On June 16, 2010, CSA Standards and the International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide (IPAC-CO2 Research Inc.) announced an agreement to develop Canada's first carbon capture and storage (CCS) standard for underground storage.
CCS is a process that involves the capture, transportation and injection of carbon dioxide emissions underground, which many believe is a promising technology to assist certain emissions-intensive industries to reduce CO2 emissions. Several large-scale projects involving CCS have been announced in recent years in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
The proposed standard focuses primarily on long-term underground storage of CO2. According to a representative of CSA Standards, the new standard will create guidelines for, and advance risk assessment expertise associated with, geological storage projects. As mentioned in our March post, risks associated with long-term storage include the reliability of injection and the effectiveness of ongoing monitoring and verification. In addition, the perpetual nature of storage also makes the siting of CCS important, including the specific geological characteristics of the proposed storage site and site-specific risks. The development of this standard represents an opportunity to promote careful site selection while also instilling public confidence in the reliability and safety of long-term storage and monitoring and verification. Ideally, the standard will contain important technical guidelines, while also remaining flexible enough to address site-specific characteristics, emerging technologies, and new information.
It is intended that the completed standard will be submitted to the Standards Council of Canada for recognition. If recognized, it could become the world's first formally recognized standard in underground storage.