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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 22 - 11 A- 1 §22-11A-1. Legislative findings.
(a) The Legislature finds that:

(1) Carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be produced by burning carbon and organic compounds;

(2) Carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere from a number of sources including fossil-fueled power plants, automobiles, certain industrial processes and other naturally occurring sources;

(3) By far, fossil-fueled power plants are the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions. These power plants emit approximately one-third of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide;

(4) On average, the United States generates approximately fifty-one percent of its electricity from coal-burning power plants, which are a prominent source of carbon dioxide emissions;

(5) West Virginia's reliance on electricity produced from coal is even more pronounced, as West Virginia generates approximately ninety-eight percent of its electricity from coal-burning power plants;

(6) There is increasing pressure, both nationally and worldwide, to produce electrical power with an ever-decreasing amount of carbon dioxide emissions;

(7) West Virginia is a state rich in natural resources, and its economy depends largely upon the demand for energy produced from materials found within the state, not the least of which is coal;

(8) As demand for energy produced from alternative and renewable resources rises, new technologies are needed to burn coal more cleanly and efficiently if West Virginia is to remain competitive as an energy producing state;

(9) Carbon dioxide capture and sequestration is the capture and secure storage of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be emitted to, or remain in, the atmosphere. This technology is currently being used and tested to reduce the carbon footprint of electricity generated by the combustion of coal;

(10) The science of carbon dioxide capture and sequestration is advancing rapidly, but the environmental effects of large, long-term carbon dioxide sequestration operations are still being studied and evaluated;

(11) Although the state is committed to expanding its portfolio of alternative and renewable energy resources, electricity generated from these resources is insufficient in the near term to meet the rising demand for energy;

(12) It is in the public interest to advance the implementation of carbon dioxide capture and sequestration technologies into the state's energy portfolio;

(13) The transportation by pipeline and sequestration of carbon dioxide by a public utility engaged in the generation of electricity may be integral to the construction, maintenance and operation of electric light, heat and power plants operating in the state; and

(14) Therefore, in order to expand more rapidly the generation of electricity with little or no carbon dioxide emissions, it is critical to encourage the development of carbon dioxide capture and sequestration technologies; to examine factors that may be integral to the construction, maintenance and operation of carbon dioxide sequestration facilities; and to study the economic and environmental feasibility of large, long-term carbon dioxide sequestration operations.

(b) It is therefore the purpose of this article to:

(1) Establish a legal and regulatory framework for the permitting of carbon dioxide sequestration operations;

(2) Designate a state agency responsible for establishing standards and rules for the permitting of carbon dioxide sequestration operations including, but not limited to, rules pertaining to:

(A) Environmental surveillance of carbon dioxide sequestration operations;

(B) The monitoring of geologic migration of carbon dioxide and the detection of carbon dioxide excursions;

(C) Construction standards for carbon dioxide sequestration operations;

(D) Bonding or other financial assurances; and

(E) The closure of carbon dioxide sequestration operations, including post-closure monitoring, verification and maintenance; and to

(3) With the aid of a carbon dioxide sequestration working group, develop a long-term strategy for the regulation of carbon dioxide sequestration.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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