Carbon storage could open up legal landmine

AS interest grows in geosequestration as a way of addressing carbon dioxide emissions, a legal expert from law firm Minter Ellison warns that “plenty of tricky legal issues” surround this new and as-yet untested process in Australia.
Carbon storage could open up legal landmine Carbon storage could open up legal landmine Carbon storage could open up legal landmine Carbon storage could open up legal landmine Carbon storage could open up legal landmine

Addressing the APPEA National Conference yesterday, Allison Warburton pointed to the fact that the process, which involves the capture, transport, injection and storage of CO2 emissions into deep geological formations, was still in an experimental phase.

“If geosequestration does prove to be a viable technology, major regulatory changes will be required to facilitate large-scale commercial use,” she said.

New legislation would primarily target the CO2 injection and storage part of the process, Warburton said.

“The early part – capture and transportation – is already well-regulated in the industry,” she said.

“However, there’s plenty of tricky legal issues surrounding the untried part of the technology – the CO2 is injection underground and what happens to it afterwards.”

Warburton identified the main legal issues facing geosequestration as:

  • Jurisdictional issues between State and Commonwealth governments
  • Access to land and rights to use storage sites
  • Priorities between competing land uses
  • Potential legal liabilities, especially in the longer-term
  • The extent to which a consistent national approach to regulation was required
  • In her “wish-list” for carbon capture regulation, Warburton said she believed the development of the sector would work best with: private sector participation, nationally consistent regulations, further analysis into the different types of storage reservoirs, suitably licensed operators, policies addressing land and storage access, and a compensation regime for landowners.

    APPEA 2006 Conference news is proudly brought to you by

    loader