Area Project Receives First DEQ Permits for Carbon Capture

Area Project Receives First DEQ Permits for Carbon Capture

Test site for the geologic carbon capture project in Campbell County. Frontier Carbon Solutions recently received the first three permits for carbon capture issued by the state for its project in Sweetwater County. Credit University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources

SWEETWATER COUNTY – Frontier Carbon Solutions received three Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Class VI permits to drill three deep wells west of Green River, representing the first permits issued for carbon capture in the state.

According to the department, the wells are part of the Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub that will provide a carbon management system for industries throughout the Mountain West region. Carbon dioxide will be injected underground for permanent storage. The three permits took 10 months to undergo the DEQ’s review process. 

“Compared to the federal EPA process, this is a relatively short time,” Lily Barkau, Groundwater Section Manager of DEQ’s Water Quality Division said. “Wyoming has set up an efficient and rigorous process, working with the permittee to see that our standards are met.”

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The news is being welcomed with open arms by Sweetwater County Commissioner Robb Slaughter. Slaughter said Frontier Carbon Solutions’ project is one of several that are anticipated to bring between 5,000-10,000 temporary workers into the county over the next several years and views carbon capture as something that will provide additional permanent jobs while diversifying and expanding the local economy beyond the mineral extraction industries. 

“We see this as a potential for growth within the community,” Slaughter said. “I think this is good news.”

Slaughter said the commissioners are excited to work with Frontier Carbon Solutions, saying the county commissioners share Gov. Mark Gordon’s views on the importance of carbon capture, and sees the project as something that benefits the southwest Wyoming region.

Kayla McDonald agrees with Slaughter about the permit approvals being good news for the county and shares the commissioners’ views about the project.

““The Sweetwater Economic Development Coalition (SEDC) has had the pleasure of working with the team at Frontier Carbon Solutions for the past two years,” she wrote in a text message to SweetwaterNOW. “We are excited to hear that they were awarded their Wyoming DEQ Class VI permits for the Southwest Wyoming Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub. This is great news for the team at Frontier Carbon Solutions and great news for Sweetwater County. The Coalition is looking forward to their continued working relationship with Frontier Carbon Solutions as they prepare for the launch of their project. This project will be a great addition to the local economy, by creating jobs, investments, and it will be a unique opportunity for Sweetwater County overall.”

The permit allows Frontier Carbon Solutions to build, drill and test injection wells to define the underground storage area. After that process is complete, the company will seek an initialization order for the pore space from the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. If that’s granted, the DEQ will permit carbon injection.

“DEQ staff will be on-site to witness the drilling. This is a part of our assurance process. We will be engaged with the whole development,” Barkau said.

According to the DEQ, its primary concern is to ensure underground sources of drinking water are protected, a mission which allows it to transfer the knowledge it gained in that sector to issue permits for carbon capture and injection.