The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the availability of $50 million in funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act to help states, Tribes, and territories to develop and implement Class VI Subterranean Injection Control (UIC) programs for wells.
Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Class VI programs ensure protected groundwater while supporting the geological sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and act as climate change mitigation.
“[The] EPA is excited to provide funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to our state and Tribal partners to develop programs that protect our essential groundwater resources and combat the climate crisis,” stated EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “This funding demonstrates just one of the many ways EPA is working collaboratively to ensure that all people have clean and safe water.”
EPA Supports State, Tribal, and territorial Efforts to Implement Existing Priority Programs for Class VI programs and invites them to submit letters of intent expressing their interest in this new funding. Interested parties have until March 20, 2023 to submit letters. Once submissions are received, the EPA will determine the funding allocation and award the entire $50 million in a single distribution.
As a condition of funding, applicants to the new UIC Class VI wells grant program must demonstrate how environmental justice and equity considerations will be integrated into the programs.
One of the priorities in the program will be to identify those communities that could have envrinmental justice issues. A focus on improving public participation, improving transparency during the entire licensing process and reducing negative effects from any licensing actions are also included in the EPA’s announcement.
Geological CO sequestration in UIC Class VI wells is used in carbon capture and storage to prevent CO2 emissions from industrial sources into the atmosphere.