Louisiana’s carbon capture permitting authority challenged by enviro groups


Environmental groups have challenged the Biden administration’s decision to give primary permitting authority to Louisiana over the state’s carbon sequestration wells, Reuters reports.

The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and other environmental groups filed a petition at the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s December decision, which gave Louisiana oversight over wells where carbon dioxide is injected deep underground and stored in rock formations.

The state had asked the EPA in 2021 to hand over permitting authority for so-called Class VI wells in order to speed up the approvals and advance the development of massive carbon sequestration and storage hubs in the state.

The groups said that Louisiana’s approach to permitting is less robust than the EPA’s program, raising the risk of groundwater contamination that can harm public health. They also said the program will enable more oil and gas projects to be built in the state that rely on the wells to reduce their emissions. Read more.