The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has scheduled oral arguments March 26 in a challenge to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal that would treat carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that are captured and stored underground for later use as “solid waste.”
The hearing involves litigation brought by the Carbon Sequestration Council (CSC) as well as the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the services subsidiary of the Southern Co. (NYSE:SO).
The groups are fighting EPA’s proposal to classify captured CO2 as a solid waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
The groups say EPA’s determination that CO2 streams are solid wastes imposes requirements and liabilities upon them that will not exist if the court vacates EPA’s determination. In addition the EPA rule would shape the competitive environment and constrains business decisions, according to the plaintiffs.
The Carbon Sequestration Council’s web site said sequestration technologies have shown the potential to reduce CO2 emissions from large facilities, like power plants, by as much as 90%. The council is comprised of regional sequestration councils, the U.S. Energy Association, Battelle, Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI), Stanford University and other members.
The groups contend that EPA’s assertion of RCRA authority over CO2 streams is contrary to the intent of congress, unreasonable and inconsistent with EPA’s longstanding policy. The groups have also argued that the stored CO2 at issue is meant for later productive use and not “discarded.”
The case, 14-1046 Carbon Sequestration Council versus EPA; is scheduled for oral argument at the D.C. Circuit in Washington, D.C., at 9:30 a.m. on March 26.