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Illinois has passed standards for carbon capture storage
 
By TIM ALEXANDER
Illinois Correspondent

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. —  At the close of its May legislative session, the Illinois Legislature passed a sweeping, 104-page measure meant to create standards for the carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry in the state. The law (SB 1289) includes a pause on carbon pipelines until July 2026, or until the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration finalizes its Co2 pipeline safety rules. The “Safety and Aid for the Environment in Carbon Capture and Sequestration Act” passed the Illinois House on a bipartisan 78-29 vote and the Illinois Senate on a 43-12 vote.
Second-term Illinois governor JB Pritzker, who has made climate action a centerpiece of his governorship, said in a statement that the law sets “nation-leading safety and environmental standards around carbon capture and sequestration while bringing thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars of investment to Illinois.”
Illinois’ recently passed carbon capture and sequestration bill is being described as one of the strongest in the nation, and makes the state just the second to declare a pipeline moratorium — the other being California — until federal construction regulations are in place. In addition to setting construction, monitoring and post-use regulations, the legislation touches on all parts of the usage process including capture, transportation and storage. 
“Illinois is a national leader on climate and energy policy, and (the bill) ensures that if companies are going to use CCS as a climate mitigation strategy, they will need to meet some of the strongest standards in the nation,” said State Rep. Ann Williams, a Chicago Democrat and lead sponsor of the bill.
The law came after major pushback from landowners — many of them farmers — who would be affected by plans for carbon sequestration pipelines crossing their properties. Many were concerned that carbon capture companies such as Navigator LLC and Wolf Carbon Solutions, both of which have revealed plans for lengthy pipelines in largely rural areas of Illinois, would gain the right to eminent domain if they refused to lease portions of their properties. 
The bill contains the following tenets in addition to the two-year moratorium, according to the Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA), which worked with the Illinois Renewable Fuels Association to advocate for passage of the measure:
The bill affirms that ownership of pore space in rock formations deep below the surface belongs to the surface landowner without severability. 
Relating to the capture and sequestration of CO2, the bill requires companies to secure at least 75 percent of the pore space area around sequestration sites before they can petition to initiate the unitization and amalgamation process for the remaining pore space. The number increased to 75 percent from 71 percent during early negotiations. The process is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, not an eminent domain proceeding. The law also outlines extensive protections for non-consenting landowners. Non-consenting landowners will be paid at least an average amount of the per acre payment consenting landowners are paid for their pore space during injection over the lifetime of the well.  
The bill requires 30 years of additional post-injection air and soil monitoring at sequestration sites – which goes further than existing federal requirements. 
It requires companies to have extensive insurance policies to protect landowners and provides funding for local first responders along with long-term liability coverage. 
In a news release, ICGA said carbon sequestration allows corn-based ethanol to lower its carbon intensity and qualify for additional clean fuel market opportunities like sustainable aviation fuel. 
Departing from the ICGA’s position, Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) staff testified that they stood against the bill based on language that seems to allow for companies to proceed with Co2 pipeline construction on non-consenting landowners’ properties. 
“While the bill included some positive protections for landowners, they pale in comparison to the negative impacts this legislation has on the property rights of farmers and landowners,” IFB President Brian Duncan said. “SB 1289 does not align with Illinois Farm Bureau policy, erodes private property rights and could create situations where landowners, forced to participate in carbon dioxide storage areas without their consent, receive reduced, or possibly no, compensation for the use of their property.”
Other opponents to the bill included the Illinois Soybean Association, while support came from Archer Daniels Midland Company, (ADM), the only Illinois entity to hold a federal permit allowing CO2 injection.

6/11/2024