MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (WHTM) — Earlier today, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced plans to invest $6 million for the construction of a research and storage facility in Pa.

The new Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) facility will be utilized to house and research the department’s various core samples and drill cuttings from all over the commonwealth, according to DCNR. These samples are then utilized to improve government, academic, and private sector research into the usage of Pa. subsurface geology, which includes the practice of capturing and underground storing of carbon dioxide in an attempt to combat climate change.

“As we collectively work on ways to address a changing climate it’s important to have the best tools and scientific information at hand to inform those efforts,” Secretary Dunn said “The samples available to the public through our Geological Survey are important to a broad range of research by universities, government agencies, and energy companies, so these improvements to our library will help advance carbon capture as well as many other research and decisions that rely on an understanding of geology.”

Currently, the core samples library at the Pennsylvania Geological Survey headquarters in Middletown, Pa. has limited space, according to DCNR – this is why they are receiving the $6 million investment for a new core storage facility.

“The new rock sample library will more than double the department’s current capacity to store, catalog and analyze subsurface rock samples collected throughout the state for focused research on the state’s subsurface geology,” DCNR Bureau of Geological Survey Director Gale Blackmer said.

According to DCNR, they have been engaged in the topic of CCUS for almost 20 years – during this time, the Geological Survey has worked to further the Pa.’s knowledge of its geological resources, which includes:

  • Assessing underground, geological resources that have the potential to serve as reservoirs for carbon dioxide to be safely stored
  • Evaluation of existing oil fields to see if CO2-enhanced recovery efforts could be employed
  • Participation with multiple states to consider geological storage options across the Appalachian and Mid-Atlantic region of the United States

According to DCNR, the department has started to look for a location and construction contractor for the new facility, but an exact location and contractor has not be yet been selected.

abc 27 will keep you updated as more information becomes available.