Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced on Monday, Sept. 25, that the department was awarded $1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) to provide locally tailored technical assistance and enhanced stakeholder engagement around carbon management technologies.
Governor Josh Shapiro and his Administration believe that we must reject the false choice between growing our economy and protecting the planet – we can do both. Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) is one of the tools the Commonwealth is exploring to offset carbon use and mitigate the effects of climate change.
“This funding is critical in furthering efforts to manage carbon capture efforts in Pennsylvania and the Appalachian region,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “DCNR is proud to have one of the 16 projects selected to help advance work in the carbon capture space. Work to reduce the effects of climate change is key in preserving our natural resources for future generations.”
The Pennsylvania Geological Survey (PAGS) within DCNR is partnering with the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES) and Battelle Memorial Institute to accelerate the deployment of carbon management in Pennsylvania and West Virginia by reducing barriers to entry to carbon storage project opportunities. The project will develop a conceptual geologic model of the Rome trough area in the Central Appalachian basin, focusing on a first, second, and third mile-plus understanding of the subsurface, which will help inform future carbon capture efforts.
Other expected outcomes include:
- Build on current collaborative relationships and the regional knowledge base resulting from two decades of regional characterization efforts with DOE.
- Frame and focus efforts to address data needs that are not currently being tackled through other proposed efforts for the greater Appalachian region.
- Aggregate the most pertinent geologic and geospatial datasets to construct a free, public-facing Web-Based Tool with comprehensive datasets and information needed to inform UIC injection permitting efforts. No such tool is currently available for Pennsylvania or West Virginia.
Funding for the project will also support three interns from underserved communities within the study region, as well as public outreach and stakeholder engagement on carbon capture resources in the Commonwealth.
“Our goal is to ensure the communities within the region have the necessary information and data to better understand how carbon capture utilization and storage projects provide benefits, both environmentally and through creating new workforce opportunities,” State Geologist Gale Blackmer said. “We remain committed to being positive stewards of our natural resources and implementing a portfolio of technical approaches to address carbon emissions from power, industry, and other sectors of the economy.”
DCNR is dedicated to supporting the responsible development of carbon capture resources in the Commonwealth. The agency announced it’s seeking a new $6 million core storage facility for the state’s collection of subsurface core samples and drill cuttings, which are critical tools for understanding how Pennsylvania’s geology would be able to support carbon capture and sequestration efforts.
The mission of the DCNR Bureau of Geological Survey is to research the state’s geologic resources and topography, map the surface and underground rocks and geologic structures across the state, and make their findings available through publications and outreach.
DCNR has been engaged on the topic of carbon capture utilization and storage for nearly 20 years. During this time, work by the Geological Survey to further understanding of the state’s geologic resources has included:
- Assessments of numerous underground geologic resources that have the potential to serve as reservoirs where carbon dioxide could be safely stored.
- Case study evaluations of existing oil fields where CO2-enhanced recovery efforts may be employed.
- Participation in multi-state coalitions to guide seamless consideration of geologic storage options across state lines and throughout the Appalachian and Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.