BIG SKY CARBON SEQUESTRATION PARTNERSHIP
Susan M. Capalbo
The Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership, led by Montana State University, is comprised of research institutions, public entities and private sectors organizations, and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the Nez Perce Tribe. Efforts under this Partnership fall into four areas: evaluation of sources and carbon sequestration sinks; development of GIS-based reporting framework; designing an integrated suite of monitoring, measuring, and verification technologies; and initiating a
... omprehensive education and outreach program. At the first two Partnership meetings the groundwork was put in place to provide an assessment of capture and storage capabilities for CO 2 utilizing the resources found in the Partnership region (both geological and terrestrial sinks), that would complement the ongoing DOE research. During the third quarter, planning efforts are underway for the next Partnership meeting which will showcase the architecture of the GIS framework and initial results for sources and sinks, discuss the methods and analysis underway for assessing geological and terrestrial sequestration potentials. The meeting will conclude with an ASME workshop (see attached agenda). The region has a diverse array of geological formations that could provide storage options for carbon in one or more of its three states. Likewise, initial estimates of terrestrial sinks indicate a vast potential for increasing and maintaining soil C on forested, agricultural, and reclaimed lands. Both options include the potential for offsetting economic benefits to industry and society. Steps have been taken to assure that the GIS-based framework is consistent among types of sinks within the Big Sky Partnership area and with the efforts of other western DOE partnerships. Efforts are also being made to find funding to include Wyoming in the coverage areas for both geological and terrestrial sinks and sources. The Partnership recognizes the critical importance of measurement, monitoring, and verification technologies to support not only carbon trading but all policies and programs that DOE and other agencies may want to pursue in support of GHG mitigation. The efforts begun in developing and implementing MMV technologies for geological sequestration reflect this concern. Research is also underway to identify and validate best management practices for soil C in the Partnership region, and to design a risk/cost effectiveness framework to make comparative assessments of each viable sink, taking into account economic costs, offsetting benefits, scale of sequestration opportunities, spatial and time dimensions, environmental risks, and long-term viability. Scientifically sound information on MMV is critical for public acceptance of these technologies. Two key deliverables were completed in the second quarter-a literature review/database to assess the soil carbon on rangelands, and the draft protocols, contracting options for soil carbon trading. The protocols developed for soil carbon trading are unique and provide a key component of the mechanisms that might be used to efficiently sequester GHG and reduce CO 2 concentrations. While no key deliverables were due during the third quarter, progress on other deliverables is noted in the PowerPoint presentations and in this report. A series of meetings held during the second and third quarters have laid the foundations for assessing the issues surrounding carbon sequestration in this region, the need for a holistic approach to meeting energy demands and economic development potential, and the implementation of government programs or a market-based setting for soil C credits. These meetings provide a connection to stakeholders in the region and a basis on which to draw for the DOE PEIS hearings. A third 4 Partnership meeting has been planned for August 04 in Idaho Falls; a preliminary agenda is attached.