Laws & Regulations

Carbon Capture and Geologic Storage Regulations

The geologic storage of CO2 is among the most immediate and viable strategies for mitigating the release of CO2 into the atmosphere.  Because both the technology used for geologic CO2 sequestration and the potential issues related to land use and environmental protection are very similar to those associated with oil and gas development, the IOGCC established a Carbon Capture and Geologic Storage (CCGS) Task Force to examine the technical, policy and regulatory issues related to the safe and effective storage of CO2 in subsurface geologic media.

While some argue that governments should regulate CO2 as a waste product, Task Force members assert that such an approach sidesteps the public’s role in both the creation of CO2 and in mitigating its release into the atmosphere. Further, a waste management model leaves the burden on industry to dispose of a product from which the public must be “protected.” Conversely, a resource management framework encourages public and private sector partnership in which every party shares responsibility for reducing and mitigating CO2 emissions and allows for a unified regulatory framework. 

In partnership with the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and the DOE, the IOGCC Geological CO2 Sequestration Task Force published a model statute and model rules and regulations in late 2007.  The model statue and rules and regulations can be found in the IOGCC Model Statutes & Regulations link below.  Since publication of the model rules and regulations, at least eighteen states and four Canadian provinces have reviewed the guidance document and at least eleven have moved into legislative discussions.  Some states, listed below, have already passed carbon storage laws

Selected states are profiled below in the State-by-State Regulatory Summaries. For a full state-by-state CCGS overview, visit the State Progress page. 

Federal Regulation

Federal Requirements Under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Geologic Sequestration (GS) Wells (2010)

40 CFR Parts 124, 144, 145, and 146, Federal Requirements Under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Geologic Sequestration (GS) Wells Final Rule, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), November 22, 2010.  EPA announces the Federal Requirements Under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Geologic Sequestration (GS) Wells Final Rule.

Canadian Provinces and Territories Regulation

Saskatchewan, Canada

Responsibilities related to the capture and geologic storage of carbon dioxide are shared between the Saskatchewan Ministries of Environment and Energy and Resources.  The Ministry of Environment's responsibilities relate to the establishment of greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and the determination of carbon credits.  The Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Act received Royal Assent in 2010, however, has not been proclaimed, pending the approval of the accompanying regulations, which are currently being developed by Environment in consultation with affected stakeholders.

Alberta, Canada

Alberta has not yet enacted specific legislation or promulgated regulations pertaining to the geologic storage of CO2. The plan is to have specific legislation drafted for consideration in the fall.

Individual State Regulations

North Dakota

Regulations became effective on April 1, 2010. Download a copy of North Dakota Chapters 38-22 and 43-05 Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide and IOGCC's comprehensive discussion of North Dakota's legislation and rules


In March 2009, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission adopted permanent rules that provide a mechanism for the verification of the sequestration of carbon dioxide, both terrestrial and geologic. Download a .pdf of the rules below.


Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Chapter 3 Drilling Rules; Wyoming DEQ Water Quality Division, Chapter 24, Class VI Injection Wells and Facilities.


In 2007 Washington passed general legislation relating to the mitigation of the effects of climate change.  The legislation, while addressing geologic storage of carbon dioxide, is focused on emissions reductions.  The state subsequently adopted rules (UIC rules) for geologic storage along with companion air quality regulations covering carbon dioxide emissions.  Download .pdfs of Chapters 173-407 and 173-218  WAC below.


The Texas Railroad Commission approved publication of proposed carbon storage rules on March 9, 2010. The rules, finalized on November 30, 2010, take effect under title 16, chapter 5 of the Texas Administrative Code. 


Download a .pdf of the regulations below.

IOGCC Model Statutes & Regulations

CO2 Storage: A Legal and Regulatory Guide for States (2007)

In 2006, the IOGCC Carbon Capture and Geologic Storage (CCGS) Task Force began work on Phase II to start development of this detailed guidance document. The most critical components of the full report are a model CO2 storage statute, a set of model rules and regulations governing the storage of CO2 in geologic media and an explanation of those regulatory components. Also included is a report addressing the ownership and righ of injection of CO2 into the subsurface.