The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting public comments on a plan to inject carbon dioxide beneath west central Illinois.
FutureGen Industrial Alliance wants to capture carbon dioxide from a coal-burning power plant in the Morgan County village of Meredosia, then inject it into underground wells near Jacksonville, about 20 miles to the east.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change when released into the atmosphere. FutureGen wants permits to inject 1.1 million metric tons a year for 20 years in a practice known as "carbon sequestration.''
The permits would be the first in the nation for injecting and storing the gas underground.
The comment period ends May 15. The EPA will hold a public hearing at MacMurray College in Jacksonville on May 7.