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Tribal Energy and Environmental Information Clearinghouse: Environmental resources for tribal energy development
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Potential Impacts of Terrestrial Sequestration

Potential environmental impacts associated with terrestrial sequestration include: ground disturbance and the loss of soil resources due to erosion; equipment related noise, visual impact and air emissions; the disturbance of ecological, cultural and paleontological resources; and, conflicts with current or proposed land use.

Establishing and managing a terrestrial sequestration plot could involve ground clearing (removal of vegetative cover) to prepare the ground for planting, grading, vehicular traffic, and pedestrian traffic. Management could require the use of water for dust control and in some cases, water could be required to establish and maintain seeds, seedlings, or crops. The addition of soil additives like fertilizer and pesticides could have an impact on water quality. Equipment used to maintain a terrestrial sequestration plot could be a source of noise and air emissions, and create a visual impact if frequent and conspicuous use was required.

Ecological, cultural, and paleontological resources could be impacted, especially if a terrestrial sequestration plot was going to replace an established ecological habitat or otherwise impact undisturbed land that hosts important cultural or paleontological resources. Impacts to land use could occur if there were conflicts with existing land use plans for; example, if land zoned for future commercial or housing development is used to establish a forest sequestration plot.

Soil resources can also be impacted by terrestrial sequestration. The careful management of a sequestration plot should result in an improvement of soil resources, but poor management practices could adversely impact soils and the viability of the sequestration project. Practices like no-till cultivation and planting, crop rotation, and the use of cover crops, should result in the maintenance of soil organic material and nutrients and an increase in the relative health of soil resources. Some management practices, however, could involve the use of hazardous materials like herbicides to kill a cover crop before planting the terrestrial sequestration crop.