Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Project in Wallula Could Help Prevent Climate Change - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Project in Wallula Could Help Prevent Climate Change

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WALLULA, Wash.-- It's the beginning of the next big step for environmental protection in our area.

"There are rock chips that are coming up, from deep underground, as those come up those are collected," said Peter McGrail, with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Right now a number of geologists are on site looking at the quality of that rock, before they can move on.

While scientists plan to inject nearly 1,000 tons of CO2, into the well they're drilling at the Boise Paper mill in Wallula, compared to other natural gas plants in the country, it's a small amount.

But even before injections begin scientists have to get a permit from the Department of Ecology.

"We have to take baby steps, we can't start out with a million tons per year, without first having started out and seeing when things would work in a small scale," said McGrail.

Staff at the paper mill say they were approached by Batelle last Summer.

"When the Boise managers heard of this, we were really interested, because we really feel that this project fits within our overall company strategy," said Rob Roxburgh, with Boise Paper.

A project that could also help the wine industry in the future.

"For every 70,000 cases of wine, we're emitting back to the atmosphere about 1,000 tons of CO2, the wine industry could actually get a revenue stream back for capturing and sequestrating that CO2," said McGrail.

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