The Carbon TerraVault project, which aims to develop California’s first direct air capture and storage (DAC+S) hub, is facing tensions surrounding air quality and safety concerns.
A recent public meeting clearly illustrated some of the issues that local residents have with the California Resources Corporation (CRC) subsidiary.
During the meeting last week, community advocates and environmentalists voiced their concerns surrounding what impact the DAC+S project may have on local air quality, as well as on public safety.
Carbon TerraVault aims to store CO2 emissions captured from the atmosphere deep underground – a process associated with risks of ruptures and leakages.
Last year, the project was approved by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a $11.8 million investment under the Regional DAC Hubs Initiative.
However, a draft of the environmental review of the Carbon TerraVault project by Kern County’s planning department says there is a strong likelihood of it significantly impacting air quality in an area, where air pollution is already a major existing problem.
This matter was addressed by officials during the meeting, who said that Kern County is already making plans to mitigate the risks of further worsening the issue, and is seeking public feedback to help develop additional measures.
In addition to the fact of storing emissions, there are also the risks associated with the carbon pipeline, which is part of the Carbon TerraVault proposal.
One of the main concerns with it is the proximity of the proposed pipeline route to an elementary school and the threat of a potential leak or explosion.
Water quality and seismic safety were also among the possible risks discussed during the public meeting, which representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said would be mitigated with the help of monitors that can detect seismic activity.