Emergency Response Planning: An Example of International Collaboration in CCS Community Outreach and Project Development

Norm Sacuta, Lori Gauvreau, Sallie E. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


When addressing community engagement and outreach, North American carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects have parameters unique to the continent, including the history of CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR), which goes back over 40 years in some jurisdictions and, aligned with this, the use of landmen and one-on-one dialogue with landowners and community residents that are well versed in oilfield technologies. These variables alone are in marked contrast to the CCS experiences of many global projects, which do not have the tradition of engaging in one-on-one discussion. Even where CCS projects have conducted extensive public consultation and education, significant opposition has shut down some, and put in jeopardy others, in a manner that contradicts the North American hydrocarbon experience. With the increase in North America of integrated CCS projects that go beyond CO2-EOR, a change in community engagement strategies has taken place under the unique auspices of the United States Department of Energy's (US DOE) Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships Initiative (RCSP). Part of the planning in each of these seven geographic regions includes significant public education, outreach, and communications programs, particularly in areas unfamiliar with injection and storage technologies (i.e., outside of traditional oil producing areas). The bringing together of different demonstration projects' participants - not just nationally within the US but including projects in Western Canada - has allowed for the sharing of best practices between projects and across international jurisdictions. Such sharing is particularly true where the development of community engagement guidelines and strategies are concerned. The publication in 2010 of the US DOE's Best Practices for Public Outreach and Education for Carbon Storage Projects is one example where the experiences of several United States demonstration projects were brought to bear on developing communications guidelines, which in turn were used to help develop public outreach strategies for such projects as Aquistore in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada [1]. Another example of such international information sharing is the World Resources Institute's Guidelines for Community Engagement in Carbon Dioxide Capture, Transport, and Storage Projects where, over a period of a year and a half, international experts were brought together for round table discussions to form the basis of the guidelines and provide an international peer review [2]. More recently, the development of an emergency response plan for the Illinois Basin - Decatur Project, led by the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, one of the RCSP partnerships, drew upon this international collaborative structure, employing the experience of communicators from Schlumberger Carbon Services, the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (managers of the IEAGHG Weyburn- Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project) and the Illinois State Geological Survey to develop a map of potential crisis points. This planning process brought together the lessons learned from various projects, risk assessments, media experiences, and best practices to help identify potential risks for the project (a list of events and scenarios) with the goal of creating response paths and directions for the management of risks and the mitigation of potential threats. These scenarios involved not only potential external issues - such as leakage or pipeline failure - but also addressed management issues internal to a project such as loss of key personnel or loss of funding. The development of this emergency response plan is an example to other projects of the value of interconnecting communications experiences between projects, and of identifying common high-risk scenarios that require advanced response planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7388-7394
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy Procedia
StatePublished - 2013
Event11th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, GHGT 2012 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: Nov 18 2012Nov 22 2012


  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Communications planning
  • Community outreach
  • Crisis communications
  • Public consultation
  • Public engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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