The CarbonSAFE IL Macon County project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DE-FE00029381), focuses on establishing the feasibility of a commercial-scale geological storage complex in Macon County, IL, that could store 50 million tonnes or more of industrially sourced CO2. The initial characterization involves developing and analyzing datasets of formation parameters for the target reservoir, the Mt. Simon sandstone, to evaluate the suitability of the potential site and address knowledge gaps. This includes drilling a stratigraphic test well in the Forsyth Oil Field to collect new data and establish the potential storage capacity. Static and dynamic models will be used to examine the performance of the site, refine storage estimates, and understand risks. A technical and non-technical risk assessment will be conducted to identify steps to reduce subsurface uncertainty and non-technical issues that will need to be addressed by future work. In addition, social attitudes toward the project will be monitored; permitting requirements, legal issues, and contractual issues will be outlined; source networks will be strengthened; and project partners will be assembled. The studies and outcomes of this phase will be part of the project’s knowledge sharing activities and will contribute to developing best practice manuals for deploying commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS).