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General Mitigation Measures (Best Management Practices) for Geologic Sequestration Projects

Many impacts that could occur as a result of geologic sequestration activities may be avoided or mitigated.

General and resource-specific mitigation measures can be applied to avoid or minimize impacts from geologic sequestration projects, including the construction and operation of associated pipelines. In order to identify and implement appropriate mitigation measures, the potential impacts of a project on a specific resource must first be assessed. Then, project- and site-specific factors must be evaluated to determine whether the impact can be avoided or mitigated, what action can be taken, how effective the mitigation measure will be, and the cost-effectiveness of the measure.

This section discusses mitigation measures in general terms, based on the general discussion of impacts described in the Potential Impacts section. Generally, although there is some overlap, these mitigation measures should be viewed as being over and above the requirements of applicable laws and regulations. Guidance on conducting impact assessments and identifying appropriate mitigation measures for specific projects is provided in the Project-Specific Impact Assessments section.

There are no full-scale geologic sequestration projects operating in the United States at this time. A number of pilot projects involving the injection of small amounts of carbon dioxide into geologic formations are in progress, nearing completion, or planned. The framework for regulating the geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide is still evolving. To be binding, the mitigation measures described below to protect natural and cultural resources would probably be included in permits issued by the regulating authorities.

Follow the resource/program area links below to view examples of mitigation measures that might be appropriate for the potentially affected resource program.