Litynski John (U.S. DOE NETL, National Energy Technology Laboratory, P.O. Box 88, Morgantown, WV, 26505; Phone: 304-285-1339; Fax: 304-285-4638; Email:


DOE’s Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships Initiative: Developing Infrastructure and Validating Carbon Sequestration Technologies


J. Litynski*, S. Klara


Phase I of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) program began in September of 2003. The partnerships consist of 216 organizations in 40 States, 4 Canadian Provinces, and 3 Indian Nations.  Six of the Seven Phase I Partnerships are assessing the potential of terrestrial sequestration to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions emitted in their regions.  Since the programs inception, the partnerships have been working on several activities designed to create the knowledge base and infrastructure for the selection of, and potential small-scale field validation tests during Phase II. During the first year of the program, the partnerships primary activities have focused on data collection and analysis. Partnerships are researching emissions data on point, industrial, and agricultural sources of C02 and other greenhouse gases; potential geologic and terrestrial sinks; and existing and necessary transportation infrastructure in their regions. The data is being stored in regional databases and geographic information systems (GIS). Analysis of this data is being conducted with decision support tools that will be used to identify the most promising opportunities for sequestration in each region. They are identifying modeling and measurement technologies to for future accounting and monitoring networks for sequestration projects. Partnerships have also been conducting public outreach and education activities. DOE recognizes that terrestrial sequestration will play an important role in each regions portfolio to mitigate CO2 emissions. The DOE's intent has been to leverage terrestrial sequestration R&D funded by other federal agencies to implement small-scale field demonstration projects. After assessing the regions sinks and implementing several validation projects, the partnerships will have rigorous project implementation protocols that could satisfy future carbon markets and the DOE EIA 1605B voluntary guidelines. For terrestrial sequestration activities, the first year has been dedicated to collecting data and developing regional GIS that will determine the regions potential to sequester carbon in various sinks as well as identify promising opportunities for small-scale validation tests. The partnerships geographic area includes 96% of the total land mass and 98.5% of the agricultural land in the United States.  The regional partnership are collecting data from national data bases such as the 1978 National Resources Inventory (NRI); Major Land Resource Areas (MLRA); State Soil Geographic (STATSGO) Data Base for the Conterminous United States; 1992 Land Use Land Cover data (LULC); MODIS Net Primary Production data; and regional meteorological data from the National Climatic Data Center. The partnerships are also working with state and county offices to add to and refine these data sets to assess the sequestration potential for forests, agricultural lands, wetlands, and grazing lands. The solicitation for Phase II of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships initiative was released on December 14, 2004.  The solicitation will provide up to $100 million over 4 years in federal funds for partnerships of state agencies, universities, private companies, and national laboratories that will field test and validate promising carbon sequestration technologies, both geologic and terrestrial.