The Kentucky Geological Survey has finished the second of two tests to determine whether  carbon dioxide could be stored underground in the commonwealth.

Technology to capture carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants still isn’t commercially viable, but research is ongoing. But if the technology is ever deployed on a large scale, the carbon dioxide will need to be stored somewhere. And Kentucky Geological Survey geologist Rick Bowersox says his agency’s most recent test confirmed that storage wells could potentially be drilled in Eastern Kentucky.

“Along that Ohio River industrial corridor, those formations could be suitable for CO2 storage,” he said. “But again, there’s no plans at this time to do any of that.”

The Geological Survey drilled nearly 5000 feet into the earth in Carter County, and took samples of the different geologic layers. Bowersox and his team concluded that the geology could hold and store carbon dioxide; they concluded the same for a well drilled several years ago in Western Kentucky.

There aren’t any other tests planned, but Bowersox says the research could also have implications for the oil and gas industry, which sometimes uses injection wells to dispose of wastewater.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's News Director.