epa.gov/region5/water/uic/futuregen or mailed to Jeffrey McDonald, U.S. EPA (WU-16J), 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604-3590.
For questions or additional information, contact EPA’s toll-free line at 800-621-8431, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (weekdays).
Posted April 30, 2014