CCS in Indiana: Wabash Valley Resources

Vigo & Vermillion Counties may come to house the largest carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project in the United States, and the community is NOT happy about it.


een-lydersen-wvr-ccsWabash Valley Resources (WVR) plans to repurpose the former Duke Energy coal gasification plant in West Terre Haute to produce hydrogen using petroleum coke as the primary feedstock. They intend to produce  hydrogen to make ammonia fertilizer. However, they have also indicated the possibility that they might sell the hydrogen directly to an offtaker, or that they might generate electricity from the hydrogen, presumably to sell power into the wholesale energy markets.


WVR wants to create, transport, and dump 1.67 million tons of waste carbon dioxide (CO2) every year for 12 years, which would make Vigo and Vermillion Counties the largest CO2 dump in U.S. history. This process is called "Carbon Capture and Sequestration," or CCS.


This project has been enabled ONLY because the state government gave WVR eminent domain and limited their liability, and the federal government is providing WVR with significant funding.





Wabash Valley Resources intends to do the following:

  • proposed-co2-pipeline-routesGenerate 1.67 million tons of CO2 waste every year for 12 years.
  • Capture the waste carbon dioxide they generate at their plant.
  • Build an 11-mile pipeline, buried only 5 feet deep, through Vigo and Vermillion Counties.
  • Highly pressurize the CO2 to 2,100 PSI to transport it to the dump sites - one in Vigo County, one in Vermillion County. 
  • Inject the CO2 waste into the ground, creating underground plumes which can spread for miles through cracks, fractures, faults, voids, pores and other passageways in the earth (like abandoned mine shafts).





Our State Legislators caused this! five years of lobbying and over $88,000 in campaign contributions - and CAC fighting it every step of the way - Wabash Valley Resources received two pieces of special legislation from the Indiana General Assembly: SEA442 (2019)  and SEA451 (2023). Together, these bills:

  • Strip private property owners in Vigo and Vermillion Counties of their property rights, granting WVR the right of eminent domain for the pipelines and the right to condemn private property for the CO2 dumps.
  • Shift the burden of proving damage, harm, or injury resulting from the project onto the backs of the public, effectively immunizing investors from risk.  





Risks and Hazards of CCS:



  • Asphyxiation & Stalled Vehicles – Carbon dioxide is heavier than air. If released, it will pool in one area and displace oxygen, resulting in asphyxiation and/or death of animals and humans in the area.


    Symptoms could also include:

    • comas
    • dizziness  
    • seizures
    • arrhythmias  
    • elevated blood pressure
    • brain and/or lung damage


    And since vehicles require oxygen for combustion, this would also result in vehicles stalling, which would make it impossible to use vehicles to evacuate the area or to get to injured people.



  • sw-indiana-mined-landsCO2 migrating to the surface - there are numerous abandoned mine shafts in the area that could give the CO2 access to the surface. In 2009, a report was released by the Indiana DNR and the U.S. Geological Survey, entitled, The Occurrence and Mitigation of Carbon Dioxide in Homes Built on Reclaimed Coal Mines. Their findings indicate that CO2 is already entering the basements of new construction homes on mined lands in Indiana. This project is likely to exacerbate that problem, which could have deadly consequences.









Next Steps for Wabash Valley Resources


This project still requires actions or approvals from multiple State and Federal agencies.


At the federal level, these agencies include:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • The Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Potentially the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)


At the state level, these agencies include:

  • The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
  • The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM)
  • The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC)



Carbon Dioxide Dumps

The EPA has issued draft permits for two Class VI wells, one each in Vigo and Vermillion counties, to authorize Wabash Valley Resources to begin construction of the two wells. Final permits have not yet been issued and further approval would be needed before Wabash Valley Resources is authorized to begin dumping their CO2 waste. The EPA held a public hearing at Indiana State University on August 10th where they accepted public comments, and they accepted written comments via email through August 21st. The comment period is closed. It is unknown when the EPA will take final action on the permits. 



Carbon Dioxide Pipeline

Wabash Valley Resources may file at DNR for a Carbon Dioxide Transmission Pipeline Certificate of Authority to construct and operate the CO2 pipelines. Wabash Valley Resources would need to display that they have the have the “financial, managerial, and technical ability to construct, operate, and maintain a carbon dioxide transmission pipeline in Indiana.” Under the law, DNR must hold one public information session in one of the counties through which the pipeline will travel. It is unclear whether Wabash Valley Resources has begun this process at DNR or not. 


WVR would also need to enter into an agreement with the IURC “concerning the mitigation of agricultural impacts associated with the construction of the proposed carbon dioxide transmission pipeline” and agree to abide by rules and regulations of the IURC Pipeline Division. It is also unknown whether Wabash Valley Resources has engaged with the IURC or not. 



Gasifier and Power Block

9/1/23 UPDATE: IDEM scheduled a public meeting regarding these air permits (details above, under "Speak Out!)

In March 2022, Wabash Valley Resources filed at IDEM for significant modifications for the air permits related to the toxic emissions at the gasification plant. IDEM issued findings on those applications on July 14, 2023, which opened a comment period through August 13, 2023. That comment period has now closed at IDEM. It is unknown when IDEM will take final action. It is also unclear whether additional approvals will be required from IDEM before the plant can begin operations. 



Should Wabash Valley Resources decide to inject power into the grid and sell power into the wholesale energy markets, approvals from both FERC and the IURC would likely be required. 



Campaign Tools

Speak Out!

Join us at the IDEM public hearing regarding the air permits for WVR:

Thurs, 10/5/23, 6pm @ West Vigo High School

Let the folks at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management know how you feel about the impact WVR's misguided project will have on Indiana's communities, and tell them to deny the air permits!



No matter where you live in Indiana, IDEM and the EPA need to hear from you!

Use this form to email the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and tell them to reject the WVR air permits.




Use this form to email EPA Administrator Michael Regan and tell him to reject the CCS permit applications for WVR.





To help fight back, join the Concerned Citizens against Wabash Valley Resources Facebook group.



Help us fight for Hoosiers!



8/16/23 Public Meeting about WVR, Universal, IN


8/22/23 Public Meeting about WVR, New Goshen, IN



CCS in Indiana in the News



WE are paying for this with our tax dollars!

To make their scheme work, WVR plans to take advantage of the enormous federal CCS tax credit, called IRA Section 45Q. This will provide the company with $85 per ton of CO2 dumped in our communities. The company could monetize those tax credits by selling them to third parties as “carbon credits.” When you do the math, that’s $142 million per year and over $1.7 billion dollars over the life of the project.


Wabash Valley Resources has received two taxpayer funded Federal grants to date, totaling over $44 million. WVR is now seeking a federal loan guarantee because they don’t have the equity to secure private financing. 

  • DOE Award No. DE-FE0031626: total taxpayer award of $11,140,875. The project description was to “[a]ssess the feasibility of developing a commercial-scale geological storage complex at Wabash Valley Resources (WVR) gasification facility near Terre Haute IN, that could store up to 50 million tonnes of industrially sourced CO2.”


  • DOE Cooperative Agreement FE0031994: total taxpayer award of $33 million. Project description is to make an investment case and to study the redevelopment of the existing Wabash Valley Resources coal gasification site in West Terre Haute “to achieve net-negative carbon emissions while producing hydrogen that can be used to generate electricity or be sold as coproduct. CO2 will be captured and sequestered in nearby deep saline reservoirs that have already demonstrated suitability for storage, enabling the project to efficiently complete preparation for permanent CO2 sequestration.”


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