Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40: Protection of Environment, Parts 144 (Underground Injection Control Program), 145 (State UIC Program Requirements) and 146 (Underground Injection Control Program: Criteria and Standards) (USA Underground Injection Rules)

Jurisdiction(s)
Instrument Date
10 December 2010
Effective Date
10 January 2011
Instrument Type
Secondary
Relevant Regulatory Authority
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Purpose and Context
The USA Underground Injection Rules serve to “set forth requirements for the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program promulgated under Part C of the Safe Drinking Water Act” (see § 144.1(a)), which in turn seeks to prevent underground injection activities which endanger drinking water sources.
Associated instruments

Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.

Instrument Access Date
4 October 2012
I. Regulatory scope and definitions
Definitions

Article/Section No.

§ 144.3
§ 145.2
§ 146.3
§ 146.81(d)

Instrument Text

§ 144.3

Definitions.

Terms not defined in this section have the meaning given by the appropriate Act. When a defined term appears in a definition, the defined term is sometimes placed within quotation marks as an aid to readers.

Administrator means the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or an authorized representative.

Application means the EPA standard national forms for applying for a permit, including any additions, revisions or modifications to the forms; or forms approved by EPA for use in approved States, including any approved modifications or revisions.

Appropriate Act and regulations means the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); or Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), whichever is applicable; and applicable regulations promulgated under those statutes.

Approved State Program means a UIC program administered by the State or Indian Tribe that has been approved by EPA according to SDWA sections 1422 and/or 1425.

Aquifer means a geological “formation,” group of formations, or part of a formation that is capable of yielding a significant amount of water to a well or spring.

Area of review means the area surrounding an injection well described according to the criteria set forth in § 146.06 or in the case of an area permit, the project area plus a circumscribing area the width of which is either 1/4 of a mile or a number calculated according to the criteria set forth in § 146.06.

Cesspool means a “drywell” that receives untreated sanitary waste containing human excreta, and which sometimes has an open bottom and/or perforated sides.

Contaminant means any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter in water.

Director means the Regional Administrator, the State director or the Tribal director as the context requires, or an authorized representative. When there is no approved State or Tribal program, and there is an EPA administered program, “Director” means the Regional Administrator. When there is an approved State or Tribal program, “Director” normally means the State or Tribal director. In some circumstances, however, EPA retains the authority to take certain actions even when there is an approved State or Tribal program. In such cases, the term “Director” means the Regional Administrator and not the State or Tribal director.

Draft permit means a document prepared under § 124.6 indicating the Director's tentative decision to issue or deny, modify, revoke and reissue, terminate, or reissue a “permit.” A notice of intent to terminate a permit, and a notice of intent to deny a permit, as discussed in § 124.5 are types of “draft permits.” A denial of a request for modification, revocation and reissuance, or termination, as discussed in § 124.5 is not a “draft permit.”

Drilling mud means a heavy suspension used in drilling an “injection well,” introduced down the drill pipe and through the drill bit.

Drywell means a well, other than an improved sinkhole or subsurface fluid distribution system, completed above the water table so that its bottom and sides are typically dry except when receiving fluids.

Eligible Indian Tribe is a Tribe that meets the statutory requirements established at 42 U.S.C. 300j-11(b)(1).

Emergency permit means a UIC “permit” issued in accordance with § 144.34.

Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) means the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA means the United States “Environmental Protection Agency.”

Exempted aquifer means an “aquifer” or its portion that meets the criteria in the definition of “underground source of drinking water” but which has been exempted according to the procedures in § 144.7.

Existing injection well means an “injection well” other than a “new injection well.”

Facility or activity means any UIC “injection well,” or an other facility or activity that is subject to regulation under the UIC program.

Fluid means any material or substance which flows or moves whether in a semisolid, liquid, sludge, gas, or any other form or state.

Formation means a body of consolidated or unconsolidated rock characterized by a degree of lithologic homogeneity which is prevailingly, but not necessarily, tabular and is mappable on the earth's surface or traceable in the subsurface.

Formation fluid means “fluid” present in a “formation” under natural conditions as opposed to introduced fluids, such as “drilling mud.”

Generator means any person, by site location, whose act or process produces hazardous waste identified or listed in 40 CFR part 261.

Geologic sequestration means the long-term containment of a gaseous, liquid, or supercritical carbon dioxide stream in subsurface geologic formations. This term does not apply to carbon dioxide capture or transport.

Ground water means water below the land surface in a zone of saturation.

Hazardous waste means a hazardous waste as defined in 40 CFR 261.3.

Hazardous waste management facility (“HWM facility”) means all contiguous land, and structures, other appurtenances, and improvements on the land used for treating, storing, or disposing of hazardous waste. A facility may consist of several treatment, storage, or disposal operational units (for example, one or more landfills, surface impoundments, or combination of them).

HWM facility means “Hazardous Waste Management facility”

Improved sinkhole means a naturally occurring karst depression or other natural crevice found in volcanic terrain and other geologic settings which have been modified by man for the purpose of directing and emplacing fluids into the subsurface.

Indian lands means “Indian country” as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151. That section defines Indian country as:

(a) All land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the United States government, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, and, including rights-of-way running through the reservation;

(b) All dependent Indian communities within the borders of the United States whether within the original or subsequently acquired territory thereof, and whether within or without the limits of a State; and

(c) All Indian allotments, the Indian titles to which have not been extinguished, including rights-of-way running through the same.

Indian Tribe means any Indian Tribe having a Federally recognized governing body carrying out substantial governmental duties and powers over a defined area.

Injection well means a “well” into which “fluids” are being injected.

Injection zone means a geological “formation” group of formations, or part of a formation receiving fluids through a “well.”

Interstate Agency means an agency of two or more States established by or under an agreement or compact approved by the Congress, or any other agency of two or more States or Indian Tribes having substantial powers or duties pertaining to the control of pollution as determined and approved by the Administrator under the “appropriate Act and regulations.”

Major facility means any UIC “facility or activity” classified as such by the Regional Administrator, or, in the case of approved State programs, the Regional Administrator in conjunction with the State Director.

Manifest means the shipping document originated and signed by the “generator” which contains the information required by subpart B of 40 CFR part 262.

New injection wells means an “injection well” which began injection after a UIC program for the State applicable to the well is approved or prescribed.

Owner or operator means the owner or operator of any “facility or activity” subject to regulation under the UIC program.

Permit means an authorization, license, or equivalent control document issued by EPA or an approved State to implement the requirements of this part, parts 145, 146 and 124. “Permit” includes an area permit (§ 144.33) and an emergency permit (§ 144.34). Permit does not include UIC authorization by rule (§ 144.21), or any permit which has not yet been the subject of final agency action, such as a “draft permit.”

Person means an individual, association, partnership, corporation, municipality, State, Federal, or Tribal agency, or an agency or employee thereof.

Plugging means the act or process of stopping the flow of water, oil or gas into or out of a formation through a borehole or well penetrating that formation.

Point of injection means the last accessible sampling point prior to waste fluids being released into the subsurface environment through a Class V injection well. For example, the point of injection of a Class V septic system might be the distribution box—the last accessible sampling point before the waste fluids drain into the underlying soils. For a dry well, it is likely to be the well bore itself.

Project means a group of wells in a single operation.

Radioactive Waste means any waste which contains radioactive material in concentrations which exceed those listed in 10 CFR part 20, appendix B, table II, column 2.

RCRA means the Solid Waste Disposal Act as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (Pub. L. 94-580, as amended by Pub. L. 95-609, Pub. L. 96-510, 42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.).

Regional Administrator means the Regional Administrator of the appropriate Regional Office of the Environmental Protection Agency or the authorized representative of the Regional Administrator.

Sanitary waste means liquid or solid wastes originating solely from humans and human activities, such as wastes collected from toilets, showers, wash basins, sinks used for cleaning domestic areas, sinks used for food preparation, clothes washing operations, and sinks or washing machines where food and beverage serving dishes, glasses, and utensils are cleaned. Sources of these wastes may include single or multiple residences, hotels and motels, restaurants, bunkhouses, schools, ranger stations, crew quarters, guard stations, campgrounds, picnic grounds, day-use recreation areas, other commercial facilities, and industrial facilities provided the waste is not mixed with industrial waste.

Schedule of compliance means a schedule of remedial measures included in a “permit,” including an enforceable sequence of interim requirements (for example, actions, operations, or milestone events) leading to compliance with the “appropriate Act and regulations.”

SDWA means the Safe Drinking Water Act (Pub. L. 93-523, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.).

Septic system means a “well” that is used to emplace sanitary waste below the surface and is typically comprised of a septic tank and subsurface fluid distribution system or disposal system.

Site means the land or water area where any “facility or activity” is physically located or conducted, including adjacent land used in connection with the facility or activity.

State means any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or an Indian Tribe treated as a State.

State Director means the chief administrative officer of any State, interstate, or Tribal agency operating an “approved program,” or the delegated representative of the State director. If the responsibility is divided among two or more States, interstate, or Tribal agencies, “State Director” means the chief administrative officer of the State, interstate, or Tribal agency authorized to perform the particular procedure or function to which reference is made.

State/EPA agreement means an agreement between the Regional Administrator and the State which coordinates EPA and State activities, responsibilities and programs.

Stratum (plural strata) means a single sedimentary bed or layer, regardless of thickness, that consists of generally the same kind of rock material.

Subsurface fluid distribution system means an assemblage of perforated pipes, drain tiles, or other similar mechanisms intended to distribute fluids below the surface of the ground.

Total dissolved solids means the total dissolved (filterable) solids as determined by use of the method specified in 40 CFR part 136.

Transferee means the owner or operator receiving ownership and/or operational control of the well.

Transferor means the owner or operator transferring ownership and/or operational control of the well.

UIC means the Underground Injection Control program under Part C of the Safe Drinking Water Act, including an “approved State program.”

Underground injection means a “well injection.”

Underground source of drinking water (USDW) means an aquifer or its portion:

(a)(1) Which supplies any public water system; or

(2) Which contains a sufficient quantity of ground water to supply a public water system; and

(i) Currently supplies drinking water for human consumption; or

(ii) Contains fewer than 10,000 mg/l total dissolved solids; and

(b) Which is not an exempted aquifer.

USDW means “underground source of drinking water.”

Well means: A bored, drilled, or driven shaft whose depth is greater than the largest surface dimension; or, a dug hole whose depth is greater than the largest surface dimension; or, an improved sinkhole; or, a subsurface fluid distribution system.

Well injection means the subsurface emplacement of fluids through a well.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 49 FR 45305, Nov. 15, 1984; 52 FR 20676, June 2, 1987; 53 FR 37412, Sept. 26, 1988; 58 FR 63895, Dec. 3, 1993; 59 FR 64345, Dec. 14, 1994; 64 FR 68565, Dec. 7, 1999; 75 FR 77287, Dec. 10, 2010]

[…]

§ 145.2

Definitions.

The definitions of part 144 apply to all subparts of this part.

[…]

§ 146.3

Definitions.

The following definitions apply to the underground injection control program.

Abandoned well means a well whose use has been permanently discontinued or which is in a state of disrepair such that it cannot be used for its intended purpose or for observation purposes.

Administrator means the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or an authorized representative.

Application means the EPA standard national forms for applying for a permit, including any additions, revisions or modifications to the forms; or forms approved by EPA for use in approved States, including any approved modifications or revisions. For RCRA, application also includes the information required by the Director under § 122.25 (contents of Part B of the RCRA application).

Aquifer means a geological formation, group of formations, or part of a formation that is capable of yielding a significant amount of water to a well or spring.

Area of review means the area surrounding an injection well described according to the criteria set forth in § 146.06 or in the case of an area permit, the project area plus a circumscribing area the width of which is either 1/4 of a mile or a number calculated according to the criteria set forth in § 146.06.

Casing means a pipe or tubing of appropriate material, of varying diameter and weight, lowered into a borehole during or after drilling in order to support the sides of the hole and thus prevent the walls from caving, to prevent loss of drilling mud into porous ground, or to prevent water, gas, or other fluid from entering or leaving the hole.

Catastrophic collapse means the sudden and utter failure of overlying “strata” caused by removal of underlying materials.

Cementing means the operation whereby a cement slurry is pumped into a drilled hole and/or forced behind the casing.

Cesspool means a “drywell” that receives untreated sanitary waste containing human excreta, and which sometimes has an open bottom and/or perforated sides.

Confining bed means a body of impermeable or distinctly less permeable material stratigraphically adjacent to one or more aquifers.

Confining zone means a geological formation, group of formations, or part of a formation that is capable of limiting fluid movement above an injection zone.

Contaminant means any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter in water.

Conventional mine means an open pit or underground excavation for the production of minerals.

Director means the Regional Administrator, the State director or the Tribal director as the context requires, or an authorized representative. When there is no approved State or Tribal program, and there is an EPA administered program, “Director” means the Regional Administrator. When there is an approved State or Tribal program, “Director” normally means the State or Tribal director. In some circumstances, however, EPA retains the authority to take certain actions even when there is an approved State or Tribal program. (For example, when EPA has issued an NPDES permit prior to the approval of a State program, EPA may retain jurisdiction over that permit after program approval; see § 123.69). In such cases, the term Director means the Regional Administrator and not the State or Tribal director.

Disposal well means a well used for the disposal of waste into a subsurface stratum.

Drywell means a well, other than an improved sinkhole or subsurface fluid distribution system, completed above the water table so that its bottom and sides are typically dry except when receiving fluids.

Effective date of a UIC program means the date that a State UIC program is approved or established by the Administrator.

Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) means the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA means the United States “Environmental Protection Agency.”

Exempted aquifer means an aquifer or its portion that meets the criteria in the definition of “underground source of drinking water” but which has been exempted according to the procedures of § 144.8(b).

Existing injection well means an “injection well” other than a “new injection well.”

Experimental technology means a technology which has not been proven feasible under the conditions in which it is being tested.

Facility or activity means any “HWM facility,” UIC “injection well,” NPDES “point source,” or State 404 dredge and fill activity, or any other facility or activity (including land or appurtenances thereto) that is subject to regulation under the RCRA, UIC, NPDES, or 404 programs.

Fault means a surface or zone of rock fracture along which there has been displacement.

Flow rate means the volume per time unit given to the flow of gases or other fluid substance which emerges from an orifice, pump, turbine or passes along a conduit or channel.

Fluid means material or substance which flows or moves whether in a semisolid, liquid, sludge, gas, or any other form or state.

Formation means a body of rock characterized by a degree of lithologic homogeneity which is prevailingly, but not necessarily, tabular and is mappable on the earth's surface or traceable in the subsurface.

Formation fluid means “fluid” present in a “formation” under natural conditions as opposed to introduced fluids, such as drilling mud.

Generator means any person, by site location, whose act or process produces hazardous waste identified or listed in 40 CFR part 261.

Ground water means water below the land surface in a zone of saturation.

Hazardous waste means a hazardous waste as defined in 40 CFR 261.3.

Hazardous Waste Management facility (“HWM facility”) means all contiguous land, and structures, other appurtenances, and improvements on the land used for treating, storing, or disposing of hazardous waste. A facility may consist of several treatment, storage, or disposal operational units (for example, one or more landfills, surface impoundments, or combination of them).

HWM facility means “Hazardous Waste Management facility.”

Improved sinkhole means a naturally occurring karst depression or other natural crevice found in volcanic terrain and other geologic settings which have been modified by man for the purpose of directing and emplacing fluids into the subsurface.

Indian Tribe means any Indian Tribe having a Federally recognized governing body carrying out substantial governmental duties and powers over a defined area.

Injection well means a “well” into which “fluids” are being injected.

Injection zone means a geological “formation”, group of formations, or part of a formation receiving fluids through a well.

Lithology means the description of rocks on the basis of their physical and chemical characteristics.

Owner or operator means the owner or operator of any facility or activity subject to regulation under the RCRA, UIC, NPDES, or 404 programs.

Packer means a device lowered into a well to produce a fluid-tight seal.

Permit means an authorization, license, or equivalent control document issued by EPA or an “approved State” to implement the requirements of this part and parts 124, 144, and 145. Permit does not include RCRA interim status (§ 122.23), UIC authorization by rule (§§ 144.21 to 144.26 and 144.15), or any permit which has not yet been the subject of final agency action, such as a “draft permit” or a “proposed permit.”

Plugging means the act or process of stopping the flow of water, oil or gas into or out of a formation through a borehole or well penetrating that formation.

Plugging record means a systematic listing of permanent or temporary abandonment of water, oil, gas, test, exploration and waste injection wells, and may contain a well log, description of amounts and types of plugging material used, the method employed for plugging, a description of formations which are sealed and a graphic log of the well showing formation location, formation thickness, and location of plugging structures.

Point of injection for Class V wells means the last accessible sampling point prior to waste fluids being released into the subsurface environment through a Class V injection well. For example, the point of injection of a Class V septic system might be the distribution box—the last accessible sampling point before the waste fluids drain into the underlying soils. For a dry well, it is likely to be the well bore itself.

Pressure means the total load or force per unit area acting on a surface.

Project means a group of wells in a single operation.

Radioactive waste means any waste which contains radioactive material in concentrations which exceed those listed in 10 CFR part 20, appendix B, table II column 2.

RCRA means the Solid Waste Disposal Act as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (Pub. L. 94-580, as amended by Pub. L. 95-609, 42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.).

Sanitary waste means liquid or solid wastes originating solely from humans and human activities, such as wastes collected from toilets, showers, wash basins, sinks used for cleaning domestic areas, sinks used for food preparation, clothes washing operations, and sinks or washing machines where food and beverage serving dishes, glasses, and utensils are cleaned. Sources of these wastes may include single or multiple residences, hotels and motels, restaurants, bunkhouses, schools, ranger stations, crew quarters, guard stations, campgrounds, picnic grounds, day-use recreation areas, other commercial facilities, and industrial facilities provided the waste is not mixed with industrial waste.

SDWA means the Safe Drinking Water Act (Pub. L. 95-523, as amended by Pub. L. 95-190, 42 U.S.C. 300(f) et seq.).

Septic system means a “well” that is used to emplace sanitary waste below the surface and is typically comprised of a septic tank and subsurface fluid distribution system or disposal system.

Site means the land or water area where any facility or activity is physically located or conducted, including adjacent land used in connection with the facility or activity.

Sole or principal source aquifer means an aquifer which has been designated by the Administrator pursuant to section 1424 (a) or (e) of the SDWA.

State Director means the chief administrative officer of any State, interstate, or Tribal agency operating an “approved program,” or the delegated representative of the State Director. If the responsibility is divided among two or more State, interstate, or Tribal agencies, “State Director” means the chief administrative officer of the State, interstate, or Tribal agency authorized to perform the particular procedure or function to which reference is made.

Stratum (plural strata) means a single sedimentary bed or layer, regardless of thickness, that consists of generally the same kind of rock material.

Subsidence means the lowering of the natural land surface in response to: Earth movements; lowering of fluid pressure; removal of underlying supporting material by mining or solution of solids, either artificially or from natural causes; compaction due to wetting (Hydrocompaction); oxidation of organic matter in soils; or added load on the land surface.

Subsurface fluid distribution system means an assemblage of perforated pipes, drain tiles, or other similar mechanisms intended to distribute fluids below the surface of the ground.

Surface casing means the first string of well casing to be installed in the well.

Total dissolved solids (“TDS”) means the total dissolved (filterable) solids as determined by use of the method specified in 40 CFR part 136.

UIC means the Underground Injection Control program under Part C of the Safe Drinking Water Act, including an “approved program.”

Underground injection means a “well injection.”

Underground source of drinking water (USDW) means an aquifer or its portion:

(1)(i) Which supplies any public water system; or

(ii) Which contains a sufficient quantity of ground water to supply a public water system; and

(A) Currently supplies drinking water for human consumption; or

(B) Contains fewer than 10,000 mg/l total dissolved solids; and

(2) Which is not an exempted aquifer.

USDW means “underground source of drinking water.”

Well means: A bored, drilled, or driven shaft whose depth is greater than the largest surface dimension; or, a dug hole whose depth is greater than the largest surface dimension; or, an improved sinkhole; or, a subsurface fluid distribution system.

Well injection means the subsurface emplacement of fluids through a well.

Well plug means a watertight and gastight seal installed in a borehole or well to prevent movement of fluids.

Well stimulation means several processes used to clean the well bore, enlarge channels, and increase pore space in the interval to be injected thus making it possible for wastewater to move more readily into the formation, and includes (1) surging, (2) jetting, (3) blasting, (4) acidizing, (5) hydraulic fracturing.

Well monitoring means the measurement, by on-site instruments or laboratory methods, of the quality of water in a well.

(Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act: 42 U.S.C. 6905, 6912, 6925, 6927, 6974)

[45 FR 42500, June 24, 1980, as amended at 46 FR 43161, Aug. 27, 1981; 47 FR 4998, Feb. 3, 1982; 48 FR 14293, Apr. 1, 1983; 53 FR 37414, Sept. 26, 1988; 64 FR 68573, Dec. 7, 1999]

[…]

Subpart H—Criteria and Standards Applicable to Class VI Wells

Source:

75 FR 77291, Dec. 10, 2010, unless otherwise noted.

§ 146.81

Applicability.

[…]

(d) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this subpart. To the extent that these definitions conflict with those in § 144.3 or § 146.3 of this chapter these definitions govern for Class VI wells:

Area of review means the region surrounding the geologic sequestration project where USDWs may be endangered by the injection activity. The area of review is delineated using computational modeling that accounts for the physical and chemical properties of all phases of the injected carbon dioxide stream and displaced fluids, and is based on available site characterization, monitoring, and operational data as set forth in § 146.84.

Carbon dioxide plume means the extent underground, in three dimensions, of an injected carbon dioxide stream.

Carbon dioxide stream means carbon dioxide that has been captured from an emission source (e.g., a power plant), plus incidental associated substances derived from the source materials and the capture process, and any substances added to the stream to enable or improve the injection process. This subpart does not apply to any carbon dioxide stream that meets the definition of a hazardous waste under 40 CFR part 261.

Confining zone means a geologic formation, group of formations, or part of a formation stratigraphically overlying the injection zone(s) that acts as barrier to fluid movement. For Class VI wells operating under an injection depth waiver, confining zone means a geologic formation, group of formations, or part of a formation stratigraphically overlying and underlying the injection zone(s).

Corrective action means the use of Director-approved methods to ensure that wells within the area of review do not serve as conduits for the movement of fluids into underground sources of drinking water (USDW).

Geologic sequestration means the long-term containment of a gaseous, liquid, or supercritical carbon dioxide stream in subsurface geologic formations. This term does not apply to carbon dioxide capture or transport.

Geologic sequestration project means an injection well or wells used to emplace a carbon dioxide stream beneath the lowermost formation containing a USDW; or, wells used for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide that have been granted a waiver of the injection depth requirements pursuant to requirements at § 146.95; or, wells used for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide that have received an expansion to the areal extent of an existing Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery aquifer exemption pursuant to §§ 146.4 and 144.7(d) of this chapter. It includes the subsurface three-dimensional extent of the carbon dioxide plume, associated area of elevated pressure, and displaced fluids, as well as the surface area above that delineated region.

Injection zone means a geologic formation, group of formations, or part of a formation that is of sufficient areal extent, thickness, porosity, and permeability to receive carbon dioxide through a well or wells associated with a geologic sequestration project.

Post-injection site care means appropriate monitoring and other actions (including corrective action) needed following cessation of injection to ensure that USDWs are not endangered, as required under § 146.93.

Pressure front means the zone of elevated pressure that is created by the injection of carbon dioxide into the subsurface. For the purposes of this subpart, the pressure front of a carbon dioxide plume refers to a zone where there is a pressure differential sufficient to cause the movement of injected fluids or formation fluids into a USDW.

Site closure means the point/time, as determined by the Director following the requirements under § 146.93, at which the owner or operator of a geologic sequestration site is released from post-injection site care responsibilities.

Transmissive fault or fracture means a fault or fracture that has sufficient permeability and vertical extent to allow fluids to move between formations.

Classification of CO2

Summary

The definition of “carbon dioxide stream” given in § 146.81(d) of the USA Underground Injection Rules expressly excludes any CO2 stream that meets the definition of a “hazardous waste” under Part 261 (Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste) of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Article/Section No.

§ 146.81(d)

Instrument Text

Subpart H—Criteria and Standards Applicable to Class VI Wells

Source:

75 FR 77291, Dec. 10, 2010, unless otherwise noted.

§ 146.81

Applicability.

[…]

(d) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this subpart. To the extent that these definitions conflict with those in § 144.3 or § 146.3 of this chapter these definitions govern for Class VI wells:

[…]

Carbon dioxide stream means carbon dioxide that has been captured from an emission source (e.g., a power plant), plus incidental associated substances derived from the source materials and the capture process, and any substances added to the stream to enable or improve the injection process. This subpart does not apply to any carbon dioxide stream that meets the definition of a hazardous waste under 40 CFR part 261.

[…]

Composition of CO2 stream

Summary

“Carbon dioxide stream” is defined in § 146.81(d) of the USA Underground Injection Rules as CO2 captured from an emission source (such as a power plant), plus:

  1. incidental associated substances derived from the source materials and capture process; and
  2. any substances added to the stream to enable or improve the injection process.

The definition also expressly excludes any CO2 stream that meets the definition of a “hazardous waste” under Part 261 (Identification and Listing of Hazardous Waste) of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Article/Section No.

§ 146.81(d)

Instrument Text

Subpart H—Criteria and Standards Applicable to Class VI Wells

Source:

75 FR 77291, Dec. 10, 2010, unless otherwise noted.

§ 146.81

Applicability.

[…]

(d) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this subpart. To the extent that these definitions conflict with those in § 144.3 or § 146.3 of this chapter these definitions govern for Class VI wells:

[…]

Carbon dioxide stream means carbon dioxide that has been captured from an emission source (e.g., a power plant), plus incidental associated substances derived from the source materials and the capture process, and any substances added to the stream to enable or improve the injection process. This subpart does not apply to any carbon dioxide stream that meets the definition of a hazardous waste under 40 CFR part 261.

[…]

Geographical coverage, exclusions and prohibitions

Summary

§ 144.12 of the USA Underground Injection Rules prohibits any injection activities, including any activities using Class VI wells as part of CO2 storage operations, which allow the movement of fluid containing any contaminant into underground drinking water sources, if the presence of the contaminant may cause violation of drinking water regulations or otherwise adversely affect human health.

§ 144.15 prohibits the construction, operation or maintenance of any non-experimental Class V geologic sequestration well.

Article/Section No.

§ 144.12
§ 144.15

Instrument Text

§ 144.12

Prohibition of movement of fluid into underground sources of drinking water.

(a) No owner or operator shall construct, operate, maintain, convert, plug, abandon, or conduct any other injection activity in a manner that allows the movement of fluid containing any contaminant into underground sources of drinking water, if the presence of that contaminant may cause a violation of any primary drinking water regulation under 40 CFR part 142 or may otherwise adversely affect the health of persons. The applicant for a permit shall have the burden of showing that the requirements of this paragraph are met.

(b) For Class I, II, III, and VI wells, if any water quality monitoring of an underground source of drinking water indicates the movement of any contaminant into the underground source of drinking water, except as authorized under part 146, the Director shall prescribe such additional requirements for construction, corrective action, operation, monitoring, or reporting (including closure of the injection well) as are necessary to prevent such movement. In the case of wells authorized by permit, these additional requirements shall be imposed by modifying the permit in accordance with § 144.39, or the permit may be terminated under § 144.40 if cause exists, or appropriate enforcement action may be taken if the permit has been violated. In the case of wells authorized by rule, see §§ 144.21 through 144.24. For EPA administered programs, such enforcement action shall be taken in accordance with appropriate sections of the SDWA.

(c) For Class V wells, if at any time the Director learns that a Class V well may cause a violation of primary drinking water regulations under 40 CFR part 142, he or she shall:

(1) Require the injector to obtain an individual permit;

(2) Order the injector to take such actions (including, where required, closure of the injection well) as may be necessary to prevent the violation. For EPA administered programs, such orders shall be issued in accordance with the appropriate provisions of the SDWA; or

(3) Take enforcement action.

(d) Whenever the Director learns that a Class V well may be otherwise adversely affecting the health of persons, he or she may prescribe such actions as may be necessary to prevent the adverse effect, including any action authorized under paragraph (c) of this section.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Director may take emergency action upon receipt of information that a contaminant which is present in or likely to enter a public water system or underground source of drinking water may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons. If the Director is an EPA official, he must first determine that the appropriate State and local authorities have not taken appropriate action to protect the health of such persons, before taking emergency action.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 52 FR 20676, June 2, 1987; 75 FR 77288, Dec. 10, 2010]

[…]

§ 144.15

Prohibition of non-experimental Class V wells for geologic sequestration.

The construction, operation or maintenance of any non-experimental Class V geologic sequestration well is prohibited.

[75 FR 77288, Dec. 10, 2010]

Enhanced oil recovery (EOR)

Summary

§ 144.19 of the USA Underground Injection Rules requires owners and operators of wells that are injecting CO2 into an oil and gas reservoir for the primary purpose of long-term storage to apply for a Class VI geologic sequestration permit if, under the storage operations, there is an increased risk to underground drinking water sources compared to Class II (i.e. EOR) operations.

Article/Section No.

§ 144.19

Instrument Text

§ 144.19

Transitioning from Class II to Class VI.

(a) Owners or operators that are injecting carbon dioxide for the primary purpose of long-term storage into an oil and gas reservoir must apply for and obtain a Class VI geologic sequestration permit when there is an increased risk to USDWs compared to Class II operations. In determining if there is an increased risk to USDWs, the owner or operator must consider the factors specified in § 144.19(b).

(b) The Director shall determine when there is an increased risk to USDWs compared to Class II operations and a Class VI permit is required. In order to make this determination the Director must consider the following:

(1) Increase in reservoir pressure within the injection zone(s);

(2) Increase in carbon dioxide injection rates;

(3) Decrease in reservoir production rates;

(4) Distance between the injection zone(s) and USDWs;

(5) Suitability of the Class II area of review delineation;

(6) Quality of abandoned well plugs within the area of review;

(7) The owner's or operator's plan for recovery of carbon dioxide at the cessation of injection;

(8) The source and properties of injected carbon dioxide; and

(9) Any additional site-specific factors as determined by the Director.

[75 FR 77288, Dec. 10, 2010]

II. The scope and management of rights
Property rights

Summary

§ 144.35 of the USA Underground Injection Rules states that the issuance of a permit does not convey any property rights of any sort, or any exclusive privilege.

§ 144.51(g) reiterates this position. 

Article/Section No.

§ 144.35(b)
§ 144.51(g)

Instrument Text

§ 144.35

Effect of a permit.

[…]

(b) The issuance of a permit does not convey any property rights of any sort, or any exclusive privilege.

[…]

Subpart E—Permit Conditions

§ 144.51

Conditions applicable to all permits.

The following conditions apply to all UIC permits. All conditions applicable to all permits shall be incorporated into the permits either expressly or by reference. If incorporated by reference, a specific citation to these regulations (or the corresponding approved State regulations) must be given in the permit.

[…]

(g) Property rights. This permit does not convey any property rights of any sort, or any exclusive privilege.

Competition with other Interests

Summary

§ 144.12 of the USA Underground Injection Rules prohibits any injection activities, including any activities using Class VI wells in CO2 storage operations, which allow the movement of fluid containing any contaminant into underground drinking water sources, if the presence of the contaminant may cause violation of drinking water regulations or otherwise adversely affect human health. In this way, the Rules prioritise the protection of underground drinking water sources (which is the underlying purpose of the Rules) relative to the exploitation of underground storage reservoirs for CO2 sequestration.

Under § 144.7, it is the responsibility of the Director (as defined in § 144.3) to identify and protect all aquifers and parts of aquifers which meet the definition of “underground source of drinking water” in § 144.3, except where there is:

  1. an applicable aquifer exemption under § 146.4; or
  2. an expansion of an existing Class II enhanced oil or gas recovery aquifer exemption under § 144.7(d), for the exclusive purpose of Class VI CO2 injection.

Article/Section No.

§ 144.7
§ 144.12

Instrument Text

§ 144.7

Identification of underground sources of drinking water and exempted aquifers.

(a) The Director may identify (by narrative description, illustrations, maps, or other means) and shall protect as underground sources of drinking water, all aquifers and parts of aquifers which meet the definition of “underground source of drinking water” in § 144.3, except to the extent there is an applicable aquifer exemption under paragraph (b) of this section or an expansion to the areal extent of an existing Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery aquifer exemption for the exclusive purpose of Class VI injection for geologic sequestration under paragraph (d) of this section. Other than EPA approved aquifer exemption expansions that meet the criteria set forth in § 146.4(d) of this chapter, new aquifer exemptions shall not be issued for Class VI injection wells. Even if an aquifer has not been specifically identified by the Director, it is an underground source of drinking water if it meets the definition in § 144.3.

(b)(1) The Director may identify (by narrative description, illustrations, maps, or other means) and describe in geographic and/or geometric terms (such as vertical and lateral limits and gradient) which are clear and definite, all aquifers or parts thereof which the Director proposes to designate as exempted aquifers using the criteria in § 146.4 of this chapter.

(2) No designation of an exempted aquifer submitted as part of a UIC program shall be final until approved by the Administrator as part of a UIC program. No designation of an expansion to the areal extent of a Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery aquifer exemption for the exclusive purpose of Class VI injection for geologic sequestration shall be final until approved by the Administrator as a revision to the applicable Federal UIC program under part 147 or as a substantial revision of an approved State UIC program in accordance with § 145.32 of this chapter.

(3) Subsequent to program approval or promulgation, the Director may, after notice and opportunity for a public hearing, identify additional exempted aquifers. For approved State programs exemption of aquifers identifed (i) under § 146.04(b) shall be treated as a program revision under § 145.32; (ii) under § 146.04(c) shall become final if the State Director submits the exemption in writing to the Administrator and the Administrator has not disapproved the designation within 45 days. Any disapproval by the Administrator shall state the reasons and shall constitute final Agency action for purposes of judicial review.

(c)(1) For Class III wells, the Director shall require an applicant for a permit which necessitates an aquifer exemption under § 146.04(b)(1) to furnish the data necessary to demonstrate that the aquifer is expected to be mineral or hydrocarbon producing. Information contained in the mining plan for the proposed project, such as a map and general description of the mining zone, general information on the mineralogy and geochemistry of the mining zone, analysis of the amenability of the mining zone to the proposed mining method, and a time-table of planned development of the mining zone shall be considered by the Director in addition to the information required by § 144.31(g).

(2) For Class II wells, a demonstration of commercial producibility shall be made as follows:

(i) For a Class II well to be used for enhanced oil recovery processes in a field or project containing aquifers from which hydrocarbons were previously produced, commercial producibility shall be presumed by the Director upon a demonstration by the applicant of historical production having occurred in the project area or field.

(ii) For Class II wells not located in a field or project containing aquifers from which hydrocarbons were previously produced, information such as logs, core data, formation description, formation depth, formation thickness and formation parameters such as permeability and porosity shall be considered by the Director, to the extent such information is available.

(d) Expansion to the areal extent of existing Class II aquifer exemptions for Class VI wells. Owners or operators of Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery wells may request that the Director approve an expansion to the areal extent of an aquifer exemption already in place for a Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery well for the exclusive purpose of Class VI injection for geologic sequestration. Such requests must be treated as a revision to the applicable Federal UIC program under part 147 or as a substantial program revision to an approved State UIC program under § 145.32 of this chapter and will not be final until approved by EPA.

(1) The owner or operator of a Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery well that requests an expansion of the areal extent of an existing aquifer exemption for the exclusive purpose of Class VI injection for geologic sequestration must define (by narrative description, illustrations, maps, or other means) and describe in geographic and/or geometric terms (such as vertical and lateral limits and gradient) that are clear and definite, all aquifers or parts thereof that are requested to be designated as exempted using the criteria in § 146.4 of this chapter.

(2) In evaluating a request to expand the areal extent of an aquifer exemption of a Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery well for the purpose of Class VI injection, the Director must determine that the request meets the criteria for exemptions in § 146.4. In making the determination, the Director shall consider:

(i) Current and potential future use of the USDWs to be exempted as drinking water resources;

(ii) The predicted extent of the injected carbon dioxide plume, and any mobilized fluids that may result in degradation of water quality, over the lifetime of the GS project, as informed by computational modeling performed pursuant to § 146.84(c)(1), in order to ensure that the proposed injection operation will not at any time endanger USDWs including non-exempted portions of the injection formation;

(iii) Whether the areal extent of the expanded aquifer exemption is of sufficient size to account for any possible revisions to the computational model during reevaluation of the area of review, pursuant to § 146.84(e); and

(iv) Any information submitted to support a waiver request made by the owner or operator under § 146.95, if appropriate.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 75 FR 77287, Dec. 10, 2010]

[…]

§ 144.12

Prohibition of movement of fluid into underground sources of drinking water.

(a) No owner or operator shall construct, operate, maintain, convert, plug, abandon, or conduct any other injection activity in a manner that allows the movement of fluid containing any contaminant into underground sources of drinking water, if the presence of that contaminant may cause a violation of any primary drinking water regulation under 40 CFR part 142 or may otherwise adversely affect the health of persons. The applicant for a permit shall have the burden of showing that the requirements of this paragraph are met.

(b) For Class I, II, III, and VI wells, if any water quality monitoring of an underground source of drinking water indicates the movement of any contaminant into the underground source of drinking water, except as authorized under part 146, the Director shall prescribe such additional requirements for construction, corrective action, operation, monitoring, or reporting (including closure of the injection well) as are necessary to prevent such movement. In the case of wells authorized by permit, these additional requirements shall be imposed by modifying the permit in accordance with § 144.39, or the permit may be terminated under § 144.40 if cause exists, or appropriate enforcement action may be taken if the permit has been violated. In the case of wells authorized by rule, see §§ 144.21 through 144.24. For EPA administered programs, such enforcement action shall be taken in accordance with appropriate sections of the SDWA.

(c) For Class V wells, if at any time the Director learns that a Class V well may cause a violation of primary drinking water regulations under 40 CFR part 142, he or she shall:

(1) Require the injector to obtain an individual permit;

(2) Order the injector to take such actions (including, where required, closure of the injection well) as may be necessary to prevent the violation. For EPA administered programs, such orders shall be issued in accordance with the appropriate provisions of the SDWA; or

(3) Take enforcement action.

(d) Whenever the Director learns that a Class V well may be otherwise adversely affecting the health of persons, he or she may prescribe such actions as may be necessary to prevent the adverse effect, including any action authorized under paragraph (c) of this section.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Director may take emergency action upon receipt of information that a contaminant which is present in or likely to enter a public water system or underground source of drinking water may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons. If the Director is an EPA official, he must first determine that the appropriate State and local authorities have not taken appropriate action to protect the health of such persons, before taking emergency action.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 52 FR 20676, June 2, 1987; 75 FR 77288, Dec. 10, 2010]

Public participation

Summary

<p>§ 145.31 of the USA Underground Injection Rules sets out a detailed process for public participation in the consideration and approval of a State’s application for primary enforcement responsibility (<em>i.e.</em> primacy in governing, within the that State’s jurisdiction, underground injection control).</p> <p>This public participation process is initiated under § 145.31(a) through the issuance by the relevant State of a public notice of its intent to adopt an underground injection control program and to seek primacy of this program. This notice must:</p> <ol> <li>be circulated in a manner to attract the attention of interested persons;</li> <li>set out relevant information, including the fundamental aspects of the proposed program and when and where it can be reviewed by the public;</li> <li>provide for a comment period of at least thirty days;</li> <li>schedule a public hearing on the program no earlier than thirty days after publication of the notice; and</li> <li>identify a person who may be contacted for further information.</li> </ol> <p>After determining that a State's application for primacy is complete, the EPA Administrator is required under § 145.31(c) to issue a public notice of the application in the Federal Register, which notice must:</p> <ol> <li>indicate that a public hearing will be held by the EPA, which hearing must be held no earlier than thirty days after publication of the notice;</li> <li>provide for a public comment period of at least thirty days; and</li> <li>note the public availability of the application for inspection and copying.</li> </ol> <p>The EPA Regional Administrator may, however, cancel the hearing if there is not sufficient public interest in it.</p> <p>Following each of these hearings a responsiveness summary must be prepared, identifying the public participation activities conducted, describing the matters presented to the public, summarising significant comments received, and explaining the responses to these comments. This responsiveness summary must be sent to those who testified at the public hearing, and to others upon request.</p> <p>§ 145.34 sets out similar public notice and hearing requirements as part of the withdrawal of EPA approval for the primacy of a State program.</p> <p>If the relevant State fails to demonstrate its compliance with Part 145 of the Rules and also the Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA Administrator must schedule a public hearing to discuss withdrawal of the State program. Notice of this hearing must identify all of the Administrator’s concerns, and be published in enough of the largest newspapers in the State to attract statewide attention. The hearing must be convened between sixty and seventy five days following publication of the notice, and all interested persons must be given the opportunity to make written or oral submissions at the hearing.</p> <p>Finally, it should also be noted that the process of developing the USA Underground Injection Rules involved significant public participation, including workshops, comment periods and hearings, and consultation with specific stakeholder groups such as industry associations, non-government organisations and Native American Tribes. </p>

Article/Section No.

§ 145.31
§ 145.34

Instrument Text

§ 145.31

Approval process.

(a) Prior to submitting an application to the Administrator for approval of a State UIC program, the State shall issue public notice of its intent to adopt a UIC program and to seek program approval from EPA. This public notice shall:

(1) Be circulated in a manner calculated to attract the attention of interested persons. Circulation of the public notice shall include publication in enough of the largest newspapers in the State to attract Statewide attention and mailing to persons on appropriate State mailing lists and to any other persons whom the agency has reason to believe are interested;

(2) Indicate when and where the State's proposed program submission may be reviewed by the public;

(3) Indicate the cost of obtaining a copy of the submission;

(4) Provide for a comment period of not less than 30 days during which interested persons may comment on the proposed UIC program;

(5) Schedule a public hearing on the State program for no less than 30 days after notice of the hearing is published;

(6) Briefly outline the fundamental aspects of the State UIC program; and

(7) Identify a person that an interested member of the public may contact for further information.

(b) After complying with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section any State may submit a proposed UIC program under section 1422 of SDWA and § 145.22 of this part to EPA for approval. Such a submission shall include a showing of compliance with paragraph (a) of this section; copies of all written comments received by the State; a transcript, recording or summary of any public hearing which was held by the State; and a responsiveness summary which identifies the public participation activities conducted, describes the matters presented to the public, summarizes significant comments received, and responds to these comments. A copy of the responsiveness summary shall be sent to those who testified at the hearing, and others upon request.

(c) After determining that a State's submission for UIC program approval is complete the Administrator shall issue public notice of the submission in the Federal Register and in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section. Such notice shall:

(1) Indicate that a public hearing will be held by EPA no earlier than 30 days after notice of the hearing. The notice may require persons wishing to present testimony to file a request with the Regional Administrator, who may cancel the public hearing if sufficient public interest in a hearing is not expressed;

(2) Afford the public 30 days after the notice to comment on the State's submission; and

(3) Note the availability of the State submission for inspection and copying by the public.

(d) The Administrator shall approve State programs which conform to the applicable requirements of this part.

(e) Within 90 days of the receipt of a complete submission (as provided in § 145.22) or material amendment thereto, the Administrator shall by rule either fully approve, disapprove, or approve in part the State's UIC program taking into account any comments submitted. The Administrator shall give notice of this rule in the Federal Register and in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section. If the Administrator determines not to approve the State program or to approve it only in part, the notice shall include a concise statement of the reasons for this determination. A responsiveness summary shall be prepared by the Regional Office which identifies the public participation activities conducted, describes the matters presented to the public, summarizes significant comments received, and explains the Agency's response to these comments. The responsiveness summary shall be sent to those who testified at the public hearing, and to others upon request.

[…]

§ 145.34

Procedures for withdrawal of State programs.

(a) A State with a program approved under this part may voluntarily transfer program responsibilities required by Federal law to EPA by taking the following actions, or in such other manner as may be agreed upon with the Administrator.

(1) The State shall give the Administrator 180 days notice of the proposed transfer and shall submit a plan for the orderly transfer of all relevant program information not in the possession of EPA (such as permits, permit files, compliance files, reports, permit applications) which are necessary for EPA to administer the program.

(2) Within 60 days of receiving the notice and transfer plan, the Administrator shall evaluate the State's transfer plan and shall identify any additional information needed by the Federal government for program administration and/or identify any other deficiencies in the plan.

(3) At least 30 days before the transfer is to occur the Administrator shall publish notice of the transfer in the Federal Register and in enough of the largest newspapers in the State to provide Statewide coverage, and shall mail notice to all permit holders, permit applicants, other regulated persons and other interested persons on appropriate EPA and State mailing lists.

(b) Approval of a State UIC program may be withdrawn and a Federal program established in its place when the Administrator determines, after holding a public hearing, that the State program is not in compliance with the requirements of SDWA and this part.

(1) Notice to State of public hearing. If the Administrator has cause to believe that a State is not administering or enforcing its authorized program in compliance with the requirements of SDWA and this part, he or she shall inform the State by registered mail of the specific areas of alleged noncompliance. If the State demonstrates to the Administrator within 30 days of such notification that the State program is in compliance, the Administrator shall take no further action toward withdrawal and shall so notify the State by registered mail.

(2) Public hearing. If the State has not demonstrated its compliance to the satisfaction of the Administrator within 30 days after notification, the Administrator shall inform the State Director and schedule a public hearing to discuss withdrawal of the State program. Notice of such public hearing shall be published in the Federal Register and in enough of the largest newspapers in the State to attract statewide attention, and mailed to persons on appropriate State and EPA mailing lists. This hearing shall be convened not less than 60 days nor more than 75 days following the publication of the notice of the hearing. Notice of the hearing shall identify the Administrator's concerns. All interested persons shall be given opportunity to make written or oral presentation on the State's program at the public hearing.

(3) Notice to State of findings. When the Administrator finds after the public hearing that the State is not in compliance, he or she shall notify the State by registered mail of the specific deficiencies in the State program and of necessary remedial actions. Within 90 days of receipt of the above letter, the State shall either carry out the required remedial action or the Administrator shall withdraw program approval. If the State carries out the remedial action or, as a result of the hearing is found to be in compliance, the Administrator shall so notify the State by registered mail and conclude the withdrawal proceedings.

III. Permitting storage site exploration, project development and CO2 injection
Controls on site selection

Summary

§ 144.12 of the USA Underground Injection Rules prohibits any injection activities, including any activities using Class VI wells in CO2 storage operations, which allow the movement of fluid containing any contaminant into underground drinking water sources, if the presence of the contaminant may cause violation of drinking water regulations or otherwise adversely affect human health.

Sites for CO2 injection activities regulated by the Rules will need to be selected accordingly.

Under § 146.83, owners and operators of Class VI wells must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Director (as defined in § 146.3) that wells will be sited in areas with a suitable geologic system, comprising adequate injection zones and confining zones.  

Article/Section No.

§ 144.12
§ 146.83

Instrument Text

§ 144.12

Prohibition of movement of fluid into underground sources of drinking water.

(a) No owner or operator shall construct, operate, maintain, convert, plug, abandon, or conduct any other injection activity in a manner that allows the movement of fluid containing any contaminant into underground sources of drinking water, if the presence of that contaminant may cause a violation of any primary drinking water regulation under 40 CFR part 142 or may otherwise adversely affect the health of persons. The applicant for a permit shall have the burden of showing that the requirements of this paragraph are met.

(b) For Class I, II, III, and VI wells, if any water quality monitoring of an underground source of drinking water indicates the movement of any contaminant into the underground source of drinking water, except as authorized under part 146, the Director shall prescribe such additional requirements for construction, corrective action, operation, monitoring, or reporting (including closure of the injection well) as are necessary to prevent such movement. In the case of wells authorized by permit, these additional requirements shall be imposed by modifying the permit in accordance with § 144.39, or the permit may be terminated under § 144.40 if cause exists, or appropriate enforcement action may be taken if the permit has been violated. In the case of wells authorized by rule, see §§ 144.21 through 144.24. For EPA administered programs, such enforcement action shall be taken in accordance with appropriate sections of the SDWA.

(c) For Class V wells, if at any time the Director learns that a Class V well may cause a violation of primary drinking water regulations under 40 CFR part 142, he or she shall:

(1) Require the injector to obtain an individual permit;

(2) Order the injector to take such actions (including, where required, closure of the injection well) as may be necessary to prevent the violation. For EPA administered programs, such orders shall be issued in accordance with the appropriate provisions of the SDWA; or

(3) Take enforcement action.

(d) Whenever the Director learns that a Class V well may be otherwise adversely affecting the health of persons, he or she may prescribe such actions as may be necessary to prevent the adverse effect, including any action authorized under paragraph (c) of this section.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Director may take emergency action upon receipt of information that a contaminant which is present in or likely to enter a public water system or underground source of drinking water may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons. If the Director is an EPA official, he must first determine that the appropriate State and local authorities have not taken appropriate action to protect the health of such persons, before taking emergency action.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 52 FR 20676, June 2, 1987; 75 FR 77288, Dec. 10, 2010]

[…]

§ 146.83

Minimum criteria for siting.

(a) Owners or operators of Class VI wells must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Director that the wells will be sited in areas with a suitable geologic system. The owners or operators must demonstrate that the geologic system comprises:

(1) An injection zone(s) of sufficient areal extent, thickness, porosity, and permeability to receive the total anticipated volume of the carbon dioxide stream;

(2) Confining zone(s) free of transmissive faults or fractures and of sufficient areal extent and integrity to contain the injected carbon dioxide stream and displaced formation fluids and allow injection at proposed maximum pressures and volumes without initiating or propagating fractures in the confining zone(s).

(b) The Director may require owners or operators of Class VI wells to identify and characterize additional zones that will impede vertical fluid movement, are free of faults and fractures that may interfere with containment, allow for pressure dissipation, and provide additional opportunities for monitoring, mitigation, and remediation.

Environmental protection and impact assessment

Summary

§ 144.12 of the USA Underground Injection Rules prohibits any injection activities, including any activities using Class VI wells in CO2 storage operations, which allow the movement of fluid containing any contaminant into underground drinking water sources, if the presence of the contaminant may cause violation of drinking water regulations or otherwise adversely affect human health.

Where monitoring indicates such movement by a contaminant into an underground drinking water source, the Director (as defined in § 144.3) will generally be required to prescribe such additional requirements for the well and its operation (including potential well closure) as are necessary to prevent the movement.

Under § 144.7, it is the responsibility of the Director to identify and protect all aquifers and parts of aquifers which meet the definition of “underground source of drinking water” set out in § 144.3, except where there is:

  1. an applicable aquifer exemption under § 146.4; or
  2. an expansion to an existing Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery aquifer exemption under § 144.7(d), for the exclusive purpose of Class VI CO2 injection.

An aquifer that meets the criteria for classification as an underground source of drinking water may be classified as an “exempted aquifer”, and therefore be eligible for Class VI CO2 storage operations under §§ 144.7(d) and 146.4(d), if:

  1. the aquifer does not currently serve as a drinking water source;
  2. the total dissolved solids content of the groundwater in the aquifer is between 3 000 and 10 000 mg/l; and
  3. the aquifer is not reasonably expected to supply a public water system.

§ 144.51(d) provides that all permits to operate Class VI injection wells are subject to, among other things, a duty to take all reasonable steps to minimise or correct any adverse environmental impact resulting from noncompliance with the permit.

Article/Section No.

§ 144.7
§ 144.12
§ 144.51(d)
§ 146.4(d)

Instrument Text

§ 144.7

Identification of underground sources of drinking water and exempted aquifers.

(a) The Director may identify (by narrative description, illustrations, maps, or other means) and shall protect as underground sources of drinking water, all aquifers and parts of aquifers which meet the definition of “underground source of drinking water” in § 144.3, except to the extent there is an applicable aquifer exemption under paragraph (b) of this section or an expansion to the areal extent of an existing Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery aquifer exemption for the exclusive purpose of Class VI injection for geologic sequestration under paragraph (d) of this section. Other than EPA approved aquifer exemption expansions that meet the criteria set forth in § 146.4(d) of this chapter, new aquifer exemptions shall not be issued for Class VI injection wells. Even if an aquifer has not been specifically identified by the Director, it is an underground source of drinking water if it meets the definition in § 144.3.

(b)(1) The Director may identify (by narrative description, illustrations, maps, or other means) and describe in geographic and/or geometric terms (such as vertical and lateral limits and gradient) which are clear and definite, all aquifers or parts thereof which the Director proposes to designate as exempted aquifers using the criteria in § 146.4 of this chapter.

(2) No designation of an exempted aquifer submitted as part of a UIC program shall be final until approved by the Administrator as part of a UIC program. No designation of an expansion to the areal extent of a Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery aquifer exemption for the exclusive purpose of Class VI injection for geologic sequestration shall be final until approved by the Administrator as a revision to the applicable Federal UIC program under part 147 or as a substantial revision of an approved State UIC program in accordance with § 145.32 of this chapter.

(3) Subsequent to program approval or promulgation, the Director may, after notice and opportunity for a public hearing, identify additional exempted aquifers. For approved State programs exemption of aquifers identifed (i) under § 146.04(b) shall be treated as a program revision under § 145.32; (ii) under § 146.04(c) shall become final if the State Director submits the exemption in writing to the Administrator and the Administrator has not disapproved the designation within 45 days. Any disapproval by the Administrator shall state the reasons and shall constitute final Agency action for purposes of judicial review.

(c)(1) For Class III wells, the Director shall require an applicant for a permit which necessitates an aquifer exemption under § 146.04(b)(1) to furnish the data necessary to demonstrate that the aquifer is expected to be mineral or hydrocarbon producing. Information contained in the mining plan for the proposed project, such as a map and general description of the mining zone, general information on the mineralogy and geochemistry of the mining zone, analysis of the amenability of the mining zone to the proposed mining method, and a time-table of planned development of the mining zone shall be considered by the Director in addition to the information required by § 144.31(g).

(2) For Class II wells, a demonstration of commercial producibility shall be made as follows:

(i) For a Class II well to be used for enhanced oil recovery processes in a field or project containing aquifers from which hydrocarbons were previously produced, commercial producibility shall be presumed by the Director upon a demonstration by the applicant of historical production having occurred in the project area or field.

(ii) For Class II wells not located in a field or project containing aquifers from which hydrocarbons were previously produced, information such as logs, core data, formation description, formation depth, formation thickness and formation parameters such as permeability and porosity shall be considered by the Director, to the extent such information is available.

(d) Expansion to the areal extent of existing Class II aquifer exemptions for Class VI wells. Owners or operators of Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery wells may request that the Director approve an expansion to the areal extent of an aquifer exemption already in place for a Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery well for the exclusive purpose of Class VI injection for geologic sequestration. Such requests must be treated as a revision to the applicable Federal UIC program under part 147 or as a substantial program revision to an approved State UIC program under § 145.32 of this chapter and will not be final until approved by EPA.

(1) The owner or operator of a Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery well that requests an expansion of the areal extent of an existing aquifer exemption for the exclusive purpose of Class VI injection for geologic sequestration must define (by narrative description, illustrations, maps, or other means) and describe in geographic and/or geometric terms (such as vertical and lateral limits and gradient) that are clear and definite, all aquifers or parts thereof that are requested to be designated as exempted using the criteria in § 146.4 of this chapter.

(2) In evaluating a request to expand the areal extent of an aquifer exemption of a Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery well for the purpose of Class VI injection, the Director must determine that the request meets the criteria for exemptions in § 146.4. In making the determination, the Director shall consider:

(i) Current and potential future use of the USDWs to be exempted as drinking water resources;

(ii) The predicted extent of the injected carbon dioxide plume, and any mobilized fluids that may result in degradation of water quality, over the lifetime of the GS project, as informed by computational modeling performed pursuant to § 146.84(c)(1), in order to ensure that the proposed injection operation will not at any time endanger USDWs including non-exempted portions of the injection formation;

(iii) Whether the areal extent of the expanded aquifer exemption is of sufficient size to account for any possible revisions to the computational model during reevaluation of the area of review, pursuant to § 146.84(e); and

(iv) Any information submitted to support a waiver request made by the owner or operator under § 146.95, if appropriate.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 75 FR 77287, Dec. 10, 2010]

[…]

§ 144.12

Prohibition of movement of fluid into underground sources of drinking water.

(a) No owner or operator shall construct, operate, maintain, convert, plug, abandon, or conduct any other injection activity in a manner that allows the movement of fluid containing any contaminant into underground sources of drinking water, if the presence of that contaminant may cause a violation of any primary drinking water regulation under 40 CFR part 142 or may otherwise adversely affect the health of persons. The applicant for a permit shall have the burden of showing that the requirements of this paragraph are met.

(b) For Class I, II, III, and VI wells, if any water quality monitoring of an underground source of drinking water indicates the movement of any contaminant into the underground source of drinking water, except as authorized under part 146, the Director shall prescribe such additional requirements for construction, corrective action, operation, monitoring, or reporting (including closure of the injection well) as are necessary to prevent such movement. In the case of wells authorized by permit, these additional requirements shall be imposed by modifying the permit in accordance with § 144.39, or the permit may be terminated under § 144.40 if cause exists, or appropriate enforcement action may be taken if the permit has been violated. In the case of wells authorized by rule, see §§ 144.21 through 144.24. For EPA administered programs, such enforcement action shall be taken in accordance with appropriate sections of the SDWA.

(c) For Class V wells, if at any time the Director learns that a Class V well may cause a violation of primary drinking water regulations under 40 CFR part 142, he or she shall:

(1) Require the injector to obtain an individual permit;

(2) Order the injector to take such actions (including, where required, closure of the injection well) as may be necessary to prevent the violation. For EPA administered programs, such orders shall be issued in accordance with the appropriate provisions of the SDWA; or

(3) Take enforcement action.

(d) Whenever the Director learns that a Class V well may be otherwise adversely affecting the health of persons, he or she may prescribe such actions as may be necessary to prevent the adverse effect, including any action authorized under paragraph (c) of this section.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Director may take emergency action upon receipt of information that a contaminant which is present in or likely to enter a public water system or underground source of drinking water may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons. If the Director is an EPA official, he must first determine that the appropriate State and local authorities have not taken appropriate action to protect the health of such persons, before taking emergency action.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 52 FR 20676, June 2, 1987; 75 FR 77288, Dec. 10, 2010]

[…]

Subpart E—Permit Conditions

§ 144.51

Conditions applicable to all permits.

The following conditions apply to all UIC permits. All conditions applicable to all permits shall be incorporated into the permits either expressly or by reference. If incorporated by reference, a specific citation to these regulations (or the corresponding approved State regulations) must be given in the permit.

[…]

(d) Duty to mitigate. The permittee shall take all reasonable steps to minimize or correct any adverse impact on the environment resulting from noncompliance with this permit.

[…]

§ 146.4

Criteria for exempted aquifers.

An aquifer or a portion thereof which meets the criteria for an “underground source of drinking water” in § 146.3 may be determined under § 144.7 of this chapter to be an “exempted aquifer” for Class I-V wells if it meets the criteria in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section. Class VI wells must meet the criteria under paragraph (d) of this section:

[…]

(d) The areal extent of an aquifer exemption for a Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery well may be expanded for the exclusive purpose of Class VI injection for geologic sequestration under § 144.7(d) of this chapter if it meets the following criteria:

(1) It does not currently serve as a source of drinking water; and

(2) The total dissolved solids content of the ground water is more than 3,000 mg/l and less than 10,000 mg/l; and

(3) It is not reasonably expected to supply a public water system.

(Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act: 42 U.S.C. 6905, 6912, 6925, 6927, 6974)

[45 FR 42500, June 24, 1980, as amended at 47 FR 4998, Feb. 3, 1982; 48 FR 14293, Apr. 1, 1983; 75 FR 77291, Dec. 10, 2010]

Permitting CO2 injection and storage

Summary

§ 144.11 of the USA Underground Injection Rules prohibits:

  1. any underground injection, except where authorised by a permit or a rule; and
  2. construction of any well required to have a permit, until the permit has been issued.

§ 144.18 in turn provides that Class VI wells (i.e. wells used for the purposes of CO2 storage) must be authorised by a permit, and cannot be authorised by a rule.

§ 144.31 reiterates the prohibition established in § 144.11, and sets out the requirements to be met when applying for permits, which include, among others, the following:

  1. If a facility or activity is owned by one person and operated by another, it is the operator who bears the duty to obtain a permit.
  2. For new injection wells, subject to certain exceptions, permit applications must be made a reasonable time before construction is expected to begin.
  3. Applicants for Class VI permits must follow the criteria set out in § 146.82 (see below).
  4. Applicants are required to keep records of all data used to complete the application, as well as any supplementary information, for a period of at least three years from the date the application is signed.

Applicants for Class VI well permits are required under § 146.82 to provide a range of documents and other information with the permit application, including, among other things:

  1. maps showing well locations;
  2. geologic and hydrogeologic information;
  3. maps of all underground drinking water sources, wells and springs within the area of review (the region surrounding the CO2 storage project in which underground drink water sources may be endangered);
  4. operating data, including injections rates, volumes and pressures, and CO2 stream sources and characteristics;
  5. the proposed area of review and corrective action plan, prepared in accordance with § 146.84;
  6. demonstration that the financial responsibility requirement under § 146.85  is satisfied;
  7. a proposed testing and monitoring plan prepared in accordance with § 146.90;
  8. a proposed injection well plugging plan prepared in accordance with § 146.92;
  9. a proposed post-injection site care and site closure plan prepared in accordance with § 146.93(a)(2); and
  10. a proposed emergency and remedial response plan prepared in accordance with § 146.95.

Once permitted, § 148.86 requires that Class VI wells be constructed and completed to:

  1. prevent movement of fluids into or between underground drinking water sources or into any unauthorised zones;
  2. permit the use of appropriate testing devices and workover tools;
  3. permit continuous monitoring of the annulus space between the injection tubing and long string casing; and
  4. comply with the further specifications set out in §§ 148.86(b) and (c).

Class VI wells to be used in CO2 storage operations are not eligible for area permits under § 14.33.

§ 144.35 states that the issuance of a permit does not convey any property rights of any sort, or any exclusive privilege.

Under § 144.36, permits for Class VI wells will normally remain valid for the operating life of the facility and the post-injection site care period (although permits must be reviewed at least once every 5 years).

§ 144.51 specifies a number of conditions to which all permits will be subject. These include, among others, duties to:

  1. comply with all permit conditions;
  2. take all reasonable steps to minimise or correct any adverse environmental impact resulting from noncompliance with the permit;
  3. properly operate and maintain all facilities and systems of treatment and control;
  4. provide any information requested for the purposes of determining compliance with a permit or whether cause exists for modifying, revoking and reissuing, or terminating the permit, and to provide copies of records required to be kept by the permit;
  5. allow entry and inspection by the Director (as defined in § 144.3) or an authorised representative;
  6. retain records of all monitoring information, including as required in subpart H of part 146 of the USA Underground Injection Rules; and
  7. establish and maintain mechanical integrity.

Under § 144.52, the Director may also establish additional conditions beyond those required in § 144.51, as required on a case-by-case basis.

Under § 144.39, the Director has the power to modify or revoke and reissue a Class VI well permit for the following reasons, among others:

  1. there are material and substantial alterations or additions to the permitted facility or activity which justify the application of new or different permit conditions;
  2. the standards or regulations on which the permit was based have changed since the permit was issued;
  3. good cause exists for modification of a compliance schedule, such as a strike, flood, or materials shortage or other uncontrollable event for which there is no reasonably available remedy;
  4. the Director determines that permit changes are necessary based on reevaluation of the area of review, amendments to the testing and monitoring plan, injection well plugging plan, post-injection site care and site closure plan or emergency and remedial response plan, or review of monitoring and/or testing results in accordance with permit requirements; or
  5. termination under § 144.40, followed by revocation and reissuance, is deemed appropriate (see below).

The Director can terminate a permit under § 144.40, or deny its renewal, by reason of:

  1. noncompliance with any permit condition;
  2. failure to disclose all relevant facts, or misrepresentation of any relevant facts; or
  3. determination by the Administrator that the permitted activity endangers human health or the environment and can only be regulated to acceptable levels by permit modification or termination.

Article/Section No.

§ 144.11
§ 144.18
§ 144.31
§ 144.32
§ 144.33
§ 144.34
§ 144.35
§ 144.36
§ 144.37
§ 144.38
§ 144.39
§ 144.40
§ 144.41
§ 144.51
§ 144.52
§ 144.53
§ 144.54
§ 144.55
§ 146.82
§ 146.86

Instrument Text

Subpart B—General Program Requirements

§ 144.11

Prohibition of unauthorized injection.

Any underground injection, except into a well authorized by rule or except as authorized by permit issued under the UIC program, is prohibited. The construction of any well required to have a permit is prohibited until the permit has been issued.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 58 FR 63895, Dec. 3, 1993]

[…]

§ 144.18

Requirements for Class VI wells.

Owners or operators of Class VI wells must obtain a permit. Class VI wells cannot be authorized by rule to inject carbon dioxide.

[75 FR 77288, Dec. 10, 2010]

[…]

Subpart D—Authorization by Permit

§ 144.31

Application for a permit; authorization by permit.

(a) Permit application. Unless an underground injection well is authorized by rule under subpart C of this part, all injection activities including construction of an injection well are prohibited until the owner or operator is authorized by permit. An owner or operator of a well currently authorized by rule must apply for a permit under this section unless well authorization by rule was for the life of the well or project. Authorization by rule for a well or project for which a permit application has been submitted terminates for the well or project upon the effective date of the permit. Procedures for applications, issuance and administration of emergency permits are found exclusively in § 144.34. A RCRA permit applying the standards of part 264, subpart C of this chapter will constitute a UIC permit for hazardous waste injection wells for which the technical standards in part 146 of this chapter are not generally appropriate.

(b) Who applies? When a facility or activity is owned by one person but is operated by another person, it is the operator's duty to obtain a permit.

(c) Time to apply. Any person who performs or proposes an underground injection for which a permit is or will be required shall submit an application to the Director in accordance with the UIC program as follows:

(1) For existing wells, as expeditiously as practicable and in accordance with the schedule in any program description under § 145.23(f) or (for EPA administered programs) on a schedule established by the Regional Administrator, but no later than 4 years from the approval or promulgation of the UIC program, or as required under § 144.14(b) for wells injecting hazardous waste. For EPA administered programs the owner or operator of Class I or III wells shall submit a complete permit application no later than 1 year after the effective date of the program.

(2) For new injection wells, except new wells in projects authorized under § 144.21(d) or authorized by an existing area permit under § 144.33(c), a reasonable time before construction is expected to begin.

(d) Completeness. The Director shall not issue a permit before receiving a complete application for a permit except for emergency permits. An application for a permit is complete when the Director receives an application form and any supplemental information which are completed to his or her satisfaction. The completeness of any application for a permit shall be judged independently of the status of any other permit application or permit for the same facility or activity. For EPA-administered programs, an application which is reviewed under § 124.3 is complete when the Director receives either a complete application or the information listed in a notice of deficiency.

(e) Information requirements. All applicants for Class I, II, III, and V permits shall provide the following information to the Director, using the application form provided by the Director. Applicants for Class VI permits shall follow the criteria provided in § 146.82 of this chapter.

(1) The activities conducted by the applicant which require it to obtain permits under RCRA, UIC, the National Pollution Discharge Elimination system (NPDES) program under the Clean Water Act, or the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program under the Clean Air Act.

(2) Name, mailing address, and location of the facility for which the application is submitted.

(3) Up to four SIC codes which best reflect the principal products or services provided by the facility.

(4) The operator's name, address, telephone number, ownership status, and status as Federal, State, private, public, or other entity.

(5) Whether the facility is located on Indian lands.

(6) A listing of all permits or construction approvals received or applied for under any of the following programs:

(i) Hazardous Waste Management program under RCRA.

(ii) UIC program under SDWA.

(iii) NPDES program under CWA.

(iv) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program under the Clean Air Act.

(v) Nonattainment program under the Clean Air Act.

(vi) National Emission Standards for Hazardous Pollutants (NESHAPS) preconstruction approval under the Clean Air Act.

(vii) Ocean dumping permits under the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act.

(viii) Dredge and fill permits under section 404 of CWA.

(ix) Other relevant environmental permits, including State permits.

(7) A topographic map (or other map if a topographic map is unavailable) extending one mile beyond the property boundaries of the source depicting the facility and each of its intake and discharge structures; each of its hazardous waste treatment, storage, or disposal facilities; each well where fluids from the facility are injected underground; and those wells, springs, and other surface water bodies, and drinking water wells listed in public records or otherwise known to the applicant within a quarter mile of the facility property boundary.

(8) A brief description of the nature of the business.

(9) For EPA-administered programs, the applicant shall identify and submit on a list with the permit application the names and addresses of all owners of record of land within one-quarter mile of the facility boundary. This requirement may be waived by the Regional Administrator where the site is located in a populous area and the Regional Administrator determines that the requirement would be impracticable.

(10) A plugging and abandonment plan that meets the requirements of § 146.10 of this chapter and is acceptable to the Director.

(f) Recordkeeping. Applicants shall keep records of all data used to complete permit applications and any supplemental information submitted under § 144.31 for a period of at least 3 years from the date the application is signed.

(g) Information Requirements for Class I Hazardous Waste Injection Wells Permits. (1) The following information is required for each active Class I hazardous waste injection well at a facility seeking a UIC permit:

(i) Dates well was operated.

(ii) Specification of all wastes which have been injected in the well, if available.

(2) The owner or operator of any facility containing one or more active hazardous waste injection wells must submit all available information pertaining to any release of hazardous waste or constituents from any active hazardous waste injection well at the facility.

(3) The owner or operator of any facility containing one or more active Class I hazardous waste injection wells must conduct such preliminary site investigations as are necessary to determine whether a release is occurring, has occurred, or is likely to have occurred.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 49 FR 20185, May 11, 1984; 52 FR 45797, Dec. 1, 1987; 52 FR 46963, Dec. 10, 1987; 58 FR 63897, Dec. 3, 1993; 75 FR 77288, Dec. 10, 2010]

§ 144.32

Signatories to permit applications and reports.

(a) Applications. All permit applications, except those submitted for Class II wells (see paragraph (b) of this section), shall be signed as follows:

(1) For a corporation: by a responsible corporate officer. For the purpose of this section, a responsible corporate officer means; (i) A president, secretary, treasurer, or vice president of the corporation in charge of a principal business function, or any other person who performs similar policy- or decisionmaking functions for the corporation, or (ii) the manager of one or more manufacturing, production, or operating facilities employing more than 250 persons or having gross annual sales or expenditures exceeding $25 million (in second-quarter 1980 dollars), if authority to sign documents has been assigned or delegated to the manager in accordance with corporate procedures.

Note:

EPA does not require specific assignments or delegations of authority to responsible corporate officers identified in § 144.32(a)(1)(i). The Agency will presume that these responsible corporate officers have the requisite authority to sign permit applications unless the corporation has notified the Director to the contrary. Corporate procedures governing authority to sign permit applications may provide for assignment or delegation to applicable corporate positions under § 144.32(a)(1)(ii) rather than to specific individuals.

 

(2) For a partnership or sole proprietorship: by a general partner or the proprietor, respectively; or

(3) For a municipality, State, Federal, or other public agency: by either a principal executive officer or ranking elected official. For purposes of this section, a principal executive officer of a Federal agency includes: (i) The chief executive officer of the agency, or (ii) a senior executive officer having responsibility for the overall operations of a principal geographic unit of the agency (e.g., Regional Administrators of EPA).

(b) Reports. All reports required by permits, other information requested by the Director, and all permit applications submitted for Class II wells under § 144.31 shall be signed by a person described in paragraph (a) of this section, or by a duly authorized representative of that person. A person is a duly authorized representative only if:

(1) The authorization is made in writing by a person described in paragraph (a) of this section;

(2) The authorization specifies either an individual or a position having responsibility for the overall operation of the regulated facility or activity, such as the position of plant manager, operator of a well or a well field, superintendent, or position of equivalent responsibility. (A duly authorized representative may thus be either a named individual or any individual occupying a named position); and

(3) The written authorization is submitted to the Director.

(c) Changes to authorization. If an authorization under paragraph (b) of this section is no longer accurate because a different individual or position has responsibility for the overall operation of the facility, a new authorization satisfying the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section must be submitted to the Director prior to or together with any reports, information, or applications to be signed by an authorized representative.

(d) Certification. Any person signing a document under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section shall make the following certification:

I CERTIFY UNDER PENALTY OF LAW THAT THIS DOCUMENT AND ALL ATTACHMENTS WERE PREPARED UNDER MY DIRECTION OR SUPERVISION IN ACCORDANCE WITH A SYSTEM DESIGNED TO ASSURE THAT QUALIFIED PERSONNEL PROPERLY GATHER AND EVALUATE THE INFORMATION SUBMITTED. BASED ON MY INQUIRY OF THE PERSON OR PERSONS WHO MANAGE THE SYSTEM, OR THOSE PERSONS DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR GATHERING THE INFORMATION, THE INFORMATION SUBMITTED IS, TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEF, TRUE, ACCURATE, AND COMPLETE. I AM AWARE THAT THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT PENALTIES FOR SUBMITTING FALSE INFORMATION, INCLUDING THE POSSIBILITY OF FINE AND IMPRISONMENT FOR KNOWING VIOLATIONS.

(Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.), Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.)

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 48 FR 39621, Sept. 1, 1983]

§ 144.33

Area permits.

(a) The Director may issue a permit on an area basis, rather than for each well individually, provided that the permit is for injection wells:

(1) Described and identified by location in permit application(s) if they are existing wells, except that the Director may accept a single description of wells with substantially the same characteristics;

(2) Within the same well field, facility site, reservoir, project, or similar unit in the same State;

(3) Operated by a single owner or operator; and

(4) Used to inject other than hazardous waste; and

(5) Other than Class VI wells.

(b) Area permits shall specify:

(1) The area within which underground injections are authorized, and

(2) The requirements for construction, monitoring, reporting, operation, and abandonment, for all wells authorized by the permit.

(c) The area permit may authorize the permittee to construct and operate, convert, or plug and abandon wells within the permit area provided:

(1) The permittee notifies the Director at such time as the permit requires;

(2) The additional well satisfies the criteria in paragraph (a) of this section and meets the requirements specified in the permit under paragraph (b) of this section; and

(3) The cumulative effects of drilling and operation of additional injection wells are considered by the Director during evaluation of the area permit application and are acceptable to the Director.

(d) If the Director determines that any well constructed pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section does not satisfy any of the requirements of paragraphs (c) (1) and (2) of this section the Director may modify the permit under § 144.39, terminate under § 144.40, or take enforcement action. If the Director determines that cumulative effects are unacceptable, the permit may be modified under § 144.39.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 75 FR 77288, Dec. 10, 2010]

§ 144.34

Emergency permits.

(a) Coverage. Notwithstanding any other provision of this part or part 124, the Director may temporarily permit a specific underground injection if:

(1) An imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons will result unless a temporary emergency permit is granted; or

(2) A substantial and irretrievable loss of oil or gas resources will occur unless a temporary emergency permit is granted to a Class II well; and

(i) Timely application for a permit could not practicably have been made; and

(ii) The injection will not result in the movement of fluids into underground sources of drinking water; or

(3) A substantial delay in production of oil or gas resources will occur unless a temporary emergency permit is granted to a new Class II well and the temporary authorization will not result in the movement of fluids into an underground source of drinking water.

(b) Requirements for issuance. (1) Any temporary permit under paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall be for no longer term than required to prevent the hazard.

(2) Any temporary permit under paragraph (a)(2) of this section shall be for no longer than 90 days, except that if a permit application has been submitted prior to the expiration of the 90-day period, the Director may extend the temporary permit until final action on the application.

(3) Any temporary permit under paragraph (a)(3) of this section shall be issued only after a complete permit application has been submitted and shall be effective until final action on the application.

(4) Notice of any temporary permit under this paragraph shall be published in accordance with § 124.11 within 10 days of the issuance of the permit.

(5) The temporary permit under this section may be either oral or written. If oral, it must be followed within 5 calendar days by a written temporary emergency permit.

(6) The Director shall condition the temporary permit in any manner he or she determines is necessary to ensure that the injection will not result in the movement of fluids into an underground source of drinking water.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 49 FR 20185, May 11, 1984]

§ 144.35

Effect of a permit.

(a) Except for Class II and III wells, compliance with a permit during its term constitutes compliance, for purposes of enforcement, with Part C of the SDWA. However, a permit may be modified, revoked and reissued, or terminated during its term for cause as set forth in §§ 144.39 and 144.40.

(b) The issuance of a permit does not convey any property rights of any sort, or any exclusive privilege.

(c) The issuance of a permit does not authorize any injury to persons or property or invasion of other private rights, or any infringement of State or local law or regulations.

§ 144.36

Duration of permits.

(a) Permits for Class I and V wells shall be effective for a fixed term not to exceed 10 years. UIC permits for Class II and III wells shall be issued for a period up to the operating life of the facility. UIC permits for Class VI wells shall be issued for the operating life of the facility and the post-injection site care period. The Director shall review each issued Class II, III, and VI well UIC permit at least once every 5 years to determine whether it should be modified, revoked and reissued, terminated or a minor modification made as provided in § 144.39, § 144.40, or § 144.41.

(b) Except as provided in § 144.37, the term of a permit shall not be extended by modification beyond the maximum duration specified in this section.

(c) The Director may issue any permit for a duration that is less than the full allowable term under this section.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 75 FR 77288, Dec. 10, 2010]

§ 144.37

Continuation of expiring permits.

(a) EPA permits. When EPA is the permit-issuing authority, the conditions of an expired permit continue in force under 5 U.S.C. 558(c) until the effective date of a new permit if:

(1) The permittee has submitted a timely application which is a complete application for a new permit; and

(2) The Regional Administrator, through no fault of the permittee does not issue a new permit with an effective date on or before the expiration date of the previous permit (for example, when issuance is impracticable due to time or resource constraints).

(b) Effect. Permits continued under this section remain fully effective and enforceable.

(c) Enforcement. When the permittee is not in compliance with the conditions of the expiring or expired permit the Regional Administrator may choose to do any or all of the following:

(1) Initiate enforcement action based upon the permit which has been continued;

(2) Issue a notice of intent to deny the new permit. If the permit is denied, the owner or operator would then be required to cease the activities authorized by the continued permit or be subject to enforcement action for operating without a permit;

(3) Issue a new permit under part 124 with appropriate conditions; or

(4) Take other actions authorized by these regulations.

(d) State continuation. An EPA issued permit does not continue in force beyond its time expiration date under Federal law if at that time a State is the permitting authority. A State authorized to administer the UIC program may continue either EPA or State-issued permits until the effective date of the new permits, if State law allows. Otherwise, the facility or activity is operating without a permit from the time of expiration of the old permit to the effective date of the State-issued new permit.

§ 144.38

Transfer of permits.

(a) Transfers by modification. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a permit may be transferred by the permittee to a new owner or operator only if the permit has been modified or revoked and reissued (under § 144.39(b)(2)), or a minor modification made (under § 144.41(d)), to identify the new permittee and incorporate such other requirements as may be necessary under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

(b) Automatic transfers. As an alternative to transfers under paragraph (a) of this section, any UIC permit for a well not injecting hazardous waste or injecting carbon dioxide for geologic sequestration may be automatically transferred to a new permittee if:

(1) The current permittee notifies the Director at least 30 days in advance of the proposed transfer date referred to in paragraph (b)(2) of this section;

(2) The notice includes a written agreement between the existing and new permittees containing a specific date for transfer or permit responsibility, coverage, and liability between them, and the notice demonstrates that the financial responsibility requirements of § 144.52(a)(7) will be met by the new permittee; and

(3) The Director does not notify the existing permittee and the proposed new permittee of his or her intent to modify or revoke and reissue the permit. A modification under this paragraph may also be a minor modification under § 144.41. If this notice is not received, the transfer is effective on the date specified in the agreement mentioned in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 75 FR 77288, Dec. 10, 2010]

§ 144.39

Modification or revocation and reisssuance of permits.

When the Director receives any information (for example, inspects the facility, receives information submitted by the permittee as required in the permit (see § 144.51 of this chapter), receives a request for modification or revocation and reissuance under § 124.5, or conducts a review of the permit file) he or she may determine whether or not one or more of the causes listed in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section for modification or revocation and reissuance or both exist. If cause exists, the Director may modify or revoke and reissue the permit accordingly, subject to the limitations of paragraph (c) of this section, and may request an updated application if necessary. When a permit is modified, only the conditions subject to modification are reopened. If a permit is revoked and reissued, the entire permit is reopened and subject to revision and the permit is reissued for a new term. See § 124.5(c)(2) of this chapter. If cause does not exist under this section or § 144.41 of this chapter, the Director shall not modify or revoke and reissue the permit. If a permit modification satisfies the criteria in § 144.41 for “minor modifications” the permit may be modified without a draft permit or public review. Otherwise, a draft permit must be prepared and other procedures in part 124 must be followed.

(a) Causes for modification. The following are causes for modification. For Class I hazardous waste injection wells, Class II, Class III or Class VI wells the following may be causes for revocation and reissuance as well as modification; and for all other wells the following may be cause for revocation or reissuance as well as modification when the permittee requests or agrees.

(1) Alterations. There are material and substantial alterations or additions to the permitted facility or activity which occurred after permit issuance which justify the application of permit conditions that are different or absent in the existing permit.

(2) Information. The Director has received information. Permits other than for Class II and III wells may be modified during their terms for this cause only if the information was not available at the time of permit issuance (other than revised regulations, guidance, or test methods) and would have justified the application of different permit conditions at the time of issuance. For UIC area permits (§ 144.33), this cause shall include any information indicating that cumulative effects on the environment are unacceptable.

(3) New regulations. The standards or regulations on which the permit was based have been changed by promulgation of new or amended standards or regulations or by judicial decision after the permit was issued. Permits other than for Class I hazardous waste injection wells, Class II, Class III or Class VI wells may be modified during their permit terms for this cause only as follows:

(i) For promulgation of amended standards or regulations, when:

(A) The permit condition requested to be modified was based on a promulgated part 146 regulation; and

(B) EPA has revised, withdrawn, or modified that portion of the regulation on which the permit condition was based, and

(C) A permittee requests modification in accordance with § 124.5 within ninety (90) days after Federal Register notice of the action on which the request is based.

(ii) For judicial decisions, a court of competent jurisdiction has remanded and stayed EPA promulgated regulations if the remand and stay concern that portion of the regulations on which the permit condition was based and a request is filed by the permittee in accordance with § 124.5 within ninety (90) days of judicial remand.

(4) Compliance schedules. The Director determines good cause exists for modification of a compliance schedule, such as an act of God, strike, flood, or materials shortage or other events over which the permittee has little or no control and for which there is no reasonably available remedy. See also § 144.41(c) (minor modifications).

(5) Basis for modification of Class VI permits. Additionally, for Class VI wells, whenever the Director determines that permit changes are necessary based on:

(i) Area of review reevaluations under § 146.84(e)(1) of this chapter;

(ii) Any amendments to the testing and monitoring plan under § 146.90(j) of this chapter;

(iii) Any amendments to the injection well plugging plan under § 146.92(c) of this chapter;

(iv) Any amendments to the post-injection site care and site closure plan under § 146.93(a)(3) of this chapter;

(v) Any amendments to the emergency and remedial response plan under § 146.94(d) of this chapter; or

(vi) A review of monitoring and/or testing results conducted in accordance with permit requirements.

(b) Causes for modification or revocation and reissuance. The following are causes to modify or, alternatively, revoke and reissue a permit:

(1) Cause exists for termination under § 144.40, and the Director determines that modification or revocation and reissuance is appropriate.

(2) The Director has received notification (as required in the permit, see § 144.41(d)) of a proposed transfer of the permit. A permit also may be modified to reflect a transfer after the effective date of an automatic transfer (§ 144.38(b)) but will not be revoked and reissued after the effective date of the transfer except upon the request of the new permittee.

(3) A determination that the waste being injected is a hazardous waste as defined in § 261.3 either because the definition has been revised, or because a previous determination has been changed.

(c) Facility siting. Suitability of the facility location will not be considered at the time of permit modification or revocation and reissuance unless new information or standards indicate that a threat to human health or the environment exists which was unknown at the time of permit issuance.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 53 FR 28147, July 26, 1988; 75 FR 77288, Dec. 10, 2010]

§ 144.40

Termination of permits.

(a) The Director may terminate a permit during its term, or deny a permit renewal application for the following causes:

(1) Noncompliance by the permittee with any condition of the permit;

(2) The permittee's failure in the application or during the permit issuance process to disclose fully all relevant facts, or the permittee's misrepresentation of any relevant facts at any time; or

(3) A determination that the permitted activity endangers human health or the environment and can only be regulated to acceptable levels by permit modification or termination;

(b) The Director shall follow the applicable procedures in part 124 in terminating any permit under this section.

§ 144.41

Minor modifications of permits.

Upon the consent of the permittee, the Director may modify a permit to make the corrections or allowances for changes in the permitted activity listed in this section, without following the procedures of part 124. Any permit modification not processed as a minor modification under this section must be made for cause and with part 124 draft permit and public notice as required in § 144.39. Minor modifications may only:

(a) Correct typographical errors;

(b) Require more frequent monitoring or reporting by the permittee;

(c) Change an interim compliance date in a schedule of compliance, provided the new date is not more than 120 days after the date specified in the existing permit and does not interfere with attainment of the final compliance date requirement; or

(d) Allow for a change in ownership or operational control of a facility where the Director determines that no other change in the permit is necessary, provided that a written agreement containing a specific date for transfer of permit responsibility, coverage, and liability between the current and new permittees has been submitted to the Director.

(e) Change quantities or types of fluids injected which are within the capacity of the facility as permitted and, in the judgment of the Director, would not interfere with the operation of the facility or its ability to meet conditions described in the permit and would not change its classification.

(f) Change construction requirements approved by the Director pursuant to § 144.52(a)(1) (establishing UIC permit conditions), provided that any such alteration shall comply with the requirements of this part and part 146.

(g) Amend a plugging and abandonment plan which has been updated under § 144.52(a)(6).

(h) Amend a Class VI injection well testing and monitoring plan, plugging plan, post-injection site care and site closure plan, or emergency and remedial response plan where the modifications merely clarify or correct the plan, as determined by the Director.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 75 FR 77289, Dec. 10, 2010]

Subpart E—Permit Conditions

§ 144.51

Conditions applicable to all permits.

The following conditions apply to all UIC permits. All conditions applicable to all permits shall be incorporated into the permits either expressly or by reference. If incorporated by reference, a specific citation to these regulations (or the corresponding approved State regulations) must be given in the permit.

(a) Duty to comply. The permittee must comply with all conditions of this permit. Any permit noncompliance constitutes a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act and is grounds for enforcement action; for permit termination, revocation and reissuance, or modification; or for denial of a permit renewal application; except that the permittee need not comply with the provisions of this permit to the extent and for the duration such noncompliance is authorized in an emergency permit under § 144.34.

(b) Duty to reapply. If the permittee wishes to continue an activity regulated by this permit after the expiration date of this permit, the permittee must apply for and obtain a new permit.

(c) Need to halt or reduce activity not a defense. It shall not be a defense for a permittee in an enforcement action that it would have been necessary to halt or reduce the permitted activity in order to maintain compliance with the conditions of this permit.

(d) Duty to mitigate. The permittee shall take all reasonable steps to minimize or correct any adverse impact on the environment resulting from noncompliance with this permit.

(e) Proper operation and maintenance. The permittee shall at all times properly operate and maintain all facilities and systems of treatment and control (and related appurtenances) which are installed or used by the permittee to achieve compliance with the conditions of this permit. Proper operation and maintenance includes effective performance, adequate funding, adequate operator staffing and training, and adequate laboratory and process controls, including appropriate quality assurance procedures. This provision requires the operation of back-up or auxiliary facilities or similar systems only when necessary to achieve compliance with the conditions of the permit.

(f) Permit actions. This permit may be modified, revoked and reissued, or terminated for cause. The filing of a request by the permittee for a permit modification, revocation and reissuance, or termination, or a notification of planned changes or anticipated noncompliance, does not stay any permit condition.

(g) Property rights. This permit does not convey any property rights of any sort, or any exclusive privilege.

(h) Duty to provide information. The permittee shall furnish to the Director, within a time specified, any information which the Director may request to determine whether cause exists for modifying, revoking and reissuing, or terminating this permit, or to determine compliance with this permit. The permittee shall also furnish to the Director, upon request, copies of records required to be kept by this permit.

(i) Inspection and entry. The permittee shall allow the Director, or an authorized representative, upon the presentation of credentials and other documents as may be required by law, to:

(1) Enter upon the permittee's premises where a regulated facility or activity is located or conducted, or where records must be kept under the conditions of this permit;

(2) Have access to and copy, at reasonable times, any records that must be kept under the conditions of this permit;

(3) Inspect at reasonable times any facilities, equipment (including monitoring and control equipment), practices, or operations regulated or required under this permit; and

(4) Sample or monitor at reasonable times, for the purposes of assuring permit compliance or as otherwise authorized by the SDWA, any substances or parameters at any location.

(j) Monitoring and records. (1) Samples and measurements taken for the purpose of monitoring shall be representative of the monitored activity.

(2) The permittee shall retain records of all monitoring information, including the following:

(i) Calibration and maintenance records and all original strip chart recordings for continuous monitoring instrumentation, copies of all reports required by this permit, and records of all data used to complete the application for this permit, for a period of at least 3 years from the date of the sample, measurement, report, or application. This period may be extended by request of the Director at any time; and

(ii) The nature and composition of all injected fluids until three years after the completion of any plugging and abandonment procedures specified under § 144.52(a)(6), or under part 146 subpart G as appropriate. The Director may require the owner or operator to deliver the records to the Director at the conclusion of the retention period. For EPA administered programs, the owner or operator shall continue to retain the records after the three year retention period unless he delivers the records to the Regional Administrator or obtains written approval from the Regional Administrator to discard the records.

(3) Records of monitoring information shall include:

(i) The date, exact place, and time of sampling or measurements;

(ii) The individual(s) who performed the sampling or measurements;

(iii) The date(s) analyses were performed;

(iv) The individual(s) who performed the analyses;

IV. Operating and closing storage facilities
Monitoring, reporting and verification

Summary

The USA Underground Injection Rules contain a range of requirements related to monitoring, testing, recordkeeping and reporting.

Applicants for Class VI well permits are required under § 146.82 of the Rules to provide a range of documents and other information with the application including, among other things, a proposed testing and monitoring plan prepared in accordance with § 146.90.

§ 146.90 requires owners and operators to prepare, maintain and comply with an approved testing and monitoring plan, in order to verify that underground drinking water sources are not endangered. This requirement is directly enforceable, regardless of whether it is included as an express permit condition.

Testing and monitoring activities must in turn include, among other things:

  1. analysis of the CO2 stream;
  2. corrosion monitoring;
  3. periodic monitoring of groundwater quality and geochemical changes above the confining zone; and
  4. tracking of the extent of the CO2 plume.

The Director (as defined in § 146.3) may also require surface air and/or soil gas monitoring to detect movement of CO2 that could endanger underground drinking water sources.

Testing and monitoring plans must be reviewed at least every five years, and either an amended plan submitted or evidence provided that no such amendment is needed.

§ 146.91 requires well owners and operators to submit the following reports for each permitted Class VI well:

  1. semi-annual reports containing information such as any changes to the CO2 stream, average injection flow rates, volumes and pressures, monitoring results under § 146.90, and any shut-off events occurring during the relevant period and the responses taken; and
  2. reports, within thirty days of the relevant event, setting out the results of mechanical integrity testing, well workovers and other well testing.

Owners and operators must also report, within twenty fours of it occurring, each of the following:

  1. evidence being obtained that injected CO2 or the associated pressure front is endangering underground drinking water sources;
  2. any non-compliance with permit conditions or malfunctioning of the injection system that may cause fluid migration into or between underground drinking water sources;
  3. any triggering of a shut-off system;
  4. any failure to maintain mechanical integrity (as defined in § 146.89); and
  5. if required by the director, any release of CO2 to the atmosphere or biosphere.

All such reports, as well as other submissions and notifications required under § 146.91, must be submitted to the Federal EPA even where the relevant State has primary enforcement responsibility (i.e. primacy of State regulations in accordance with Part 145).

§ 146.91(f) imposes on owners and operators a range of record-keeping requirements.

Under § 144.51(j), owners and operators of injection wells may be required to establish and maintain records, make reports, conduct monitoring and provide other information as necessary to verify compliance with Part C of the Safe Drinking Water Act and its implementing regulations.

§ 144.51(j) provides that all permits to operate Class VI injection wells are subject to, among other things, a duty to retain records of all monitoring information, including the following:

  1. calibration and maintenance records;
  2. copies of all reports required under the permit;
  3. all data used to complete the application for the permit; and
  4. the nature and composition of all injected fluids,

until three years after the completion of well plugging and abandonment procedures.

Operators may be required to deliver the records to the Director at the conclusion of the retention period.

§ 144.51(l) imposes a range of reporting obligations on permit holders, including obligations to:

  1. to notify the Director as soon as possible of any planned physical alterations or additions to the permitted facility, including any changes which may result in noncompliance with the permit;
  2. report monitoring results at the intervals specified in this permit; and
  3. report any noncompliance which may endanger health or the environment, and other instances of non-compliance not otherwise reported by the permit holder.

Owners and operators of Class VI injection wells must, during well drilling and construction, run certain logs, surveys and tests, and prepare records and reports, in accordance with the requirements set out in § 146.87. Well owners and operators must also provide the Director with the opportunity to witness all logging and testing undertaken.

Finally, the USA Underground Injection Rules also impose quarterly and annual reporting obligations on the Director, under § 144.8. These reports are to address non-compliance by permit holders, including in relation to construction requirements, monitoring and reporting, and breaches of other permit requirements.

Article/Section No.

§ 144.8
§ 144.17
§ 144.51(j)
§ 144.51(l)
§ 146.82
§ 146.87
§ 146.90
§ 146.91

Instrument Text

§ 144.8

Noncompliance and program reporting by the Director.

The Director shall prepare quarterly and annual reports as detailed below. When the State is the permit-issuing authority, the State Director shall submit any reports required under this section to the Regional Administrator. When EPA is the permit-issuing authority, the Regional Administrator shall submit any report required under this section to EPA Headquarters.

(a) Quarterly reports. The Director shall submit quarterly narrative reports for major facilities as follows:

(1) Format. The report shall use the following format:

(i) Provide an alphabetized list of permittees. When two or more permittees have the same name, the lowest permit number shall be entered first.

(ii) For each entry on the list, include the following information in the following order:

(A) Name, location, and permit number of the noncomplying permittees.

(B) A brief description and date of each instance of noncompliance for that permittee. Instances of noncompliance may include one or more the kinds set forth in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. When a permittee has noncompliance of more than one kind, combine the information into a single entry for each such permittee.

(C) The date(s) and a brief description of the action(s) taken by the Director to ensure compliance.

(D) Status of the instance(s) of noncompliance with the date of the review of the status or the date of resolution.

(E) Any details which tend to explain or mitigate the instance(s) of noncompliance.

(2) Instances of noncompliance to be reported. Any instances of noncompliance within the following categories shall be reported in successive reports until the noncompliance is reported as resolved. Once noncompliance is reported as resolved it need not appear in subsequent reports.

(i) Failure to complete construction elements. When the permittee has failed to complete, by the date specified in the permit, an element of a compliance schedule involving either planning for construction or a construction step (for example, begin construction, attain operation level); and the permittee has not returned to compliance by accomplishing the required elements of the schedule within 30 days from the date a compliance schedule report is due under the permit.

(ii) Modifications to schedules of compliance. When a schedule of compliance in the permit has been modified under §§ 144.39 or 144.41 because of the permittee's noncompliance.

(iii) Failure to complete or provide compliance schedule or monitoring reports. When the permittee has failed to complete or provide a report required in a permit compliance schedule (for example, progress report or notice of noncompliance or compliance) or a monitoring report; and the permittee has not submitted the complete report within 30 days from the date it is due under the permit for compliance schedules, or from the date specified in the permit for monitoring reports.

(iv) Deficient reports. When the required reports provided by the permittee are so deficient as to cause misunderstanding by the Director and thus impede the review of the status of compliance.

(v) Noncompliance with other permit requirements. Noncompliance shall be reported in the following circumstances:

(A) Whenever the permittee has violated a permit requirement (other than reported under paragraph (a)(2) (i) or (ii) of this section), and has not returned to compliance within 45 days from the date reporting of noncompliance was due under the permit; or

(B) When the Director determines that a pattern of noncompliance exists for a major facility permittee over the most recent four consecutive reporting periods. This pattern includes any violation of the same requirement in two consecutive reporting periods, and any violation of one or more requirements in each of four consecutive reporting periods; or

(C) When the Director determines significant permit noncompliance or other significant event has occurred, such as a migration of fluids into a USDW.

(vi) All other. Statistical information shall be reported quarterly on all other instances of noncompliance by major facilities with permit requirements not otherwise reported under paragraph (a) of this section.

(b) Annual reports—(1) Annual noncompliance report. Statistical reports shall be submitted by the Director on nonmajor UIC permittees indicating the total number reviewed, the number of noncomplying nonmajor permittees, the number of enforcement actions, and number of permit modifications extending compliance deadlines. The statistical information shall be organized to follow the types of noncompliance listed in paragraph (a) of this section.

(2) For State-administered UIC Programs only. In addition to the annual noncompliance report, the State Director shall:

(i) Submit each year a program report to the Administrator (in a manner and form prescribed by the Administrator) consisting of:

(A) A detailed description of the State's implementation of its program;

(B) Suggested changes, if any to the program description (see § 145.23(f)) which are necessary to reflect more accurately the State's progress in issuing permits;

(C) An updated inventory of active underground injection operations in the State.

(ii) In addition to complying with the requirements of paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the Director shall provide the Administrator, on February 28th and August 31st of each of the first two years of program operation, the information required in 40 CFR 146.15, 146.25, and 146.35.

(iii) All Class VI program reports shall be consistent with reporting requirements set forth in § 146.91 of this chapter.

(c) Schedule. (1) For all quarterly reports. On the last working day of May, August, November, and February, the State Director shall submit to the Regional Administrator information concerning noncompliance with permit requirements by major facilities in the State in accordance with the following schedule. The Regional Administrator shall prepare and submit information for EPA-issued permits to EPA Headquarters in accordance with the same schedule.

Quarters Covered by Reports on Noncompliance by Major Facilities

[Date for completion of reports]

January, February, and March

1 May 31

April, May, and June

1 Aug. 31

July, August, and September

1 Nov. 30

October, November, and December

1 Feb. 28

1 Reports must be made available to the public for inspection and copying on this date.

(2) For all annual reports. The period for annual reports shall be for the calendar year ending December 31, with reports completed and available to the public no more than 60 days later.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 75 FR 77287, Dec. 10, 2010]

[…]

§ 144.17

Records.

The Director or the Administrator may require, by written notice on a selective well-by-well basis, an owner or operator of an injection well to establish and maintain records, make reports, conduct monitoring, and provide other information as is deemed necessary to determine whether the owner or operator has acted or is acting in compliance with Part C of the SDWA or its implementing regulations.

[58 FR 63895, Dec. 3, 1993]

[…]

Subpart E—Permit Conditions

§ 144.51

Conditions applicable to all permits.

The following conditions apply to all UIC permits. All conditions applicable to all permits shall be incorporated into the permits either expressly or by reference. If incorporated by reference, a specific citation to these regulations (or the corresponding approved State regulations) must be given in the permit.

[…]

(j) Monitoring and records. (1) Samples and measurements taken for the purpose of monitoring shall be representative of the monitored activity.

(2) The permittee shall retain records of all monitoring information, including the following:

(i) Calibration and maintenance records and all original strip chart recordings for continuous monitoring instrumentation, copies of all reports required by this permit, and records of all data used to complete the application for this permit, for a period of at least 3 years from the date of the sample, measurement, report, or application. This period may be extended by request of the Director at any time; and

(ii) The nature and composition of all injected fluids until three years after the completion of any plugging and abandonment procedures specified under § 144.52(a)(6), or under part 146 subpart G as appropriate. The Director may require the owner or operator to deliver the records to the Director at the conclusion of the retention period. For EPA administered programs, the owner or operator shall continue to retain the records after the three year retention period unless he delivers the records to the Regional Administrator or obtains written approval from the Regional Administrator to discard the records.

(3) Records of monitoring information shall include:

(i) The date, exact place, and time of sampling or measurements;

(ii) The individual(s) who performed the sampling or measurements;

(iii) The date(s) analyses were performed;

(iv) The individual(s) who performed the analyses;

(v) The analytical techniques or methods used; and

(vi) The results of such analyses.

(4) Owners or operators of Class VI wells shall retain records as specified in subpart H of part 146, including §§ 146.84(g), 146.91(f), 146.92(d), 146.93(f), and 146.93(h) of this chapter.

[…]

(l) Reporting requirements—(1) Planned changes. The permittee shall give notice to the Director as soon as possible of any planned physical alterations or additions to the permitted facility.

(2) Anticipated noncompliance. The permittee shall give advance notice to the Director of any planned changes in the permitted facility or activity which may result in noncompliance with permit requirements.

(3) Transfers. This permit is not transferable to any person except after notice to the Director. The Director may require modification or revocation and reissuance of the permit to change the name of the permittee and incorporate such other requirements as may be necessary under the Safe Drinking Water Act. (See § 144.38; in some cases, modification or revocation and reissuance is mandatory.)

(4) Monitoring reports. Monitoring results shall be reported at the intervals specified elsewhere in this permit.

(5) Compliance schedules. Reports of compliance or noncompliance with, or any progress reports on, interim and final requirements contained in any compliance schedule of this permit shall be submitted no later than 30 days following each schedule date.

(6) Twenty-four hour reporting. The permittee shall report any noncompliance which may endanger health or the environment, including:

(i) Any monitoring or other information which indicates that any contaminant may cause an endangerment to a USDW; or

(ii) Any noncompliance with a permit condition or malfunction of the injection system which may cause fluid migration into or between USDWs.

Any information shall be provided orally within 24 hours from the time the permittee becomes aware of the circumstances. A written submission shall also be provided within 5 days of the time the permittee becomes aware of the circumstances. The written submission shall contain a description of the noncompliance and its cause, the period of noncompliance, including exact dates and times, and if the noncompliance has not been corrected, the anticipated time it is expected to continue; and steps taken or planned to reduce, eliminate, and prevent reoccurrence of the noncompliance.

(7) Other noncompliance. The permittee shall report all instances of noncompliance not reported under paragraphs (l) (4), (5), and (6) of this section, at the time monitoring reports are submitted. The reports shall contain the information listed in paragraph (l)(6) of this section.

(8) Other information. Where the permittee becomes aware that it failed to submit any relevant facts in a permit application, or submitted incorrect information in a permit application or in any report to the Director, it shall promptly submit such facts or information.

[…]

§ 146.82

Required Class VI permit information.

This section sets forth the information which must be considered by the Director in authorizing Class VI wells. For converted Class I, Class II, or Class V experimental wells, certain maps, cross-sections, tabulations of wells within the area of review and other data may be included in the application by reference provided they are current, readily available to the Director, and sufficiently identified to be retrieved. In cases where EPA issues the permit, all the information in this section must be submitted to the Regional Administrator.

(a) Prior to the issuance of a permit for the construction of a new Class VI well or the conversion of an existing Class I, Class II, or Class V well to a Class VI well, the owner or operator shall submit, pursuant to § 146.91(e), and the Director shall consider the following:

[…]

(15) Proposed testing and monitoring plan required by § 146.90;

[…]

§ 146.87

Logging, sampling, and testing prior to injection well operation.

(a) During the drilling and construction of a Class VI injection well, the owner or operator must run appropriate logs, surveys and tests to determine or verify the depth, thickness, porosity, permeability, and lithology of, and the salinity of any formation fluids in all relevant geologic formations to ensure conformance with the injection well construction requirements under § 146.86 and to establish accurate baseline data against which future measurements may be compared. The owner or operator must submit to the Director a descriptive report prepared by a knowledgeable log analyst that includes an interpretation of the results of such logs and tests. At a minimum, such logs and tests must include:

(1) Deviation checks during drilling on all holes constructed by drilling a pilot hole which is enlarged by reaming or another method. Such checks must be at sufficiently frequent intervals to determine the location of the borehole and to ensure that vertical avenues for fluid movement in the form of diverging holes are not created during drilling; and

(2) Before and upon installation of the surface casing:

(i) Resistivity, spontaneous potential, and caliper logs before the casing is installed; and

(ii) A cement bond and variable density log to evaluate cement quality radially, and a temperature log after the casing is set and cemented.

(3) Before and upon installation of the long string casing:

(i) Resistivity, spontaneous potential, porosity, caliper, gamma ray, fracture finder logs, and any other logs the Director requires for the given geology before the casing is installed; and

(ii) A cement bond and variable density log, and a temperature log after the casing is set and cemented.

(4) A series of tests designed to demonstrate the internal and external mechanical integrity of injection wells, which may include:

(i) A pressure test with liquid or gas;

(ii) A tracer survey such as oxygen-activation logging;

(iii) A temperature or noise log;

(iv) A casing inspection log; and

(5) Any alternative methods that provide equivalent or better information and that are required by and/or approved of by the Director.

(b) The owner or operator must take whole cores or sidewall cores of the injection zone and confining system and formation fluid samples from the injection zone(s), and must submit to the Director a detailed report prepared by a log analyst that includes: Well log analyses (including well logs), core analyses, and formation fluid sample information. The Director may accept information on cores from nearby wells if the owner or operator can demonstrate that core retrieval is not possible and that such cores are representative of conditions at the well. The Director may require the owner or operator to core other formations in the borehole.

(c) The owner or operator must record the fluid temperature, pH, conductivity, reservoir pressure, and static fluid level of the injection zone(s).

(d) At a minimum, the owner or operator must determine or calculate the following information concerning the injection and confining zone(s):

(1) Fracture pressure;

(2) Other physical and chemical characteristics of the injection and confining zone(s); and

(3) Physical and chemical characteristics of the formation fluids in the injection zone(s).

(e) Upon completion, but prior to operation, the owner or operator must conduct the following tests to verify hydrogeologic characteristics of the injection zone(s):

(1) A pressure fall-off test; and,

(2) A pump test; or

(3) Injectivity tests.

(f) The owner or operator must provide the Director with the opportunity to witness all logging and testing by this subpart. The owner or operator must submit a schedule of such activities to the Director 30 days prior to conducting the first test and submit any changes to the schedule 30 days prior to the next scheduled test.

[…]
§ 146.90

Testing and monitoring requirements.

The owner or operator of a Class VI well must prepare, maintain, and comply with a testing and monitoring plan to verify that the geologic sequestration project is operating as permitted and is not endangering USDWs. The requirement to maintain and implement an approved plan is directly enforceable regardless of whether the requirement is a condition of the permit. The testing and monitoring plan must be submitted with the permit application, for Director approval, and must include a description of how the owner or operator will meet the requirements of this section, including accessing sites for all necessary monitoring and testing during the life of the project. Testing and monitoring associated with geologic sequestration projects must, at a minimum, include:

(a) Analysis of the carbon dioxide stream with sufficient frequency to yield data representative of its chemical and physical characteristics;

(b) Installation and use, except during well workovers as defined in § 146.88(d), of continuous recording devices to monitor injection pressure, rate, and volume; the pressure on the annulus between the tubing and the long string casing; and the annulus fluid volume added;

(c) Corrosion monitoring of the well materials for loss of mass, thickness, cracking, pitting, and other signs of corrosion, which must be performed on a quarterly basis to ensure that the well components meet the minimum standards for material strength and performance set forth in § 146.86(b), by:

(1) Analyzing coupons of the well construction materials placed in contact with the carbon dioxide stream; or

(2) Routing the carbon dioxide stream through a loop constructed with the material used in the well and inspecting the materials in the loop; or

(3) Using an alternative method approved by the Director;

(d) Periodic monitoring of the ground water quality and geochemical changes above the confining zone(s) that may be a result of carbon dioxide movement through the confining zone(s) or additional identified zones including:

(1) The location and number of monitoring wells based on specific information about the geologic sequestration project, including injection rate and volume, geology, the presence of artificial penetrations, and other factors; and

(2) The monitoring frequency and spatial distribution of monitoring wells based on baseline geochemical data that has been collected under § 146.82(a)(6) and on any modeling results in the area of review evaluation required by § 146.84(c).

(e) A demonstration of external mechanical integrity pursuant to § 146.89(c) at least once per year until the injection well is plugged; and, if required by the Director, a casing inspection log pursuant to requirements at § 146.89(d) at a frequency established in the testing and monitoring plan;

(f) A pressure fall-off test at least once every five years unless more frequent testing is required by the Director based on site-specific information;

(g) Testing and monitoring to track the extent of the carbon dioxide plume and the presence or absence of elevated pressure (e.g., the pressure front) by using:

(1) Direct methods in the injection zone(s); and,

(2) Indirect methods (e.g., seismic, electrical, gravity, or electromagnetic surveys and/or down-hole carbon dioxide detection tools), unless the Director determines, based on site-specific geology, that such methods are not appropriate;

(h) The Director may require surface air monitoring and/or soil gas monitoring to detect movement of carbon dioxide that could endanger a USDW.

(1) Design of Class VI surface air and/or soil gas monitoring must be based on potential risks to USDWs within the area of review;

(2) The monitoring frequency and spatial distribution of surface air monitoring and/or soil gas monitoring must be decided using baseline data, and the monitoring plan must describe how the proposed monitoring will yield useful information on the area of review delineation and/or compliance with standards under § 144.12 of this chapter;

(3) If an owner or operator demonstrates that monitoring employed under §§ 98.440 to 98.449 of this chapter (Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) accomplishes the goals of paragraphs (h)(1) and (2) of this section, and meets the requirements pursuant to § 146.91(c)(5), a Director that requires surface air/soil gas monitoring must approve the use of monitoring employed under §§ 98.440 to 98.449 of this chapter. Compliance with §§ 98.440 to 98.449 of this chapter pursuant to this provision is considered a condition of the Class VI permit;

(i) Any additional monitoring, as required by the Director, necessary to support, upgrade, and improve computational modeling of the area of review evaluation required under § 146.84(c) and to determine compliance with standards under § 144.12 of this chapter;

(j) The owner or operator shall periodically review the testing and monitoring plan to incorporate monitoring data collected under this subpart, operational data collected under § 146.88, and the most recent area of review reevaluation performed under § 146.84(e). In no case shall the owner or operator review the testing and monitoring plan less often than once every five years. Based on this review, the owner or operator shall submit an amended testing and monitoring plan or demonstrate to the Director that no amendment to the testing and monitoring plan is needed. Any amendments to the testing and monitoring plan must be approved by the Director, must be incorporated into the permit, and are subject to the permit modification requirements at § 144.39 or § 144.41 of this chapter, as appropriate. Amended plans or demonstrations shall be submitted to the Director as follows:

(1) Within one year of an area of review reevaluation;

(2) Following any significant changes to the facility, such as addition of monitoring wells or newly permitted injection wells within the area of review, on a schedule determined by the Director; or

(3) When required by the Director.

(k) A quality assurance and surveillance plan for all testing and monitoring requirements.

§ 146.91

Reporting requirements.

The owner or operator must, at a minimum, provide, as specified in paragraph (e) of this section, the following reports to the Director, for each permitted Class VI well:

(a) Semi-annual reports containing:

(1) Any changes to the physical, chemical, and other relevant characteristics of the carbon dioxide stream from the proposed operating data;

(2) Monthly average, maximum, and minimum values for injection pressure, flow rate and volume, and annular pressure;

(3) A description of any event that exceeds operating parameters for annulus pressure or injection pressure specified in the permit;

(4) A description of any event which triggers a shut-off device required pursuant to § 146.88(e) and the response taken;

(5) The monthly volume and/or mass of the carbon dioxide stream injected over the reporting period and the volume injected cumulatively over the life of the project;

(6) Monthly annulus fluid volume added; and

(7) The results of monitoring prescribed under § 146.90.

(b) Report, within 30 days, the results of:

(1) Periodic tests of mechanical integrity;

(2) Any well workover; and,

(3) Any other test of the injection well conducted by the permittee if required by the Director.

(c) Report, within 24 hours:

(1) Any evidence that the injected carbon dioxide stream or associated pressure front may cause an endangerment to a USDW;

(2) Any noncompliance with a permit condition, or malfunction of the injection system, which may cause fluid migration into or between USDWs;

(3) Any triggering of a shut-off system (i.e., down-hole or at the surface);

(4) Any failure to maintain mechanical integrity; or.

(5) Pursuant to compliance with the requirement at § 146.90(h) for surface air/soil gas monitoring or other monitoring technologies, if required by the Director, any release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere or biosphere.

(d) Owners or operators must notify the Director in writing 30 days in advance of:

(1) Any planned well workover;

(2) Any planned stimulation activities, other than stimulation for formation testing conducted under § 146.82; and

(3) Any other planned test of the injection well conducted by the permittee.

(e) Regardless of whether a State has primary enforcement responsibility, owners or operators must submit all required reports, submittals, and notifications under subpart H of this part to EPA in an electronic format approved by EPA.

(f) Records shall be retained by the owner or operator as follows:

(1) All data collected under § 146.82 for Class VI permit applications shall be retained throughout the life of the geologic sequestration project and for 10 years following site closure.

(2) Data on the nature and composition of all injected fluids collected pursuant to § 146.90(a) shall be retained until 10 years after site closure. The Director may require the owner or operator to deliver the records to the Director at the conclusion of the retention period.

(3) Monitoring data collected pursuant to § 146.90(b) through (i) shall be retained for 10 years after it is collected.

(4) Well plugging reports, post-injection site care data, including, if appropriate, data and information used to develop the demonstration of the alternative post-injection site care timeframe, and the site closure report collected pursuant to requirements at §§ 146.93(f) and (h) shall be retained for 10 years following site closure.

(5) The Director has authority to require the owner or operator to retain any records required in this subpart for longer than 10 years after site closure.

Inspections

Summary

§ 144.51(i) of the USA Underground Injection Rules provides that all permits to operate Class VI injection wells are subject to, among other things, a duty to allow the Director (as defined in § 144.3) or an authorised representative to:

  1. enter premises where regulated facilities or activities are located or conducted, or records are kept;
  2. access and copy records required to be kept;
  3. inspect regulated facilities, equipment, practices and operations; and
  4. undertake sampling and monitoring, in order to assure compliance with permit conditions.

Under § 146.87(f), owners and operators of Class VI wells must also provide the Director with the opportunity to witness all logging and testing undertaken in accordance with that section. 

Article/Section No.

§ 144.51(i)
§ 146.87(f)

Instrument Text

Subpart E—Permit Conditions

§ 144.51

Conditions applicable to all permits.

The following conditions apply to all UIC permits. All conditions applicable to all permits shall be incorporated into the permits either expressly or by reference. If incorporated by reference, a specific citation to these regulations (or the corresponding approved State regulations) must be given in the permit.

[…]

(i) Inspection and entry. The permittee shall allow the Director, or an authorized representative, upon the presentation of credentials and other documents as may be required by law, to:

(1) Enter upon the permittee's premises where a regulated facility or activity is located or conducted, or where records must be kept under the conditions of this permit;

(2) Have access to and copy, at reasonable times, any records that must be kept under the conditions of this permit;

(3) Inspect at reasonable times any facilities, equipment (including monitoring and control equipment), practices, or operations regulated or required under this permit; and

(4) Sample or monitor at reasonable times, for the purposes of assuring permit compliance or as otherwise authorized by the SDWA, any substances or parameters at any location.

[…]

§ 146.87

Logging, sampling, and testing prior to injection well operation.

[…]

(f) The owner or operator must provide the Director with the opportunity to witness all logging and testing by this subpart. The owner or operator must submit a schedule of such activities to the Director 30 days prior to conducting the first test and submit any changes to the schedule 30 days prior to the next scheduled test.

Corrective and remedial measures

Summary

Application requirements

Applicants for Class VI well permits are required under § 146.82 of the USA Underground Injection Rules to provide a range of documents and other information with the application, including, among other things:

  1. the proposed area of review (the region surrounding the CO2 storage project in which underground drinking water sources may be endangered) and corrective action plan, prepared in accordance with § 146.84; and
  2. a proposed emergency and remedial response plan prepared in accordance with § 146.95.

Each of these plans must be approved by the Director (as defined in § 144.3), and the requirement to prepare them is directly enforceable regardless of whether it is included as an express condition of the permit

Area of review and corrective action

Owners and operators of Class VI wells are required under § 146.84(d) to perform corrective action on all wells in the area of review determined to need such action, using methods designed to prevent the movement of fluid into or between underground drinking water sources.

At least every five years the area of review and wells requiring corrective action must be re-assessed, corrective action performed as required, and an amended area of review and corrective action plan submitted (or evidence provided demonstrating that no such revision is required).

Emergency and remedial response

The emergency and remedial response plan prepared in accordance with § 146.95 must also account for the area of review as discussed above.

If there is evidence that injected CO2 or the associated pressure front may endanger underground drinking water sources, the relevant owner or operator must:

  1. immediately cease injection;
  2. take all steps necessary to identify and characterise any release;
  3. notify the Director within twenty four hours; and
  4. implement the approved emergency and remedial response plan.

Injection may resume prior to remediation if it can be demonstrated that such resumption will not endanger underground drinking water sources.

Emergency and remedial response plans must also be reviewed at least every five years, and either an amended plan submitted or evidence provided that no such amendment is needed.

Article/Section No.

§ 146.82
§ 146.84
§ 146.94

Instrument Text

§ 146.82

Required Class VI permit information.

This section sets forth the information which must be considered by the Director in authorizing Class VI wells. For converted Class I, Class II, or Class V experimental wells, certain maps, cross-sections, tabulations of wells within the area of review and other data may be included in the application by reference provided they are current, readily available to the Director, and sufficiently identified to be retrieved. In cases where EPA issues the permit, all the information in this section must be submitted to the Regional Administrator.

(a) Prior to the issuance of a permit for the construction of a new Class VI well or the conversion of an existing Class I, Class II, or Class V well to a Class VI well, the owner or operator shall submit, pursuant to § 146.91(e), and the Director shall consider the following:

[…]

(13) Proposed area of review and corrective action plan that meets the requirements under § 146.84;

[…]

(19) Proposed emergency and remedial response plan required by § 146.94(a);

[…]

§ 146.84

Area of review and corrective action.

(a) The area of review is the region surrounding the geologic sequestration project where USDWs may be endangered by the injection activity. The area of review is delineated using computational modeling that accounts for the physical and chemical properties of all phases of the injected carbon dioxide stream and is based on available site characterization, monitoring, and operational data.

(b) The owner or operator of a Class VI well must prepare, maintain, and comply with a plan to delineate the area of review for a proposed geologic sequestration project, periodically reevaluate the delineation, and perform corrective action that meets the requirements of this section and is acceptable to the Director. The requirement to maintain and implement an approved plan is directly enforceable regardless of whether the requirement is a condition of the permit. As a part of the permit application for approval by the Director, the owner or operator must submit an area of review and corrective action plan that includes the following information:

(1) The method for delineating the area of review that meets the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section, including the model to be used, assumptions that will be made, and the site characterization data on which the model will be based;

(2) A description of:

(i) The minimum fixed frequency, not to exceed five years, at which the owner or operator proposes to reevaluate the area of review;

(ii) The monitoring and operational conditions that would warrant a reevaluation of the area of review prior to the next scheduled reevaluation as determined by the minimum fixed frequency established in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section.

(iii) How monitoring and operational data (e.g., injection rate and pressure) will be used to inform an area of review reevaluation; and

(iv) How corrective action will be conducted to meet the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section, including what corrective action will be performed prior to injection and what, if any, portions of the area of review will have corrective action addressed on a phased basis and how the phasing will be determined; how corrective action will be adjusted if there are changes in the area of review; and how site access will be guaranteed for future corrective action.

(c) Owners or operators of Class VI wells must perform the following actions to delineate the area of review and identify all wells that require corrective action:

(1) Predict, using existing site characterization, monitoring and operational data, and computational modeling, the projected lateral and vertical migration of the carbon dioxide plume and formation fluids in the subsurface from the commencement of injection activities until the plume movement ceases, until pressure differentials sufficient to cause the movement of injected fluids or formation fluids into a USDW are no longer present, or until the end of a fixed time period as determined by the Director. The model must:

(i) Be based on detailed geologic data collected to characterize the injection zone(s), confining zone(s) and any additional zones; and anticipated operating data, including injection pressures, rates, and total volumes over the proposed life of the geologic sequestration project;

(ii) Take into account any geologic heterogeneities, other discontinuities, data quality, and their possible impact on model predictions; and

(iii) Consider potential migration through faults, fractures, and artificial penetrations.

(2) Using methods approved by the Director, identify all penetrations, including active and abandoned wells and underground mines, in the area of review that may penetrate the confining zone(s). Provide a description of each well's type, construction, date drilled, location, depth, record of plugging and/or completion, and any additional information the Director may require; and

(3) Determine which abandoned wells in the area of review have been plugged in a manner that prevents the movement of carbon dioxide or other fluids that may endanger USDWs, including use of materials compatible with the carbon dioxide stream.

(d) Owners or operators of Class VI wells must perform corrective action on all wells in the area of review that are determined to need corrective action, using methods designed to prevent the movement of fluid into or between USDWs, including use of materials compatible with the carbon dioxide stream, where appropriate.

(e) At the minimum fixed frequency, not to exceed five years, as specified in the area of review and corrective action plan, or when monitoring and operational conditions warrant, owners or operators must:

(1) Reevaluate the area of review in the same manner specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section;

(2) Identify all wells in the reevaluated area of review that require corrective action in the same manner specified in paragraph (c) of this section;

(3) Perform corrective action on wells requiring corrective action in the reevaluated area of review in the same manner specified in paragraph (d) of this section; and

(4) Submit an amended area of review and corrective action plan or demonstrate to the Director through monitoring data and modeling results that no amendment to the area of review and corrective action plan is needed. Any amendments to the area of review and corrective action plan must be approved by the Director, must be incorporated into the permit, and are subject to the permit modification requirements at § 144.39 or § 144.41 of this chapter, as appropriate.

(f) The emergency and remedial response plan (as required by § 146.94) and the demonstration of financial responsibility (as described by § 146.85) must account for the area of review delineated as specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section or the most recently evaluated area of review delineated under paragraph (e) of this section, regardless of whether or not corrective action in the area of review is phased.

(g) All modeling inputs and data used to support area of review reevaluations under paragraph (e) of this section shall be retained for 10 years.

[…]

§ 146.94

Emergency and remedial response.

(a) As part of the permit application, the owner or operator must provide the Director with an emergency and remedial response plan that describes actions the owner or operator must take to address movement of the injection or formation fluids that may cause an endangerment to a USDW during construction, operation, and post-injection site care periods. The requirement to maintain and implement an approved plan is directly enforceable regardless of whether the requirement is a condition of the permit.

(b) If the owner or operator obtains evidence that the injected carbon dioxide stream and associated pressure front may cause an endangerment to a USDW, the owner or operator must:

(1) Immediately cease injection;

(2) Take all steps reasonably necessary to identify and characterize any release;

(3) Notify the Director within 24 hours; and

(4) Implement the emergency and remedial response plan approved by the Director.

(c) The Director may allow the operator to resume injection prior to remediation if the owner or operator demonstrates that the injection operation will not endanger USDWs.

(d) The owner or operator shall periodically review the emergency and remedial response plan developed under paragraph (a) of this section. In no case shall the owner or operator review the emergency and remedial response plan less often than once every five years. Based on this review, the owner or operator shall submit an amended emergency and remedial response plan or demonstrate to the Director that no amendment to the emergency and remedial response plan is needed. Any amendments to the emergency and remedial response plan must be approved by the Director, must be incorporated into the permit, and are subject to the permit modification requirements at § 144.39 or § 144.41 of this chapter, as appropriate. Amended plans or demonstrations shall be submitted to the Director as follows:

(1) Within one year of an area of review reevaluation;

(2) Following any significant changes to the facility, such as addition of injection or monitoring wells, on a schedule determined by the Director; or

(3) When required by the Director.

Operational liabilities

Summary

§ 146.88 of the USA Underground Injection Rules obliges owners and operators of Class VI injection wells to comply with a range of operational requirements. These include, among others, the following:

  1. injection pressure must not exceed 90% of the fracture pressure of the injection zone;
  2. in no case may injection pressure initiate fractures in the confining zone or cause the movement of injection or formation fluids that endangers underground drinking water sources;
  3. injection between the outermost casing between underground drinking water sources and the well bore is prohibited;
  4. continuous recording devices must be installed to monitor injection pressure, the characteristics of injected CO2 and annulus pressure; and
  5. alarms and automatic shut-off systems must be installed for all wells.

If a shutdown is triggered, the cause must immediately be investigated, and identified as expeditiously as possible. Where a well is lacking mechanical integrity (as defined in § 146.89), the owner or operator is required under § 146.88(f) to:

  1. immediately cease injection;
  2. take all steps reasonably necessary to determine whether injected CO2 or any formation fluid has been released into any unauthorised zone;
  3. notify the Director (as defined in § 146.3) within twenty four hours;
  4. restore and demonstrate mechanical integrity before resuming injection; and
  5. notify the Director when injection is expected to resume. 

Article/Section No.

§ 146.88
§ 146.89

Instrument Text

§ 146.88

Injection well operating requirements.

(a) Except during stimulation, the owner or operator must ensure that injection pressure does not exceed 90 percent of the fracture pressure of the injection zone(s) so as to ensure that the injection does not initiate new fractures or propagate existing fractures in the injection zone(s). In no case may injection pressure initiate fractures in the confining zone(s) or cause the movement of injection or formation fluids that endangers a USDW. Pursuant to requirements at § 146.82(a)(9), all stimulation programs must be approved by the Director as part of the permit application and incorporated into the permit.

(b) Injection between the outermost casing protecting USDWs and the well bore is prohibited.

(c) The owner or operator must fill the annulus between the tubing and the long string casing with a non-corrosive fluid approved by the Director. The owner or operator must maintain on the annulus a pressure that exceeds the operating injection pressure, unless the Director determines that such requirement might harm the integrity of the well or endanger USDWs.

(d) Other than during periods of well workover (maintenance) approved by the Director in which the sealed tubing-casing annulus is disassembled for maintenance or corrective procedures, the owner or operator must maintain mechanical integrity of the injection well at all times.

(e) The owner or operator must install and use:

(1) Continuous recording devices to monitor: The injection pressure; the rate, volume and/or mass, and temperature of the carbon dioxide stream; and the pressure on the annulus between the tubing and the long string casing and annulus fluid volume; and

(2) Alarms and automatic surface shut-off systems or, at the discretion of the Director, down-hole shut-off systems (e.g., automatic shut-off, check valves) for onshore wells or, other mechanical devices that provide equivalent protection; and

(3) Alarms and automatic down-hole shut-off systems for wells located offshore but within State territorial waters, designed to alert the operator and shut-in the well when operating parameters such as annulus pressure, injection rate, or other parameters diverge beyond permitted ranges and/or gradients specified in the permit.

(f) If a shutdown (i.e., down-hole or at the surface) is triggered or a loss of mechanical integrity is discovered, the owner or operator must immediately investigate and identify as expeditiously as possible the cause of the shutoff. If, upon such investigation, the well appears to be lacking mechanical integrity, or if monitoring required under paragraph (e) of this section otherwise indicates that the well may be lacking mechanical integrity, the owner or operator must:

(1) Immediately cease injection;

(2) Take all steps reasonably necessary to determine whether there may have been a release of the injected carbon dioxide stream or formation fluids into any unauthorized zone;

(3) Notify the Director within 24 hours;

(4) Restore and demonstrate mechanical integrity to the satisfaction of the Director prior to resuming injection; and

(5) Notify the Director when injection can be expected to resume.

146.89

Mechanical integrity.

(a) A Class VI well has mechanical integrity if:

(1) There is no significant leak in the casing, tubing, or packer; and

(2) There is no significant fluid movement into a USDW through channels adjacent to the injection well bore.

(b) To evaluate the absence of significant leaks under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, owners or operators must, following an initial annulus pressure test, continuously monitor injection pressure, rate, injected volumes; pressure on the annulus between tubing and long-string casing; and annulus fluid volume as specified in § 146.88 (e);

(c) At least once per year, the owner or operator must use one of the following methods to determine the absence of significant fluid movement under paragraph (a)(2) of this section:

(1) An approved tracer survey such as an oxygen-activation log; or

(2) A temperature or noise log.

(d) If required by the Director, at a frequency specified in the testing and monitoring plan required at § 146.90, the owner or operator must run a casing inspection log to determine the presence or absence of corrosion in the long-string casing.

(e) The Director may require any other test to evaluate mechanical integrity under paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section. Also, the Director may allow the use of a test to demonstrate mechanical integrity other than those listed above with the written approval of the Administrator. To obtain approval for a new mechanical integrity test, the Director must submit a written request to the Administrator setting forth the proposed test and all technical data supporting its use. The Administrator may approve the request if he or she determines that it will reliably demonstrate the mechanical integrity of wells for which its use is proposed. Any alternate method approved by the Administrator will be published in the Federal Register and may be used in all States in accordance with applicable State law unless its use is restricted at the time of approval by the Administrator.

(f) In conducting and evaluating the tests enumerated in this section or others to be allowed by the Director, the owner or operator and the Director must apply methods and standards generally accepted in the industry. When the owner or operator reports the results of mechanical integrity tests to the Director, he/she shall include a description of the test(s) and the method(s) used. In making his/her evaluation, the Director must review monitoring and other test data submitted since the previous evaluation.

(g) The Director may require additional or alternative tests if the results presented by the owner or operator under paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section are not satisfactory to the Director to demonstrate that there is no significant leak in the casing, tubing, or packer, or to demonstrate that there is no significant movement of fluid into a USDW resulting from the injection activity as stated in paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section.

Financial security

Summary

Under § 146.85 of the USA Underground Injection Rules, owners and operators of Class VI wells must demonstrate and maintain financial responsibility in accordance with the following criteria, among others:

  1. such financial responsibility must be in the form of one of the instruments listed in § 146.85(a)(1) (e.g. surety bonds, a letter of credit, or insurance);
  2. the financial responsibility instrument(s) must be sufficient to cover the cost of corrective actions required under § 146.84, injection well plugging under § 146.92, post-injection site care requirements under § 146.93 and emergency and remedial response requirements under § 146.94; and
  3. the financial responsibility instrument(s) must address endangerment of underground drinking water sources, and be approved by the Director (as defined in § 146.3).

Applicants for Class VI well permits are required under § 146.82 to provide with the application, among other things, demonstration that the § 146.85 financial responsibility requirement is satisfied.

This financial responsibility requirement is directly enforceable regardless of whether it is included as a condition of a permit, and must be maintained until the Director has approved both the post-injection site care and site closure plan, and actual site closure.

An owner or operator may be released from a financial instrument where:

  1. the phase of the project for which the instrument was required has been completed and all related financial obligations have been fulfilled, including obtaining financial responsibility for the next phase of the project; or
  2. a replacement financial instrument has been submitted and approved.

Finally, owners and operators of Class VI wells are required under § 146.85(d) to notify the Director of adverse conditions such as bankruptcy that may affect the ability to carry out injection well plugging, post-injection site care and site closure.

Article/Section No.

§ 146.82
§ 146.85

Instrument Text

§ 146.82

Required Class VI permit information.

This section sets forth the information which must be considered by the Director in authorizing Class VI wells. For converted Class I, Class II, or Class V experimental wells, certain maps, cross-sections, tabulations of wells within the area of review and other data may be included in the application by reference provided they are current, readily available to the Director, and sufficiently identified to be retrieved. In cases where EPA issues the permit, all the information in this section must be submitted to the Regional Administrator.

(a) Prior to the issuance of a permit for the construction of a new Class VI well or the conversion of an existing Class I, Class II, or Class V well to a Class VI well, the owner or operator shall submit, pursuant to § 146.91(e), and the Director shall consider the following:

[…]

(14) A demonstration, satisfactory to the Director, that the applicant has met the financial responsibility requirements under § 146.85;

[…]

§ 146.85

Financial responsibility.

(a) The owner or operator must demonstrate and maintain financial responsibility as determined by the Director that meets the following conditions:

(1) The financial responsibility instrument(s) used must be from the following list of qualifying instruments:

(i) Trust Funds.

(ii) Surety Bonds.

(iii) Letter of Credit.

(iv) Insurance.

(v) Self Insurance (i.e., Financial Test and Corporate Guarantee).

(vi) Escrow Account.

(vii) Any other instrument(s) satisfactory to the Director.

(2) The qualifying instrument(s) must be sufficient to cover the cost of:

(i) Corrective action (that meets the requirements of § 146.84);

(ii) Injection well plugging (that meets the requirements of § 146.92);

(iii) Post injection site care and site closure (that meets the requirements of § 146.93); and

(iv) Emergency and remedial response (that meets the requirements of § 146.94).

(3) The financial responsibility instrument(s) must be sufficient to address endangerment of underground sources of drinking water.

(4) The qualifying financial responsibility instrument(s) must comprise protective conditions of coverage.

(i) Protective conditions of coverage must include at a minimum cancellation, renewal, and continuation provisions, specifications on when the provider becomes liable following a notice of cancellation if there is a failure to renew with a new qualifying financial instrument, and requirements for the provider to meet a minimum rating, minimum capitalization, and ability to pass the bond rating when applicable.

(A) Cancellation—for purposes of this part, an owner or operator must provide that their financial mechanism may not cancel, terminate or fail to renew except for failure to pay such financial instrument. If there is a failure to pay the financial instrument, the financial institution may elect to cancel, terminate, or fail to renew the instrument by sending notice by certified mail to the owner or operator and the Director. The cancellation must not be final for 120 days after receipt of cancellation notice. The owner or operator must provide an alternate financial responsibility demonstration within 60 days of notice of cancellation, and if an alternate financial responsibility demonstration is not acceptable (or possible), any funds from the instrument being cancelled must be released within 60 days of notification by the Director.

(B) Renewal—for purposes of this part, owners or operators must renew all financial instruments, if an instrument expires, for the entire term of the geologic sequestration project. The instrument may be automatically renewed as long as the owner or operator has the option of renewal at the face amount of the expiring instrument. The automatic renewal of the instrument must, at a minimum, provide the holder with the option of renewal at the face amount of the expiring financial instrument.

(C) Cancellation, termination, or failure to renew may not occur and the financial instrument will remain in full force and effect in the event that on or before the date of expiration: The Director deems the facility abandoned; or the permit is terminated or revoked or a new permit is denied; or closure is ordered by the Director or a U.S. district court or other court of competent jurisdiction; or the owner or operator is named as debtor in a voluntary or involuntary proceeding under Title 11 (Bankruptcy), U.S. Code; or the amount due is paid.

(5) The qualifying financial responsibility instrument(s) must be approved by the Director.

(i) The Director shall consider and approve the financial responsibility demonstration for all the phases of the geologic sequestration project prior to issue a Class VI permit (§ 146.82).

(ii) The owner or operator must provide any updated information related to their financial responsibility instrument(s) on an annual basis and if there are any changes, the Director must evaluate, within a reasonable time, the financial responsibility demonstration to confirm that the instrument(s) used remain adequate for use. The owner or operator must maintain financial responsibility requirements regardless of the status of the Director's review of the financial responsibility demonstration.

(iii) The Director may disapprove the use of a financial instrument if he determines that it is not sufficient to meet the requirements of this section.

(6) The owner or operator may demonstrate financial responsibility by using one or multiple qualifying financial instruments for specific phases of the geologic sequestration project.

(i) In the event that the owner or operator combines more than one instrument for a specific geologic sequestration phase (e.g., well plugging), such combination must be limited to instruments that are not based on financial strength or performance (i.e., self insurance or performance bond), for example trust funds, surety bonds guaranteeing payment into a trust fund, letters of credit, escrow account, and insurance. In this case, it is the combination of mechanisms, rather than the single mechanism, which must provide financial responsibility for an amount at least equal to the current cost estimate.

(ii) When using a third-party instrument to demonstrate financial responsibility, the owner or operator must provide a proof that the third-party providers either have passed financial strength requirements based on credit ratings; or has met a minimum rating, minimum capitalization, and ability to pass the bond rating when applicable.

(iii) An owner or operator using certain types of third-party instruments must establish a standby trust to enable EPA to be party to the financial responsibility agreement without EPA being the beneficiary of any funds. The standby trust fund must be used along with other financial responsibility instruments (e.g., surety bonds, letters of credit, or escrow accounts) to provide a location to place funds if needed.

(iv) An owner or operator may deposit money to an escrow account to cover financial responsibility requirements; this account must segregate funds sufficient to cover estimated costs for Class VI (geologic sequestration) financial responsibility from other accounts and uses.

(v) An owner or operator or its guarantor may use self insurance to demonstrate financial responsibility for geologic sequestration projects. In order to satisfy this requirement the owner or operator must meet a Tangible Net Worth of an amount approved by the Director, have a Net working capital and tangible net worth each at least six times the sum of the current well plugging, post injection site care and site closure cost, have assets located in the United States amounting to at least 90 percent of total assets or at least six times the sum of the current well plugging, post injection site care and site closure cost, and must submit a report of its bond rating and financial information annually. In addition the owner or operator must either: Have a bond rating test of AAA, AA, A, or BBB as issued by Standard & Poor's or Aaa, Aa, A, or Baa as issued by Moody's; or meet all of the following five financial ratio thresholds: A ratio of total liabilities to net worth less than 2.0; a ratio of current assets to current liabilities greater than 1.5; a ratio of the sum of net income plus depreciation, depletion, and amortization to total liabilities greater than 0.1; A ratio of current assets minus current liabilities to total assets greater than −0.1; and a net profit (revenues minus expenses) greater than 0.

(vi) An owner or operator who is not able to meet corporate financial test criteria may arrange a corporate guarantee by demonstrating that its corporate parent meets the financial test requirements on its behalf. The parent's demonstration that it meets the financial test requirement is insufficient if it has not also guaranteed to fulfill the obligations for the owner or operator.

(vii) An owner or operator may obtain an insurance policy to cover the estimated costs of geologic sequestration activities requiring financial responsibility. This insurance policy must be obtained from a third party provider.

(b) The requirement to maintain adequate financial responsibility and resources is directly enforceable regardless of whether the requirement is a condition of the permit.

(1) The owner or operator must maintain financial responsibility and resources until:

(i) The Director receives and approves the completed post-injection site care and site closure plan; and

(ii) The Director approves site closure.

(2) The owner or operator may be released from a financial instrument in the following circumstances:

(i) The owner or operator has completed the phase of the geologic sequestration project for which the financial instrument was required and has fulfilled all its financial obligations as determined by the Director, including obtaining financial responsibility for the next phase of the GS project, if required; or

(ii) The owner or operator has submitted a replacement financial instrument and received written approval from the Director accepting the new financial instrument and releasing the owner or operator from the previous financial instrument.

(c) The owner or operator must have a detailed written estimate, in current dollars, of the cost of performing corrective action on wells in the area of review, plugging the injection well(s), post-injection site care and site closure, and emergency and remedial response.

(1) The cost estimate must be performed for each phase separately and must be based on the costs to the regulatory agency of hiring a third party to perform the required activities. A third party is a party who is not within the corporate structure of the owner or operator.

(2) During the active life of the geologic sequestration project, the owner or operator must adjust the cost estimate for inflation within 60 days prior to the anniversary date of the establishment of the financial instrument(s) used to comply with paragraph (a) of this section and provide this adjustment to the Director. The owner or operator must also provide to the Director written updates of adjustments to the cost estimate within 60 days of any amendments to the area of review and corrective action plan (§ 146.84), the injection well plugging plan (§ 146.92), the post-injection site care and site closure plan (§ 146.93), and the emergency and remedial response plan (§ 146.94).

(3) The Director must approve any decrease or increase to the initial cost estimate. During the active life of the geologic sequestration project, the owner or operator must revise the cost estimate no later than 60 days after the Director has approved the request to modify the area of review and corrective action plan (§ 146.84), the injection well plugging plan (§ 146.92), the post-injection site care and site closure plan (§ 146.93), and the emergency and response plan (§ 146.94), if the change in the plan increases the cost. If the change to the plans decreases the cost, any withdrawal of funds must be approved by the Director. Any decrease to the value of the financial assurance instrument must first be approved by the Director. The revised cost estimate must be adjusted for inflation as specified at paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(4) Whenever the current cost estimate increases to an amount greater than the face amount of a financial instrument currently in use, the owner or operator, within 60 days after the increase, must either cause the face amount to be increased to an amount at least equal to the current cost estimate and submit evidence of such increase to the Director, or obtain other financial responsibility instruments to cover the increase. Whenever the current cost estimate decreases, the face amount of the financial assurance instrument may be reduced to the amount of the current cost estimate only after the owner or operator has received written approval from the Director.

(d) The owner or operator must notify the Director by certified mail of adverse financial conditions such as bankruptcy that may affect the ability to carry out injection well plugging and post-injection site care and site closure.

(1) In the event that the owner or operator or the third party provider of a financial responsibility instrument is going through a bankruptcy, the owner or operator must notify the Director by certified mail of the commencement of a voluntary or involuntary proceeding under Title 11 (Bankruptcy), U.S. Code, naming the owner or operator as debtor, within 10 days after commencement of the proceeding.

(2) A guarantor of a corporate guarantee must make such a notification to the Director if he/she is named as debtor, as required under the terms of the corporate guarantee.

(3) An owner or operator who fulfills the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section by obtaining a trust fund, surety bond, letter of credit, escrow account, or insurance policy will be deemed to be without the required financial assurance in the event of bankruptcy of the trustee or issuing institution, or a suspension or revocation of the authority of the trustee institution to act as trustee of the institution issuing the trust fund, surety bond, letter of credit, escrow account, or insurance policy. The owner or operator must establish other financial assurance within 60 days after such an event.

(e) The owner or operator must provide an adjustment of the cost estimate to the Director within 60 days of notification by the Director, if the Director determines during the annual evaluation of the qualifying financial responsibility instrument(s) that the most recent demonstration is no longer adequate to cover the cost of corrective action (as required by § 146.84), injection well plugging (as required by § 146.92), post-injection site care and site closure (as required by § 146.93), and emergency and remedial response (as required by § 146.94).

(f) The Director must approve the use and length of pay-in-periods for trust funds or escrow accounts.

Enforcement

Summary

§ 144.51(a) of the USA Underground Injection Rules provides that:

  1. all permits to operate Class VI injection wells are subject to, among other things, a duty to comply with all permit conditions; and
  2. any noncompliance with a permit constitutes a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act and is grounds for enforcement action.

Article/Section No.

§ 144.51(a)

Instrument Text

Subpart E—Permit Conditions

§ 144.51

Conditions applicable to all permits.

The following conditions apply to all UIC permits. All conditions applicable to all permits shall be incorporated into the permits either expressly or by reference. If incorporated by reference, a specific citation to these regulations (or the corresponding approved State regulations) must be given in the permit.

(a) Duty to comply. The permittee must comply with all conditions of this permit. Any permit noncompliance constitutes a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act and is grounds for enforcement action; for permit termination, revocation and reissuance, or modification; or for denial of a permit renewal application; except that the permittee need not comply with the provisions of this permit to the extent and for the duration such noncompliance is authorized in an emergency permit under § 144.34.

Site closure

Summary

Application requirements

Applicants for Class VI well permits are required under § 146.82 of the USA Underground Injection Rules to provide a range of documents and other information with the application, including, among other things:

  1. a proposed injection well plugging plan prepared in accordance with § 146.92, which must be approved by the Director (as defined in § 144.3) and is directly enforceable regardless of whether the requirement is an express condition of the permit;
  2. a proposed post-injection site care and site closure plan prepared in accordance with § 146.93(a)(2), which is also subject to Director approval and directly enforceable; and
  3. where required, a demonstration of an alternative post-injection site care time frame.

Plugging injection wells

Before plugging a well, § 146.92 requires that owners and operators first notify the Director at least sixty days in advance, as well as flush the well, determine bottomhole reservoir pressure and perform a final mechanical integrity test.

A plugging report must be submitted to the Director within sixty days after plugging.

Post-injection site monitoring

§ 146.93(a)(3) requires that, upon cessation of injection, owners and operators monitor the site for a period of at least fifty years, unless:

  1. the owner or operator can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Director that the project no longer poses an endangerment to underground drinking water sources, in which case the Director may authorise site closure before the end of the fifty year period; or
  2. the Director approves an alternative post-injection site care timeframe in accordance with § 146.93(c), if this is demonstrated to be appropriate and ensures non-endangerment of underground drinking water sources.

Site closure

§ 146.93(d) requires well owners and operators to notify the Director in writing at least 120 days before site closure.

Once site closure has been authorised:

  1. under § 196.93(e), all monitoring wells must be plugged in a manner that will not allow any movement of injection or formation fluids that endangers an underground drinking water source; and
  2. under § 196.93(f), a site closure report must be submitted to the Director within ninety days of such closure.

Under § 196.93(g), well owners and operators must also record a notation on the deed to the facility property that will in perpetuity provide, among other things, information related to the use of the land for CO2 sequestration, the volume of CO2 injected, the injection zones and the period over which injection occurred.

All records collected during the post-injection site care period must be kept for ten years following site closure, after which the records must be delivered to the Director.

Well abandonment

§ 144.51(n) also requires permit holders to notify the Director in accordance with permit requirements before abandoning a well.

Article/Section No.

§ 144.31(e)(10)
§ 144.51(n)
§ 144.51(o)
§ 144.51(p)
§ 146.82
§ 146.92
§ 146.93

Instrument Text

Subpart D—Authorization by Permit

§ 144.31

Application for a permit; authorization by permit.

[…]

(e) Information requirements. All applicants for Class I, II, III, and V permits shall provide the following information to the Director, using the application form provided by the Director. Applicants for Class VI permits shall follow the criteria provided in § 146.82 of this chapter.

[…]

Subpart E—Permit Conditions

§ 144.51

Conditions applicable to all permits.

The following conditions apply to all UIC permits. All conditions applicable to all permits shall be incorporated into the permits either expressly or by reference. If incorporated by reference, a specific citation to these regulations (or the corresponding approved State regulations) must be given in the permit.

[…]

(n) The permittee shall notify the Director at such times as the permit requires before conversion or abandonment of the well or in the case of area permits before closure of the project.

(o) A Class I, II or III permit shall include and a Class V permit may include conditions which meet the applicable requirements of § 146.10 of this chapter to ensure that plugging and abandonment of the well will not allow the movement of fluids into or between USDWs. Where the plan meets the requirements of § 146.10 of this chapter, the Director shall incorporate the plan into the permit as a permit condition. Where the Director's review of an application indicates that the permittee's plan is inadequate, the Director may require the applicant to revise the plan, prescribe conditions meeting the requirements of this paragraph, or deny the permit. A Class VI permit shall include conditions which meet the requirements set forth in § 146.92 of this chapter. Where the plan meets the requirements of § 146.92 of this chapter, the Director shall incorporate it into the permit as a permit condition. For purposes of this paragraph, temporary or intermittent cessation of injection operations is not abandonment.

(p) Plugging and abandonment report. For EPA-administered programs, within 60 days after plugging a well or at the time of the next quarterly report (whichever is less) the owner or operator shall submit a report to the Regional Administrator. If the quarterly report is due less than 15 days before completion of plugging, then the report shall be submitted within 60 days. The report shall be certified as accurate by the person who performed the plugging operation. Such report shall consist of either:

(1) A statement that the well was plugged in accordance with the plan previously submitted to the Regional Administrator; or

(2) Where actual plugging differed from the plan previously submitted, and updated version of the plan on the form supplied by the regional administrator, specifying the differences.

[…]

§ 146.82

Required Class VI permit information.

This section sets forth the information which must be considered by the Director in authorizing Class VI wells. For converted Class I, Class II, or Class V experimental wells, certain maps, cross-sections, tabulations of wells within the area of review and other data may be included in the application by reference provided they are current, readily available to the Director, and sufficiently identified to be retrieved. In cases where EPA issues the permit, all the information in this section must be submitted to the Regional Administrator.

(a) Prior to the issuance of a permit for the construction of a new Class VI well or the conversion of an existing Class I, Class II, or Class V well to a Class VI well, the owner or operator shall submit, pursuant to § 146.91(e), and the Director shall consider the following:

[…]

(16) Proposed injection well plugging plan required by § 146.92(b);

(17) Proposed post-injection site care and site closure plan required by § 146.93(a);

(18) At the Director's discretion, a demonstration of an alternative post-injection site care timeframe required by § 146.93(c);

[…]

§ 146.92

Injection well plugging.

(a) Prior to the well plugging, the owner or operator must flush each Class VI injection well with a buffer fluid, determine bottomhole reservoir pressure, and perform a final external mechanical integrity test.

(b) Well plugging plan. The owner or operator of a Class VI well must prepare, maintain, and comply with a plan that is acceptable to the Director. The requirement to maintain and implement an approved plan is directly enforceable regardless of whether the requirement is a condition of the permit. The well plugging plan must be submitted as part of the permit application and must include the following information:

(1) Appropriate tests or measures for determining bottomhole reservoir pressure;

(2) Appropriate testing methods to ensure external mechanical integrity as specified in § 146.89;

(3) The type and number of plugs to be used;

(4) The placement of each plug, including the elevation of the top and bottom of each plug;

(5) The type, grade, and quantity of material to be used in plugging. The material must be compatible with the carbon dioxide stream; and

(6) The method of placement of the plugs.

(c) Notice of intent to plug. The owner or operator must notify the Director in writing pursuant to § 146.91(e), at least 60 days before plugging of a well. At this time, if any changes have been made to the original well plugging plan, the owner or operator must also provide the revised well plugging plan. The Director may allow for a shorter notice period. Any amendments to the injection well plugging plan must be approved by the Director, must be incorporated into the permit, and are subject to the permit modification requirements at § 144.39 or § 144.41 of this chapter, as appropriate.

(d) Plugging report. Within 60 days after plugging, the owner or operator must submit, pursuant to § 146.91(e), a plugging report to the Director. The report must be certified as accurate by the owner or operator and by the person who performed the plugging operation (if other than the owner or operator.) The owner or operator shall retain the well plugging report for 10 years following site closure.

§ 146.93

Post-injection site care and site closure.

(a) The owner or operator of a Class VI well must prepare, maintain, and comply with a plan for post-injection site care and site closure that meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of this section and is acceptable to the Director. The requirement to maintain and implement an approved plan is directly enforceable regardless of whether the requirement is a condition of the permit.

(1) The owner or operator must submit the post-injection site care and site closure plan as a part of the permit application to be approved by the Director.

(2) The post-injection site care and site closure plan must include the following information:

(i) The pressure differential between pre-injection and predicted post-injection pressures in the injection zone(s);

(ii) The predicted position of the carbon dioxide plume and associated pressure front at site closure as demonstrated in the area of review evaluation required under § 146.84(c)(1);

(iii) A description of post-injection monitoring location, methods, and proposed frequency;

(iv) A proposed schedule for submitting post-injection site care monitoring results to the Director pursuant to § 146.91(e); and,

(v) The duration of the post-injection site care timeframe and, if approved by the Director, the demonstration of the alternative post-injection site care timeframe that ensures non-endangerment of USDWs.

(3) Upon cessation of injection, owners or operators of Class VI wells must either submit an amended post-injection site care and site closure plan or demonstrate to the Director through monitoring data and modeling results that no amendment to the plan is needed. Any amendments to the post-injection site care and site closure plan must be approved by the Director, be incorporated into the permit, and are subject to the permit modification requirements at § 144.39 or § 144.41 of this chapter, as appropriate.

(4) At any time during the life of the geologic sequestration project, the owner or operator may modify and resubmit the post-injection site care and site closure plan for the Director's approval within 30 days of such change.

(b) The owner or operator shall monitor the site following the cessation of injection to show the position of the carbon dioxide plume and pressure front and demonstrate that USDWs are not being endangered.

(1) Following the cessation of injection, the owner or operator shall continue to conduct monitoring as specified in the Director-approved post-injection site care and site closure plan for at least 50 years or for the duration of the alternative timeframe approved by the Director pursuant to requirements in paragraph (c) of this section, unless he/she makes a demonstration under (b)(2) of this section. The monitoring must continue until the geologic sequestration project no longer poses an endangerment to USDWs and the demonstration under (b)(2) of this section is submitted and approved by the Director.

(2) If the owner or operator can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Director before 50 years or prior to the end of the approved alternative timeframe based on monitoring and other site-specific data, that the geologic sequestration project no longer poses an endangerment to USDWs, the Director may approve an amendment to the post-injection site care and site closure plan to reduce the frequency of monitoring or may authorize site closure before the end of the 50-year period or prior to the end of the approved alternative timeframe, where he or she has substantial evidence that the geologic sequestration project no longer poses a risk of endangerment to USDWs.

(3) Prior to authorization for site closure, the owner or operator must submit to the Director for review and approval a demonstration, based on monitoring and other site-specific data, that no additional monitoring is needed to ensure that the geologic sequestration project does not pose an endangerment to USDWs.

(4) If the demonstration in paragraph (b)(3) of this section cannot be made (i.e., additional monitoring is needed to ensure that the geologic sequestration project does not pose an endangerment to USDWs) at the end of the 50-year period or at the end of the approved alternative timeframe, or if the Director does not approve the demonstration, the owner or operator must submit to the Director a plan to continue post-injection site care until a demonstration can be made and approved by the Director.

(c) Demonstration of alternative post-injection site care timeframe. At the Director's discretion, the Director may approve, in consultation with EPA, an alternative post-injection site care timeframe other than the 50 year default, if an owner or operator can demonstrate during the permitting process that an alternative post-injection site care timeframe is appropriate and ensures non-endangerment of USDWs. The demonstration must be based on significant, site-specific data and information including all data and information collected pursuant to §§ 146.82 and 146.83, and must contain substantial evidence that the geologic sequestration project will no longer pose a risk of endangerment to USDWs at the end of the alternative post-injection site care timeframe.

(1) A demonstration of an alternative post-injection site care timeframe must include consideration and documentation of:

(i) The results of computational modeling performed pursuant to delineation of the area of review under § 146.84;

(ii) The predicted timeframe for pressure decline within the injection zone, and any other zones, such that formation fluids may not be forced into any USDWs; and/or the timeframe for pressure decline to pre-injection pressures;

(iii) The predicted rate of carbon dioxide plume migration within the injection zone, and the predicted timeframe for the cessation of migration;

(iv) A description of the site-specific processes that will result in carbon dioxide trapping including immobilization by capillary trapping, dissolution, and mineralization at the site;

(v) The predicted rate of carbon dioxide trapping in the immobile capillary phase, dissolved phase, and/or mineral phase;

(vi) The results of laboratory analyses, research studies, and/or field or site-specific studies to verify the information required in paragraphs (iv) and (v) of this section;

(vii) A characterization of the confining zone(s) including a demonstration that it is free of transmissive faults, fractures, and micro-fractures and of appropriate thickness, permeability, and integrity to impede fluid (e.g., carbon dioxide, formation fluids) movement;

(viii) The presence of potential conduits for fluid movement including planned injection wells and project monitoring wells associated with the proposed geologic sequestration project or any other projects in proximity to the predicted/modeled, final extent of the carbon dioxide plume and area of elevated pressure;

(ix) A description of the well construction and an assessment of the quality of plugs of all abandoned wells within the area of review;

(x) The distance between the injection zone and the nearest USDWs above and/or below the injection zone; and

(xi) Any additional site-specific factors required by the Director.

(2) Information submitted to support the demonstration in paragraph (c)(1) of this section must meet the following criteria:

(i) All analyses and tests performed to support the demonstration must be accurate, reproducible, and performed in accordance with the established quality assurance standards;

(ii) Estimation techniques must be appropriate and EPA-certified test protocols must be used where available;

(iii) Predictive models must be appropriate and tailored to the site conditions, composition of the carbon dioxide stream and injection and site conditions over the life of the geologic sequestration project;

(iv) Predictive models must be calibrated using existing information (e.g., at Class I, Class II, or Class V experimental technology well sites) where sufficient data are available;

(v) Reasonably conservative values and modeling assumptions must be used and disclosed to the Director whenever values are estimated on the basis of known, historical information instead of site-specific measurements;

(vi) An analysis must be performed to identify and assess aspects of the alternative post-injection site care timeframe demonstration that contribute significantly to uncertainty. The owner or operator must conduct sensitivity analyses to determine the effect that significant uncertainty may contribute to the modeling demonstration.

(vii) An approved quality assurance and quality control plan must address all aspects of the demonstration; and,

(viii) Any additional criteria required by the Director.

(d) Notice of intent for site closure. The owner or operator must notify the Director in writing at least 120 days before site closure. At this time, if any changes have been made to the original post-injection site care and site closure plan, the owner or operator must also provide the revised plan. The Director may allow for a shorter notice period.

(e) After the Director has authorized site closure, the owner or operator must plug all monitoring wells in a manner which will not allow movement of injection or formation fluids that endangers a USDW.

(f) The owner or operator must submit a site closure report to the Director within 90 days of site closure, which must thereafter be retained at a location designated by the Director for 10 years. The report must include:

(1) Documentation of appropriate injection and monitoring well plugging as specified in § 146.92 and paragraph (e) of this section. The owner or operator must provide a copy of a survey plat which has been submitted to the local zoning authority designated by the Director. The plat must indicate the location of the injection well relative to permanently surveyed benchmarks. The owner or operator must also submit a copy of the plat to the Regional Administrator of the appropriate EPA Regional Office;

(2) Documentation of appropriate notification and information to such State, local and Tribal authorities that have authority over drilling activities to enable such State, local, and Tribal authorities to impose appropriate conditions on subsequent drilling activities that may penetrate the injection and confining zone(s); and

(3) Records reflecting the nature, composition, and volume of the carbon dioxide stream.

(g) Each owner or operator of a Class VI injection well must record a notation on the deed to the facility property or any other document that is normally examined during title search that will in perpetuity provide any potential purchaser of the property the following information:

(1) The fact that land has been used to sequester carbon dioxide;

(2) The name of the State agency, local authority, and/or Tribe with which the survey plat was filed, as well as the address of the Environmental Protection Agency Regional Office to which it was submitted; and

(3) The volume of fluid injected, the injection zone or zones into which it was injected, and the period over which injection occurred.

(h) The owner or operator must retain for 10 years following site closure, records collected during the post-injection site care period. The owner or operator must deliver the records to the Director at the conclusion of the retention period, and the records must thereafter be retained at a location designated by the Director for that purpose.

V. Management of long-term responsibilities and liabilities
VI. Additional Issues
Additional Issues

Article/Section No.

§ 144.6
§ 144.80
§ 146.5

Instrument Text

§ 144.6

Classification of wells.

Injection wells are classified as follows:

[…]

(f) Class VI. Wells that are not experimental in nature that are used for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide beneath the lowermost formation containing a USDW; or, wells used for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide that have been granted a waiver of the injection depth requirements pursuant to requirements at § 146.95 of this chapter; or, wells used for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide that have received an expansion to the areal extent of an existing Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery aquifer exemption pursuant to §§ 146.4 of this chapter and 144.7(d).

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 52 FR 20676, June 2, 1987; 64 FR 68565, Dec. 7, 1999; 75 FR 77287, Dec. 10, 2010]

[…]

Definition of Class V Injection Wells

§ 144.80

What is a Class V injection well?

As described in § 144.6, injection wells are classified as follows:

[…]

(f) Class VI. Wells used for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide beneath the lowermost formation containing a USDW, except those wells that are experimental in nature; or, wells used for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide that have been granted a waiver of the injection depth requirements pursuant to requirements at § 146.95 of this chapter; or, wells used for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide that have received an expansion to the areal extent of a existing Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery aquifer exemption pursuant to § 146.4 of this chapter and § 144.7(d).

[64 FR 68566, Dec. 7, 1999, as amended at 75 FR 77290, Dec. 10, 2010]

[…]

§ 146.5

Classification of injection wells.

Injection wells are classified as follows:

(f) Class VI. Wells that are not experimental in nature that are used for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide beneath the lowermost formation containing a USDW; or, wells used for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide that have been granted a waiver of the injection depth requirements pursuant to requirements at § 146.95; or, wells used for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide that have received an expansion to the areal extent of an existing Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery aquifer exemption pursuant to §§ 146.4 and 144.7(d) of this chapter.

[45 FR 42500, June 24, 1980, as amended at 46 FR 43161, Aug. 27, 1981; 47 FR 4999, Feb. 3, 1982; 64 FR 68573, Dec. 7, 1999; 75 FR 77291, Dec. 10, 2010]