UNIVERSAL, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Members of U.S. Senator Mike Braun’s Office met with dozens of residents from both Vigo and Vermillion counties Monday to discuss concerns over a proposed carbon sequestration project. 

This past week, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, held an informational meeting discussing plans for Wabash Valley Resources to store carbon underground in both counties. 

Many community members still had issues, like Susan Strole-Kos, who lives in Vigo County. She said her worries stem from what the possible side effects could be– as she doesn’t believe they’ve had their questions answered. 

Her family has farmed in the area for generations– and she said she still has fears on how this could impact her moving forward.

“Right now, our focus has been on like pipelines and underground storage, and what’s that,” she said. “The farm’s in my hands. I just want to be a good steward, it’s hard enough being a good steward of the land, and now, we’re fighting a battle that, who knows what’s going to happen.”

Kerwin Olson, the executive director for the Citizens Action Coalition in Indiana, spoke at the meeting for over five minutes. He said he has followed the organization since around 2019, and he had watched state senate bills 442 and 451 pass through the statehouse. 

He said those two bills were the catalyst to get to this point.

“The Indiana legislature passed legislation both in 2019 and last year in 2023, specifically aimed at enabling the Wabash Valley Resources carbon capturing sequestration pilot project,” he said. 

With the EPA extending the public comment period to August 21st, he said that is now the most important step to determine what’s next. 

“When you have campaigns or you have issues like this, you got to focus on the task at hand. Right now, the EPA did extend the comment period for next Monday so the most important thing folks need to do is do their best to respect the process, the process right now tells us the EPA is taking comments,” he said. 

Strole-Kos said she was encouraged after Monday’s meeting, and hopes to see the community continue to come out. 

“I’m hopeful, I really am hopeful,” she said. “I hope that the [Citizens Action Coalition,] they are really doing a lot to help, I think people are starting to get organized, I just hope we have enough time to get organized.” 

Residents were hopeful to secure a meeting with representatives from Wabash Valley Resources. We will continue to follow this story and more public meetings in the coming days.