ADM truck
SETH PERLMAN, AP file photo

DECATUR — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting comments about plans to modify a permit for an Archer Daniels Midland Co. injection well to store carbon dioxide underground.

The existing permit is for one well that ADM wants to use to inject and store carbon dioxide from its ethanol plant in Decatur as part of the Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage project. The company intends to place 1.1 million metric tons per year of carbon dioxide into the well over five years, for a total of 5.5 million metric tons. 

The well was constructed in 2015 along with required pre-operational testing. Pending approval, it could be in service next year as ADM's goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce climate change.

The proposed modifications will update the permit, which was issued in 2014, with new information obtained during well construction and pre-injection testing. The EPA said only the conditions proposed for modification are re-opened for comment.

EPA regulates the injection of fluids through wells as part of the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect the quality of underground sources of water. ADM officials have said the groundwater is protected in large part due to the thousands of feet in between water levels and the storage level.

The carbon is stored 7,000 feet below ground in the Mount Simon Sandstone.

The comment period, which started last week, will continue through Wednesday, Dec. 14. A public hearing is scheduled for 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13 at the Decatur Public Library, 130 N. Franklin St.

At the hearing, oral and written comments will be recorded, as the EPA said it will provide a summary of its proposal, but will not answer questions at that time.

A detailed list of the proposed modifications is available on the EPA's website https://go.usa.gov/3JwFP, at the library or by contacting the EPA. The agency said proposed modifications are related to the size of the area of review surrounding ADM to be examined to ensure the protection of underground sources of drinking water, final injection and monitoring of well construction, injection start-up procedures and other administrative edits for clarity.

Comments can be submitted to Andrew Greenhagen, U.S. EPA Water Division UIC Branch (WU-16J), 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago 60604-3590. His email is greenhagen.andrew@epa.gov or call (312) 353-7648.

The EPA plans to consider all comments received and then issue a final decision, along with a response to any of what it considers significant comments. The right to appeal any final permit decision is reserved for those participating in the hearing or submitting written comments by the end of the comment period.

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Staff Writer

Business Writer for the Herald & Review

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