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Process Underway to Develop International Standards for CCS

January 23, 2015

This winter the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 265 (TC265) will meet for the fourth time to review progress on efforts to develop an international standard for CCS.

ISO is an independent, non-governmental organization that was founded in 1946 "to facilitate the international coordination and unification of industrial standards." In recognition of the challenge of finding a short name that would translate into different languages, the organization chose the name ISO, which is derived from the Greek isos, meaning equal. Today ISO is comprised of 166 member countries and has published more than 19,500 International Standards covering many aspects of technology and manufacturing.

As indicated on the TC265 homepage, the scope of its work includes: "standardization of design, construction, operation, environmental planning and management, risk management, quantification, monitoring and verification, and related activities in the field of carbon dioxide capture, transportation, and geological storage (CCS)".

An international standard for CCS can provide several benefits including facilitating knowledge sharing, providing a common knowledge base to support commercial deployment of the technology, increasing public understanding of the technology, and helping to reduce risk. MRCSP team members serve as both participants and advisors to TC265.

ISO develops and maintains a business plan for each standard. The TC265 business plan indicates the 19 participating member countries, 9 observing member countries, and 7 liaison organizations that are involved in developing the standard for CCS. The group has formed 6 work groups:

1. Capture: Convened by Japan
2. Transportation: Convened by Germany
3. Storage: Convened by Canada and Co-convened by Japan
4. Quantification and Verification: Convened by China and Co-convened by France
5. Cross Cutting Issues: Convened by France and Co-convened by China
6. EOR CCS: Convened by the United States and Co-convened by Norway

TC265 is focused on capturing CO₂ emissions from large stationary point sources for storage in suitable underground formations, and it will use existing standards where possible. By definition, it is not focused on mobile or small sources of CO₂ emissions, and it is not developing standards for ocean storage, mineral carbonation, other non-CCS industrial uses of CO₂, biologic sequestration. Further, ISO standards generally do not touch on legal liability or permitting.

As progress is made on the standard, the ISO TC265 business plan will be updated and other documents may be released to the public through the ISO TC265 homepage. A final standard will be published through the main ISO homepage when it is completed.
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