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ILLINOIS PASSES LEGISLATION PLACING MORATORIUM ON CARBON PIPELINES FOR TWO YEARS
Grist reports:

The Midwest's largest potential reservoir to store carbon is buried deep under the farmland of Illinois, and the state's lawmakers just hit the brakes on any plans for a carbon capture and storage boom there.

A controversial technology where carbon dioxide is captured and then stored deep underground, carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is a big part of the Biden administration's push for a greener planet. And a federal roll out of massive incentives for the nascent industry has spurred a carbon capture gold rush nationwide.

In Illinois alone, three pipelines and 22 carbon sequestration wells have already been proposed. But local farmers, landowners, and environmental advocates are skeptical of the suddenly booming business and called on the state for stricter safety regulations.

The state's lawmakers passed the Safety CCS Act through both chambers at the tail end of the legislative session over the Memorial Day weekend. Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, has yet to sign the legislation, but has signaled his intention to do so.

The package includes sweeping regulations for the state's burgeoning carbon capture industry, including a moratorium of up to two years on pipelines transporting CO2 or until federal authorities pass new pipeline safety guidelines. It's the first ban of its kind in the Midwest.

"It does offer some really good protections for Illinois that are needed at a time when we are not just anticipating projects -- but those projects are moving forward rapidly," said Pam Richart, the co-founder of the Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines, an environmental advocacy group that has been organizing across southern and central Illinois.

The sweeping package of new rules breaks down into three categories: requirements for how carbon emissions must be captured, regulations around pipeline construction, and rules for what happens once the carbon is stored underground.

The legislation establishes a "do no harm standard," which would prevent polluting facilities from pumping more emissions to take advantage of the beefed up federal tax credits, according to Jenny Cassel, a senior attorney with Earthjustice, a public interest environmental law organization.

To read the entire report click here.


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