Energy Excursions

Monitoring, Reporting and Verification Plan

Under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, facilities carrying out geologic storage operations must report basic information on the amount of CO2 received for injection; develop and implement an EPA-approved Monitoring, Reporting and Verification Plan; and report the amount of CO2 stored and annual monitoring activities. Let’s take a look at how that information is made available to the public by examining some results from the EPA’s online Facility Level Information on GreenHouse gases Tool (FLIGHT).1EPA (n.d.). Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved June 21, 2021, from. https://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting

Case Study: Archer Daniels Midland Company

Decatur Project Map, Illinois

Using the EPA’s online Facility Level Information on GreenHouse gases Tool (FLIGHT), you can quickly and easily filter greenhouse gas data in a variety of ways, including by facility, industry, location, or gas. Here, the data has been filtered to highlight carbon storage projects in Illinois. The first project in the United States to receive a Class VI well permit is shown in the middle of the state. We will profile this program below to illustrate how the EPA makes Monitoring, Reporting and Verification Plan information publicly available.

While in the map view of EPA’s FLIGHT program online, the user can click on the CO2 symbol on the map near Decatur (shown above) to download an overview of the Archer Daniels Midland Company’s carbon storage project (shown below). Notice that in the lower left of this online overview, the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification Plan can be accessed for the year selected (2019). “View MRV Plan.”

Based on the overview shown from the Archer Daniels Midland Company project, what type of industrial project is capturing the CO2?

A cement plant where limestone is heated at high temperatures and then ground to form cement

Incorrect. 

A steel plant where carbon and iron are mixed at very high temperatures

Incorrect. 

An ethanol plant that produces alternative fuel from corn

 Correct. 

Using EPA’s online system, FLIGHT, the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification Plan can be accessed. View the MRV Plan for the Archer Daniels Midland Company’s project.

Let’s take a look at all of this information available from the MRV Plan and learn some things about this particular project.

Looking at the MRV Plan for the Archer Daniels Midland Company’s project (Delineation of Monitoring Areas on p. 5 of the link above), what does the company plan to use as the maximum monitoring area?

The Area of Review

Incorrect. 

The Area of Review + a one-half mile buffer

Correct. 

This is a more conservative approach than just the AoR. 

Looking at the MRV Plan for the Archer Daniels Midland Company’s project (Evaluation of Leakage Pathways on p. 7 of the link above), the most probable potential for leakage of CO2 to the surface is through:

Surface Components (pipeline and wellhead)

 Correct. 

Abandoned oil & gas wells

Incorrect. 

Fractures, faults, and bedding plane partings

Incorrect. 

Confining zone limitations

Incorrect. 

Injection well or monitoring wells

Incorrect. 

After investigating the Archer Daniels Midland numbers, you may wish to explore other projects in your state or county by clicking through to the EPA’s FLIGHT database.

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