Ensuring societal acceptance of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects is strongly linked to the environmental impact assessment of projects. CCS implementation should not only be considered a technical solution to the carbon emissions issue as societal issues play at least an equal role in the full acceptance of the technology. CCS projects should be designed to minimize environmental impacts to the highest degree possible and prove that the environmental issues can be monitored during development and operational phases.

As a consequence, CCS projects must integrate appropriate monitoring programs and develop environmental studies in order to gather and analyse required information and to communicate with stakeholders.

This paper proposes to prioritize processes and techniques that can be implemented to monitor environmental impacts of CO2 storage sites. The first part of the paper focuses on the key monitoring techniques and assesses monitoring programs that can be used to gather required information.

The second part of the paper presents the importance of the additional studies needed to assess environmental, health, and safety impacts in the event of a leak from the storage site that should be recommended as part of the environmental methodology. This study can be viewed as the starting point for the decision analysis related to CCS projects and provides some guidance in establishing a specific monitoring program and an environmental assessment plan. It could be considered as an important step in the identification of the development options and optimization of the investment strategy that is required at the front end of any large and complicated project.

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