Document Type


Publication Date



This paper presents recommended actions that federal agencies could take, under existing law, to ensure safe and responsible permitting and regulation of ocean carbon dioxide removal (CDR) research in U.S. waters. Controlled field trials and other in-ocean research is critical to improve scientific and societal understanding of ocean CDR techniques that could help the U.S. reach its climate goals. That could raise a host of legal issues, however. Existing legal frameworks were not designed to regulate ocean CDR, and federal agencies have yet to fully explain how decades-old environmental laws will be applied to a new set of activities. This paper recommends several actions federal agencies could take to provide greater legal clarity and advance safe and responsible permitting and regulation of ocean CDR. They include actions aimed at enhancing interagency coordination, improving environmental review and stakeholder engagement, and clearly defining the application of existing law to ocean CDR activities.


Environmental Law | Law


This paper was first published in November 2023 and updated in April 2024.