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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Proposed Field Experiment on CO2 Sequestration in Deep Ocean Waters

>> July 2, 2002: Applicant Withdraws Research Permit Request (view Press Release)

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In March, 2002, the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR) submitted an application to the EPA for a permit to conduct a field experiment to study the fate of liquid carbon dioxide injected (carbon dioxide sequestration) into deep ocean waters off Kauai. EPA issued a public notice for a proposed research permit and requested public comment. The original comment period was set for 30 days - from March 14, 2002, to April 14, 2002. In response to public comments, EPA extended the comment period for an additional 60 days – until June 14, 2002.

In late June, PITCHR withdrew its application without stating a reason. The applicant planned to collect data on carbon dioxide plumes injected into deep ocean waters at an EPA ocean dredged-material disposal site four nautical miles offshore. The proposed experiment was part of a larger effort to evaluate options for managing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The proposed experiment drew much criticism from individuals and public interest organizations. Written and oral comments received by the EPA were unanimous in opposition to this proposed experiment. In particular, there were concerns from the public that the initial experiment would lead to large-scale dumping of carbon dioxide off the coast of Hawaii.

Documents and Related Information

* Press Release on proposed study (March 14, 2002)
* Press Release on Public Hearings (May 2, 2002)
* Press Release on permit withdrawal (July 2, 2002)

* Public Notice on Proposed Experiment (PDF) (7pp, 56K)

* Detailed Environmental Assessment (PDF) (121 pp, 3.2 MB)

* Public Notice on Public Hearings (PDF) (7 pp, 21K)

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