The FutureGen Alliance expects to store 22 million metric tons of carbon dioxide at a site in Morgan County over a period of more than 20 years as part of efforts to show that Illinois coal can be cleanly burned and emissions safely stored underground.
Details of plans to store carbon in four wells at depths of about 4,000 feet were included in a preliminary permit approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an EPA representative said Tuesday. A final permit is needed before CO2 storage could begin at the site 18 miles northeast of Jacksonville.
An open house and public hearing have been scheduled for May 7 in Jacksonville. Written comments will be accepted through May 15.
“This is a draft permit,” says a statement from the U.S. EPA regional office in Chicago. “FutureGen can only begin construction if the final permits are issued, and then they become effective.”
The ruling on a final permit for FutureGen 2.0 depends on the number of public comments submitted, according to EPA. The permit would be the first in the nation for the type of carbon storage proposed for the $1.68 billion project.
“CO2 is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change,” EPA stated. “Carbon sequestration is a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
In approving the draft permit, EPA concluded rock formations at depths of 3,785 to 4,432 feet were suitable to contain the estimated 1.1 million metric tons of carbon that would be stored annually.
Carbon from a retrofitted Ameren coal plant at Meredosia would be carried to the site by a 30-mile underground pipe.
The rock formations used to hold the carbon, according to EPA, would not endanger local underground water sources. The nearest water source, the draft permit stated, is 1,800 feet from the storage formations. The study includes an area from Meredosia to the west side of Springfield and from southern Mason County to northern Macoupin County.
FutureGen also would be required to plug the wells and monitor the site for at least 50 years after storage is completed.
Ken Humphreys, CEO of the FutureGen Alliance, said the draft permit moves the project that much closer to construction.
“The alliance appreciates the hard work the agency has done to complete the draft permits,” Humphreys said in a statement, “and we look forward to the issuance of final permits which will allow us to keep this near-zero emissions project on track.”
For more information about the project, read an EPA fact sheet at bit.ly/futuregen2
Full story here.
If you think you may be affected by the FutureGen 2.0 Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.
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