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Reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is vital to mitigate climate change. To date, reduction efforts have primarily focused on minimizing the production of carbon dioxide during electricity generation, transport, and other activities. Going forward, to the extent that carbon dioxide continues to be produced, it will need to be captured before release. The captured carbon dioxide can then be utilized in some fashion or injected into underground geological formations (e.g., depleted oil and gas reserves, deep saline aquifers, or basalt rock reservoirs) where it will hopefully remain permanently sequestered. This injection process is referred to as “carbon capture and storage” (CCS).

Significant research has been undertaken to identify possible carbon dioxide injection sites in the continental United States. There is also growing interest in the possibility of injecting carbon dioxide offshore into geological formations underlying the seabed. However, little is currently known about the legal regime for sub-seabed injection. This article outlines the key legal requirements for injecting carbon dioxide into the seabed off the northeast coast of the U.S.


Environmental Law | Law