San Joaquin Renewables Withdraws Central Valley Project Permits

Company Withdraws Central Valley Project Permits Under EPA Scrutiny - Carbon Herald
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A significant project focused on using biomass for carbon capture and storage in California’s Central Valley came to an abrupt halt this week when San Joaquin Renewables decided to withdraw both federal and local permits for its operations.

The news was reported by the Center for Biological Diversity, and the decision to withdraw the permits came after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raised concerns about potential environmental impact and compliance issues.

The EPA instructed San Joaquin Renewables to revoke their carbon dioxide injection permit or risk having it revoked due to inconsistencies between the company’s EPA application and their portrayal of the project in their local land use application.

Relevant: Chevron Withdraws Application For Carbon Capture Project In California

In this Central Valley project proposed to regulators back in 2021, San Joaquin Renewables informed the EPA of its intention to dispose of up to 1,200 tons of carbon dioxide waste daily by injecting it underground on their property near the city of McFarland, CA.

However, project modeling and analysis showed that the area affected by the injected carbon dioxide extended well beyond the indicated injection site, reaching into the neighboring town of Delano.

Read more: Environmentalists Slam Carbon Capture Use In New California Scoping Plan

The underground storage of captured carbon presents a risk of leakage. If a leak were to occur, it could potentially endanger both humans and animals, including those located far from the leak site. Recognizing this risk, local residents and environmental activists have opposed the plan and greeted the project cancellation with approval.

Victoria Bogdan Tejeda, a lawyer at the Climate Law Institute of the Center for Biological Diversity, stated that the EPA demonstrated the necessary scrutiny for carbon capture projects by revoking the permit for this particular project. 

Tejeda emphasized that carbon capture and storage divert attention from real climate action and urged government officials to thoroughly examine and question such projects before approval. She also declared that they will continue to oppose the project if it resurfaces in the future.

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