Wyoming’s Lily Barkau Testifies on Carbon Capture and Sequestration at the U.S. Senate

November 2, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), welcomed Ms. Lily Barkau, P.G., Groundwater Section Manager of the Water Quality Division at the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. Ms. Barkau testified before the committee detailing the opportunities and challenges in deploying carbon capture utilization and sequestration and direct air capture technologies on federal and non-federal lands.

Ranking member Barrasso introduced Ms. Barkau to the committee prior to her testimony.

“I’d like to welcome Ms. Lily Barkau who is one of our witnesses today. She has traveled from Cheyenne, Wyoming to be here with us and she is an expert on siting underground injection wells for carbon capture and sequestration projects,” said Senator Barrasso. “She has served at the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality since 2006 which are the dates when I was in the Wyoming State Senate.”

Lily Barkau is the Groundwater Section Manager of the Water Quality Division at the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and has been with WDEQ for 17 years. She has over 25 years of experience in corrective action at hazardous waste sites under RCRA and CERCLA and in her role at WDEQ, Lily oversees the Underground Injection Control Program (Class I, V, and VI) and groundwater contamination cleanup activities across the State. She worked on the UIC Class VI primacy application with Wyoming receiving primacy of the Class VI program in 2020.

Click here to watch ranking member Barrasso’s full introduction.

In her testimony, Ms. Barkau outlined the various issues Wyoming faces deploying carbon capture sequestration (CCS). This includes the absence of a legal definition of pore space under federal law, split estate, and the inability to receive new aquifer exemptions from EPA.

“…Wyoming is poised for successful deployment of CCS, and interest in CCS projects is high,” said Barkau.  “Currently, 12 proposed Class VI wells in Wyoming are in various stages of the permitting process, ranging from the pre-application stage to the permit issuance stage. The department anticipates issuing its first three Class VI permits for well construction by the end of the calendar year… Permitting for CO2 storage is one facet of CCS project, other factors may pose obstacles for Class VI permitting.”

For more information on Ms. Barkau’s testimony and the hearing, click here.