EPA Unveils New Rules on CO2 Burial

July 15, 2008 - 3:00 PM
The Environmental Protection Agency wants to make sure that curbing global warming doesn't contaminate drinking water.
Washington (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency wants to make sure that curbing global warming doesn't contaminate drinking water.

In its first regulations on the burial of carbon dioxide underground, the EPA seeks to protect drinking water from the gas behind the bubbles in carbonated beverages. The fledgling technology is critical to reducing carbon dioxide released into the air from power plants.

The EPA's proposal upgrades the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act to include a new category of injection wells solely for carbon dioxide storage, and creates extensive requirements to prevent leaks.

While carbon dioxide in water itself isn't a problem, too much of the benign bubbles can make water acidic and leach contaminants out of surrounding rock into water supplies.