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Title 40Chapter ISubchapter DPart 144 → Subpart A


Title 40: Protection of Environment
PART 144—UNDERGROUND INJECTION CONTROL PROGRAM


Subpart A—General Provisions


Contents
§144.1   Purpose and scope of part 144.
§144.2   Promulgation of Class II programs for Indian lands.
§144.3   Definitions.
§144.4   Considerations under Federal law.
§144.5   Confidentiality of information.
§144.6   Classification of wells.
§144.7   Identification of underground sources of drinking water and exempted aquifers.
§144.8   Noncompliance and program reporting by the Director.

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§144.1   Purpose and scope of part 144.

(a) Contents of part 144. The regulations in this part set forth requirements for the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program promulgated under Part C of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) (Pub. L. 93-523, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.) and, to the extent that they deal with hazardous waste, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) (Pub. L. 94-580 as amended; 42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.).

(b) Applicability. (1) The regulations in this part establish minimum requirements for UIC programs. To the extent set forth in part 145, each State must meet these requirements in order to obtain primary enforcement authority for the UIC program in that State.

(2) In addition to serving as minimum requirements for UIC programs, the regulations in this part constitute a part of the UIC program for States listed in part 147 to be administered directly by EPA.

(c) The information requirements located in the following sections have been cleared by the Office of Management and Budget: Sections 144.11, 144.28(c)(d)(i), 144.31, 14.33, 144.51(j)(m) (n), 144.52(a), 144.54, 144.55, 144.15, 144.23, 144.26, 144.27, 144.28(i)(k), 144.51(o), 146.52. The OMB clearance number is 2040-0042.

(d) Authority. (1) Section 1421 of SDWA requires the Administrator to promulgate regulations establishing minimum requirements for effective UIC programs.

(2) Section 1422 of SDWA requires the Administrator to list in the Federal Register “each State for which in his judgment a State underground injection control program may be necessary to assure that underground injection will not endanger drinking water sources” and to establish by regulation a program for EPA administration of UIC programs in the absence of an approved State program in a listed State.

(3) Section 1423 of SDWA provides procedures for EPA enforcement of UIC requirements.

(4) Section 1431 authorizes the Administrator to take action to protect the health of persons when a contaminant which is present in or may enter a public water system or underground source of drinking water may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons.

(5) Section 1445 of SDWA authorizes the promulgation of regulations for such recordkeeping, reporting, and monitoring requirements “as the Administrator may reasonably require *  *  * to assist him in establishing regulations under this title,” and a “right of entry and inspection to determine compliance with this title, including for this purpose, inspection, at reasonable time, or records, files, papers, processes, controls, and facilities *  *  *.”

(6) Section 1450 of SDWA authorizes the Administrator “to prescribe such regulations as are necessary or appropriate to carry out his functions” under SDWA.

(e) Overview of the UIC program. An UIC program is necessary in any State listed by EPA under section 1422 of the SDWA. Because all States have been listed, the SDWA requires all States to submit an UIC program within 270 days after July 24, 1980, the effective date of 40 CFR part 146, which was the final element of the UIC minimum requirements to be originally promulgated, unless the Administrator grants an extension, which can be for a period not to exceed an additional 270 days. If a State fails to submit an approvable program, EPA will establish a program for that State. Once a program is established, SDWA provides that all underground injections in listed States are unlawful and subject to penalties unless authorized by a permit or a rule. This part sets forth the requirements governing all UIC programs, authorizations by permit or rule and prohibits certain types of injection. The technical regulations governing these authorizations appear in 40 CFR part 146.

(f) Structure of the UIC program—(1) Part 144. This part sets forth the permitting and other program requirements that must be met by UIC Programs, whether run by a State or by EPA. It is divided into the following subparts:

(i) Subpart A describes general elements of the program, including definitions and classifications.

(ii) Subpart B sets forth the general program requirements, including the performance standards applicable to all injection activities, basic elements that all UIC programs must contain, and provisions for waiving permit of rule requirements under certain circumstances.

(iii) Subpart C sets forth requirements for wells authorized by rule.

(iv) Subpart D sets forth permitting procedures.

(v) Subpart E sets forth specific conditions, or types of conditions, that must at a minimum be included in all permits.

(vi) Subpart F sets forth the financial responsibility requirements for owners and operators of all existing and new Class I hazardous waste injection wells.

(vii) Subpart G of this part sets forth requirements for owners and operators of Class V injection wells.

(viii) Subpart H of part 146 sets forth requirements for owners or operators of Class VI injection wells.

(2) Part 145. While part 144 sets forth minimum requirements for all UIC Programs, these requirements are specifically identified as elements of a State application for primacy to administer an UIC Program in part 145. Part 145 also sets forth the necessary elements of a State submission and the procedural requirements for approval of State programs.

(3) Part 124. The public participation requirements that must be met by UIC Programs, whether administered by the State or by EPA, are set forth in part 124. EPA must comply with all part 124 requirements; State administered programs must comply with part 124 as required by part 145. These requirements carry out the purposes of the public participation requirement of 40 CFR part 25 (Public Participation), and supersede the requirements of that part as they apply to the UIC Program.

(4) Part 146. This part sets forth the technical criteria and standards that must be met in permits and authorizations by rule as required by part 144.

(g) Scope of the permit or rule requirement. The UIC permit program regulates underground injection by six classes of wells (see definition of “well injection,” §144.3). The six classes of wells are set forth in §144.6. All owners or operators of these injection wells must be authorized either by permit or rule by the Director. In carrying out the mandate of the SDWA, this subpart provides that no injection shall be authorized by permit or rule if it results in the movement of fluid containing any contaminant into underground sources of drinking water (USDWs—see §144.3 for definition), if the presence of that contaminant may cause a violation of any primary drinking water regulation under 40 CFR part 141 or may adversely affect the health of persons (§144.12). Existing Class IV wells which inject hazardous waste directly into an underground source of drinking water are to be eliminated over a period of six months and new such Class IV wells are to be prohibited (§144.13). For Class V wells, if remedial action appears necessary, a permit may be required (§144.25) or the Director must require remedial action or closure by order (§144.6(c)). During UIC program development, the Director may identify aquifers and portions of aquifers which are actual or potential sources of drinking water. This will provide an aid to the Director in carrying out his or her duty to protect all USDWs. An aquifer is a USDW if it fits the definition under §144.3, even if it has not been “identified.” The Director may also designate “exempted aquifers” using the criteria in 40 CFR 146.4 of this chapter. Such aquifers are those which would otherwise qualify as “underground sources of drinking water” to be protected, but which have no real potential to be used as drinking water sources. Therefore, they are not USDWs. No aquifer is an exempted aquifer until it has been affirmatively designated under the procedures at §144.7. Aquifers which do not fit the definition of “underground source of drinking water” are not “exempted aquifers.” They are simply not subject to the special protection afforded USDWs. During initial Class VI program development, the Director shall not expand the areal extent of an existing Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery aquifer exemption for Class VI injection wells and EPA shall not approve a program that applies for aquifer exemption expansions of Class II-Class VI exemptions as part of the program description. All Class II to Class VI aquifer exemption expansions previously issued by EPA must be incorporated into the Class VI program descriptions pursuant to requirements at §145.23(f)(9).

(1) Specific inclusions. The following wells are included among those types of injection activities which are covered by the UIC regulations. (This list is not intended to be exclusive but is for clarification only.)

(i) Any injection well located on a drilling platform inside the State's territorial waters.

(ii) Any dug hole or well that is deeper than its largest surface dimension, where the principal function of the hole is emplacement of fluids.

(iii) Any well used by generators of hazardous waste, or by owners or operators of hazardous waste management facilities, to dispose of fluids containing hazardous waste. This includes the disposal of hazardous waste into what would otherwise be septic systems and cesspools, regardless of their capacity.

(iv) Any septic tank, cesspool, or other well used by a multiple dwelling, community, or Regional system for the injection of wastes.

(2) Specific exclusions. The following are not covered by these regulations:

(i) Injection wells located on a drilling platform or other site that is beyond the State's territorial waters.

(ii) Individual or single family residential waste disposal systems such as domestic cesspools or septic systems.

(iii) Non-residential cesspools, septic systems or similar waste disposal systems if such systems (A) Are used solely for the disposal of sanitary waste, and (B) have the capacity to serve fewer than 20 persons a day.

(iv) Injection wells used for injection of hydrocarbons which are of pipeline quality and are gases at standard temperature and pressure for the purpose of storage.

(v) Any dug hole, drilled hole, or bored shaft which is not used for the subsurface emplacement of fluids.

(3) The prohibition applicable to Class IV wells under §144.13 does not apply to injections of hazardous wastes into aquifers or portions thereof which have been exempted pursuant to §146.04.

(h) Interim Status under RCRA for Class I Hazardous Waste Injection Wells. The minimum national standards which define acceptable injection of hazardous waste during the period of interim status under RCRA are set out in the applicable provisions of this part, parts 146 and 147, and §265.430 of this chapter. The issuance of a UIC permit does not automatically terminate RCRA interim status. A Class I well's interim status does, however, automatically terminate upon issuance to that well of a RCRA permit, or upon the well's receiving a RCRA permit-by-rule under §270.60(b) of this chapter. Thus, until a Class I well injecting hazardous waste receives a RCRA permit or RCRA permit-by-rule, the well's interim status requirements are the applicable requirements imposed pursuant to this part and parts 146, 147, and 265 of this chapter, including any requirements imposed in the UIC permit.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 49 FR 20181, May 11, 1984; 52 FR 20676, June 2, 1987; 52 FR 45797, Dec. 1, 1987; 53 FR 28147, July 26, 1988; 64 FR 68565, Dec. 7, 1999; 67 FR 39592, June 7, 2002; 75 FR 77286, Dec. 10, 2010]

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§144.2   Promulgation of Class II programs for Indian lands.

Notwithstanding the requirements of this part or parts 124 and 146 of this chapter, the Administrator may promulgate an alternate UIC Program for Class II wells on any Indian reservation or Indian lands. In promulgating such a program the Administrator shall consider the following factors:

(a) The interest and preferences of the tribal government having responsibility for the given reservation or Indian lands;

(b) The consistency between the alternate program and any program in effect in an adjoining jurisdiction; and

(c) Such other factors as are necessary and appropriate to carry out the Safe Drinking Water Act.

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§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 14 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]

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§144.4   Considerations under Federal law.

The following is a list of Federal laws that may apply to the issuance of permits under these rules. When any of these laws is applicable, its procedures must be followed. When the applicable law requires consideration or adoption of particular permit conditions or requires the denial of a permit, those requirements also must be followed.

(a) The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, 16 U.S.C. 1273 et seq. Section 7 of the Act prohibits the Regional Administrator from assisting by license or otherwise the construction of any water resources project that would have a direct, adverse effect on the values for which a national wild and scenic river was established.

(b) The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, 16 U.S.C. 470 et seq. Section 106 of the Act and implementing regulations (36 CFR part 800) require the Regional Administrator, before issuing a license, to adopt measures when feasible to mitigate potential adverse effects of the licensed activity and properties listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The Act's requirements are to be implemented in cooperation with State Historic Preservation Officers and upon notice to, and when appropriate, in consultation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

(c) The Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq. Section 7 of the Act and implementing regulations (50 CFR part 402) require the Regional Administrator to ensure, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior or Commerce, that any action authorized by EPA is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or adversely affect its critical habitat.

(d) The Coastal Zone Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq. Section 307(c) of the Act and implementing regulations (15 CFR part 930) prohibit EPA from issuing a permit for an activity affecting land or water use in the coastal zone until the applicant certifies that the proposed activity complies with the State Coastal Zone Management program, and the State or its designated agency concurs with the certification (or the Secretary of Commerce overrides the States nonconcurrence).

(e) The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, 16 U.S.C. 661 et seq., requires the Regional Administrator, before issuing a permit proposing or authorizing the impoundment (with certain exemptions), diversion, or other control or modification of any body of water, consult with the appropriate State agency exercising jurisdiction over wildlife resources to conserve these resources.

(f) Executive orders. [Reserved]

(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]

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§144.5   Confidentiality of information.

(a) In accordance with 40 CFR part 2, any information submitted to EPA pursuant to these regulations may be claimed as confidential by the submitter. Any such claim must be asserted at the time of submission in the manner prescribed on the application form or instructions or, in the case of other submissions, by stamping the words “confidential business information” on each page containing such information. If no claim is made at the time of submission, EPA may make the information available to the public without further notice. If a claim is asserted, the information will be treated in accordance with the procedures in 40 CFR part 2 (Public Information).

(b) Claims of confidentiality for the following information will be denied:

(1) The name and address of any permit applicant or permittee;

(2) Information which deals with the existence, absence, or level of contaminants in drinking water.

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§144.6   Classification of wells.

Injection wells are classified as follows:

(a) Class I. (1) Wells used by generators of hazardous waste or owners or operators of hazardous waste management facilities to inject hazardous waste beneath the lowermost formation containing, within one-quarter mile of the well bore, an underground source of drinking water.

(2) Other industrial and municipal disposal wells which inject fluids beneath the lowermost formation containing, within one quarter mile of the well bore, an underground source of drinking water.

(3) Radioactive waste disposal wells which inject fluids below the lowermost formation containing an underground source of drinking water within one quarter mile of the well bore.

(b) Class II. Wells which inject fluids:

(1) Which are brought to the surface in connection with natural gas storage operations, or conventional oil or natural gas production and may be commingled with waste waters from gas plants which are an intergral part of production operations, unless those waters are classified as a hazardous waste at the time of injection.

(2) For enhanced recovery of oil or natural gas; and

(3) For storage of hydrocarbons which are liquid at standard temperature and pressure.

(c) Class III. Wells which inject for extraction of minerals including:

(1) Mining of sulfur by the Frasch process;

(2) In situ production of uranium or other metals; this category includes only in-situ production from ore bodies which have not been conventionally mined. Solution mining of conventional mines such as stopes leaching is included in Class V.

(3) Solution mining of salts or potash.

(d) Class IV. (1) Wells used by generators of hazardous waste or of radioactive waste, by owners or operators of hazardous waste management facilities, or by owners or operators of radioactive waste disposal sites to dispose of hazardous waste or radioactive waste into a formation which within one-quarter ( 14 ) mile of the well contains an underground source of drinking water.

(2) Wells used by generators of hazardous waste or of radioactive waste, by owners or operators of hazardous waste management facilities, or by owners or operators of radioactive waste disposal sites to dispose of hazardous waste or radioactive waste above a formation which within one-quarter ( 14 ) mile of the well contains an underground source of drinking water.

(3) Wells used by generators of hazardous waste or owners or operators of hazardous waste management facilities to dispose of hazardous waste, which cannot be classified under paragraph (a)(1) or (d) (1) and (2) of this section (e.g., wells used to dispose of hazardous waste into or above a formation which contains an aquifer which has been exempted pursuant to §146.04).

(e) Class V. Injection wells not included in Class I, II, III, IV, or VI. Specific types of Class V injection wells are described in §144.81.

(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]

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§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]

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§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 March1May 31
April, May, and June1Aug. 31
July, August, and September1Nov. 30
October, November, and December1Feb. 28

1Reports 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]

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