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EPA Carbon Sequestration Internship

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A research opportunity is available at the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 5, Water Division, Permits Branch, Underground Injection Control Section, located in Chicago, Illinois. The Underground Injection Control Section is responsible for protecting underground sources of drinking water by regulation of injection wells, which inject fluids into the subsurface.  This includes Class VI wells, which inject carbon dioxide to mitigate climate change.

Research Project: Assist the national effort to combat climate change as it relates to the permitting of carbon sequestration (Class VI) injection wells under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The selected participant will research, compile, analyze and summarize data related to Class VI permit applications.  This work is part of an inter-agency effort alongside state counterparts and other USEPA Regions' and Headquarters' UIC staff to characterize the specific geologic elements that lead to a successful Class VI permit application. This includes analysis of previously submitted Class VI permit applications nationwide and previously accepted No Migration Petitions and may include criteria development, reservoir modeling and plugging methodology. 

Learning Objectives

  • Determine the feasibility of various tracking/monitoring tools
  • Perform multi-phase and geochemical modeling of the behavior of CO2 in subsurface formations in Region 5
  • Identify weaknesses and risks associated with using self-insurance to demonstrate financial responsibility for Class VI projects, based on historical corporate failures
  • Analyze statistical and market variability of plugging and abandonment, and corrective action costs
  • Analyze the risks associated with enhanced oil recovery fields and Class VI sites in Region 5
  • Research the potential for and environmental impacts of uncontrolled blowouts from Class VI projects, and evaluate emergency shut-off mechanisms
  • Evaluate current methods of identifying potential leakage pathways and remediation options for Class VI scenarios
  • Survey the training and educational needs of GS professionals, universities, and regulatory agencies in Region 5

Qualifications Practical work experience, research knowledge, or formal course work in one or more of the following is preferred: deep reservoir structural geology, well logging, reservoir engineering, geochemistry, well drilling and construction, ground water hydrology, petroleum engineering.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Winter 2021-2022.  All start dates are flexible

Eligibility Requirements

  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree received within the last 60 months or currently pursuing.

To Apply visit:

If you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.

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