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Planned Class VI wells in Illinois threaten our water
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View Class VI projects currently under review at EPA (filter for Illinois)
Class VI Permit Applications in Region 5

Source: International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control. 2020. Creative Commons

Background
The IRS tax credit 45Q for carbon capture, transport, and storage has been around for some time. Backed by Congress, George W. Bush introduced the 45Q tax credit for carbon storage in the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008. The credit provided project developers $20 per ton for storage and $10 per ton for use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Although the tax credit has increased in subsequent years, it was the Biden Administration's Inflation Reduction Act that actually made CCS profitable when it increased 45Q by 70 percent ($85 per ton for storage and $60 per tone for EOR).

Why Illinois?
The Illinois Basin has been determined by scientists to be one of the best locations for geologic sequestration. That's why private companies have been attempting to capture, transport, and store their CO2 waste in Illinois. But there are NO guarantees that carbon stored underground won't leak into aquifers, threatening water supplies. If it does, CO2 will form carbonic acid that can leach arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals from rocks that will contaminate local water supplies.

The Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines has been tracking permit applications for Class VI wells in Region V.  These are listed below, along with estimated dates for draft permits, public hearings, and final permits. Watch our website for information on each permit as it is posted by the U.S. EPA, as well as how to engage in the public hearing process to stop these projects, and to protect your drinking water from leaking CO2.

Unprecedented and Unproven Scale
Carbon capture and sequestration has never been deployed anywhere at the scale proposed in Illinois. At best, CCS is an unproven technology. At its worst, CCS can harm (or even kill) humans and animals, contaminate soil and water, and re-release CO2 back into the atmosphere.

Projects currently under review by the U.S. EPA would store over 100 times the amount of carbon that has been sequestered by ADM in Decatur.  Four of them would inject CO2 through and/or store it under the Mahomet Aquifer, a U.S. EPA-designated sole source aquifer.  If it becomes contaminated, more than 50% of those who rely on it would not have an economically feasible replacement water supply available to them.

There is growing evidence that CCS is a false solution to climate change - one that keeps the fossil fuel industry alive at the expense of our planet.  Instead of requiring the taxpayer to fund an evolving, risky, technology, we should be talking about solutions that we know will mitigate our growing climate crisis. This means keeping fossil fuels in the ground, and deploying cost-effective solutions such as conservation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, electrification of the transportation system, and biological sequestration.


U.S. EPA permits expected this fall
At the present time, there are 22 wells proposed in six counties. All will require a carbon capture permit from the Illinois EPA, a certificate of authority by the Illinois Commerce Commission, and a carbon sequestration permit from the Illinois EPA in addition to the Class VI well permit required by the U.S. EPA.

Our team plans to hold public information meetings to help inform and mobilize residents and local governments to participate in the public hearing proceedings. The time, date, and location of these meetings - many of which may be virtual - will be posted on our website, and emailed to our subscribers. If you are not yet on our mailing list, and want to receive information about these projects and upcoming hearings, sign up here.

Timelines for each project identified below are presented as they appear on the U.S. EPA's project tracker, and are subject to change.

Marquis Energy (Putnam County)
Draft permit 9-3-24; Public comment 10-3-24; Final permit 1-1-25

  • 7.50 MMT CO2 would be stored over the life of this project
  • One well proposed
  • The application is heavily redacted and therefore, we don't yet know much about its location or anticipated impacts

One Earth Sequestration, LLC (Ford and McLean Counties)
Draft permit 9-4-24; Public comment 10-19-24; Final permit 1-17-25

  • 90 MMT CO2 would be stored through life of this project
  • Three wells (One Earth says they will reduce the project to two wells “for now”, but their application shows three, which is consistent with their intent to add third party users)
  • Would inject CO2 through and store it under recharge areas of the Mahomet Aquifer
  • Must return to McLean County Board for approval

Heartland Greenway Carbon Storage, Heartland Greenway (Christian County)
Draft permit 9-16-24; Public comment 10-31-24; Final permit 1-25-25

  • 180 MMT CO2 would be stored over the life of this project
  • Six wells
  • Two wells appear to penetrate the Macon-County Strip Aquifer
  • CO2 would be stored under this aquifer, which serves the City of Taylorville (along with Lake Taylorville) and six rural communities

ADM Decatur (Macon County)
Draft permit 1-9-25; Public comment 2-23-25; Final permit 5-24-25

  • 14.3 MMT CO2 would be stored over the life of this project
  • One well has been proposed (bringing the total to three)
  • Located on Richland Community College campus

ADM Marora (Macon County)
Draft permit 1-14-25; Public comment 2-23-25; Final permit 5-24-25

  • 39.60 MMT CO2 would be stored over the life of this project
  • Three wells
  • Would inject adjacent to the Mahomet Aquifer, and store CO2 under it

Heartland Greenway Carbon Storage, Vervain (McLean and Logan Counties)
Draft permit 2-14-25; Public comment 3-21-25; Final permit 6-29-25

  • 62.50 MMT CO2 would be stored over the life of this project
  • Three wells
  • Would inject CO2 through and store it under the Mahomet Aquifer

Heartland Greenway Carbon Storage, Compass (DeWitt County)
Draft permit 2-15-25; Public comment 3-17-25; Final permit 6-15-25

  • Application is not posted on Region V's website
  • Proposed storage is not yet known
  • Two wells
  • Would inject CO2 through and store it under the Mahomet Aquifer

Summary Table
Class VI Wells Under Review by the U.S. EPA

* CO2 stored by ADM taken from most reporting (2022). ADM claims they have stored 4.5 MMT CO2
**Details for HGCS Compass not yet known


Other locations to watch for:
Alto Ingredients / Tazewell County
Wolf Carbon Solutions Piatt County (Mahomet Aquifer concern?)
Wolf Carbon Solutions, Livingston County (overlapping pressure with OES)
CWLP Coal Plant,  Sangamon County
Emberclear Gas Plant, Sangamon County
Prairie State Coal Plant, St. Clair County


Banner photo source: Green Biz

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