Home
gpo.gov
govinfo.gov

e-CFR Navigation Aids

Browse

Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity

 

Search History

Search Tips

Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info

FAQs

Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. We have made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Be sure to leave feedback using the Help button on the bottom right of each page!

e-CFR data is current as of September 18, 2020

Title 40Chapter ISubchapter DPart 144 → Subpart C


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


Subpart C—Authorization of Underground Injection by Rule


Contents
§144.21   Existing Class I, II (except enhanced recovery and hydrocarbon storage) and III wells.
§144.22   Existing Class II enhanced recovery and hydrocarbon storage wells.
§144.23   Class IV wells.
§144.24   Class V wells.
§144.25   Requiring a permit.
§144.26   Inventory requirements.
§144.27   Requiring other information.
§144.28   Requirements for Class I, II, and III wells authorized by rule.

return arrow Back to Top

§144.21   Existing Class I, II (except enhanced recovery and hydrocarbon storage) and III wells.

(a) An existing Class I, II (except enhanced recovery and hydrocarbon storage) and III injection well is authorized by rule if the owner or operator injects into the existing well within one year after the date at which a UIC program authorized under the SDWA becomes effective for the first time or inventories the well pursuant to the requirements of §144.26. An owner or operator of a well which is authorized by rule pursuant to this section shall rework, operate, maintain, convert, plug, abandon or inject into the well in compliance with applicable regulations.

(b) Duration of well authorization by rule. Well authorization under this section expires upon the effective date of a permit issued pursuant to §§144.25, 144.31, 144.33 or 144.34; after plugging and abandonment in accordance with an approved plugging and abandonment plan pursuant to §§144.28(c) and 146.10, and upon submission of a plugging and abandonment report pursuant to §144.28(k); or upon conversion in compliance with §144.28(j).

(c) Prohibitions on injection. An owner or operator of a well authorized by rule pursuant to this section is prohibited from injecting into the well:

(1) Upon the effective date of an applicable permit denial;

(2) Upon failure to submit a permit application in a timely manner pursuant to §§144.25 or 144.31;

(3) Upon failure to submit inventory information in a timely manner pursuant to §144.26;

(4) Upon failure to comply with a request for information in a timely manner pursuant to §144.27;

(5) Upon failure to provide alternative financial assurance pursuant to §144.28(d)(7);

(6) Forty-eight hours after receipt of a determination by the Director pursuant to §144.28(f)(3) that the well lacks mechanical integrity, unless the Director requires immediate cessation;

(7) Upon receipt of notification from the Director pursuant to §144.28(l) that the transferee has not demonstrated financial responsibility pursuant to §144.28(d);

(8) For Class I and III wells:

(i) In States with approved programs, five years after the effective date of the UIC program unless a timely and complete permit application is pending the Director's decision; or

(ii) In States with programs administered by EPA, one year after the effective date of the UIC program unless a timely and complete permit application is pending the Director's decision; or

(9) For Class II wells (except enhanced recovery and hydrocarbon storage), five years after the effective date of the UIC program unless a timely and complete permit application is pending the Director's decision.

(d) Class II and III wells in existing fields or projects. Notwithstanding the prohibition in §144.11, this section authorizes Class II and Class III wells or projects in existing fields or projects to continue normal operations until permitted, including construction, operation, and plugging and abandonment of wells as part of the operation, provided the owner or operator maintains compliance with all applicable requirements.

(e) Requirements. The owner or operator of a well authorized under this section shall comply with the applicable requirements of §144.28 and part 147 of this chapter no later than one year after authorization.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 49 FR 20181, May 11, 1984; 58 FR 63895, Dec. 3, 1993]

return arrow Back to Top

§144.22   Existing Class II enhanced recovery and hydrocarbon storage wells.

(a) An existing Class II enhanced recovery or hydrocarbon storage injection well is authorized by rule for the life of the well or project, if the owner or operator injects into the existing well within one year after the date which a UIC program authorized under the SDWA becomes effective for the first time or inventories the well pursuant to the requirements of §144.26. An owner or operator of a well which is authorized by rule pursuant to this section shall rework, operate, maintain, convert, plug, abandon or inject into the well in compliance with applicable regulations.

(b) Duration of well authorization by rule. Well authorization under this section expires upon the effective date of a permit issued pursuant to §144.19, §144.25, §144.31, §144.33 or §144.34; after plugging and abandonment in accordance with an approved plugging and abandonment plan pursuant to §§144.28(c) and 146.10 of this chapter; and upon submission of a plugging and abandonment report pursuant to §144.28(k); or upon conversion in compliance with §144.28(j).

(c) Prohibitions on injection. An owner or operator of a well authorized by rule pursuant to this section is prohibited from injecting into the well:

(1) Upon the effective date of an applicable permit denial;

(2) Upon failure to submit a permit application in a timely manner pursuant to §144.25 or §144.31;

(3) Upon failure to submit inventory information in a timely manner pursuant to §144.26;

(4) Upon failure to comply with a request for information in a timely manner pursuant to §144.27;

(5) Upon failure to provide alternative financial assurance pursuant to §144.28(d)(7);

(6) Forty-eight hours after receipt of a determination by the Director pursuant to §144.28(f)(3) that the well lacks mechanical integrity, unless the Director requires immediate cessation; or

(7) Upon receipt of notification from the Director pursuant to §144.28(l) that the transferee has not demonstrated financial responsibility pursuant to §144.28(d).

(d) Requirements. The owner or operator of a well authorized under this section shall comply with the applicable requirements of §144.28 and part 147 of this chapter. Such owner or operator shall comply with the casing and cementing requirements no later than 3 years and other requirements no later than 1 year after authorization.

[49 FR 20181, May 11, 1984, as amended at 58 FR 63896, Dec. 3, 1993; 75 FR 77288, Dec. 10, 2010]

return arrow Back to Top

§144.23   Class IV wells.

(a) Injection into existing Class IV wells is authorized for up to six months after approval or promulgation of the UIC Program. Such wells are subject to the requirements of §§144.13 and 144.14(c).

(b) Closure. For EPA administered programs only,

(1) Prior to abandoning any Class IV well, the owner or operator shall plug or otherwise close the well in a manner acceptable to the Regional Administrator.

(2) [Reserved]

(3) The owner or operator of a Class IV well must notify the Regional Administrator of intent to abandon the well at least thirty days prior to abandonment.

(c) Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, injection wells used to inject contaminated ground water that has been treated and is being injected into the same formation from which it was drawn are authorized by rule for the life of the well if such subsurface emplacement of fluids is approved by EPA, or a State, pursuant to provisions for cleanup of releases under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. 9601-9675, or pursuant to requirements and provisions under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 42 U.S.C. 6901-6992k.

[49 FR 20181, May 11, 1984, as amended at 60 FR 33932, June 29, 1995; 64 FR 68566, Dec. 7, 1999]

return arrow Back to Top

§144.24   Class V wells.

(a) A Class V injection well is authorized by rule, subject to the conditions in §144.84

(b) Duration of well authorization by rule. Well authorization under this section expires upon the effective date of a permit issued pursuant to §§144.25, 144.31, 144.33 or 144.34, or upon proper closure of the well.

(c) Prohibition of injection. An owner or operator of a well which is authorized by rule pursuant to this section is prohibited from injecting into the well:

(1) Upon the effective date of an applicable permit denial;

(2) Upon failure to submit a permit application in a timely manner pursuant to §§144.25 or 144.31;

(3) Upon failure to submit inventory information in a timely manner pursuant to §144.26; or

(4) Upon failure to comply with a request for information in a timely manner pursuant to §144.27.

[58 FR 63896, Dec. 3, 1993, as amended at 64 FR 68566, Dec. 7, 1999]

return arrow Back to Top

§144.25   Requiring a permit.

(a) The Director may require the owner or operator of any Class I, II, III or V injection well which is authorized by rule under this subpart to apply for and obtain an individual or area UIC permit. Cases where individual or area UIC permits may be required include:

(1) The injection well is not in compliance with any requirement of the rule;

Note: Any underground injection which violates any authorization by rule is subject to appropriate enforcement action.

(2) The injection well is not or no longer is within the category of wells and types of well operations authorized in the rule;

(3) The protection of USDWs requires that the injection operation be regulated by requirements, such as for corrective action, monitoring and reporting, or operation, which are not contained in the rule.

(4) When the injection well is a Class I, II (except existing enhanced recovery and hydrocarbon storage) or III well, in accordance with a schedule established by the Director pursuant to §144.31(c).

(b) For EPA-administered programs, the Regional Administrator may require an owner or operator of any well which is authorized by rule under this subpart to apply for an individual or area UIC permit under this paragraph only if the owner or operator has been notified in writing that a permit application is required. The owner or operator of a well which is authorized by rule under this subpart is prohibited from injecting into the well upon the effective date of permit denial, or upon failure by the owner or operator to submit an application in a timely manner as specified in the notice. The notice shall include: a brief statement of the reasons for requiring a permit; an application form; a statement setting a time for the owner or operator to file the application; and a statement of the consequences of denial or issuance of the permit, or failure to submit an application, as described in this paragraph.

(c) An owner or operator of a well authorized by rule may request to be excluded from the coverage of this subpart by applying for an individual or area UIC permit. The owner or operator shall submit an application under §144.31 with reasons supporting the request, to the Director. The Director may grant any such requests.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 49 FR 20182, May 11, 1984; 58 FR 63896, Dec. 3, 1993]

return arrow Back to Top

§144.26   Inventory requirements.

The owner or operator of an injection well which is authorized by rule under this subpart shall submit inventory information to the Director. Such an owner or operator is prohibited from injecting into the well upon failure to submit inventory information for the well within the time frame specified in paragraph (d) of this section.

(a) Contents. As part of the inventory, the Director shall require and the owner/operator shall provide at least the following information:

(1) Facility name and location;

(2) Name and address of legal contact;

(3) Ownership of facility;

(4) Nature and type of injection wells; and

(5) Operating status of injection wells.

Note: This information is requested on national form “Inventory of Injection Wells,” OMB No. 158-R0170.

(b) Additional contents. For EPA administered programs only, the owner or operator of a well listed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall provide the information listed in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(1) This section applies to the following wells:

(i) Class II enhanced recovery wells;

(ii) Class IV wells;

(iii) The following Class V wells:

(A) Sand or other backfill wells [§146.5(e)(8)];

(B) Radioactive waste disposal wells that are not Class I wells (40 CFR 146.5 (e)(11))

(C) Geothermal energy recovery wells [§146.5(e)(12)];

(D) Brine return flow wells [§146.5(e)(14)];

(E) Wells used in experimental technologies [§146.5(e)(15)];

(F) Municipal and industrial disposal wells other than Class I; and

(G) Any other Class V wells at the discretion of the Regional Administrator.

(2) The owner or operator of a well listed in paragraph (b)(1) shall provide a listing of all wells owned or operated setting forth the following information for each well. (A single description of wells at a single facility with substantially the same characteristics is acceptable).

(i) For Class II only, the field name(s);

(ii) Location of each well or project given by Township, Range, Section, and Quarter-Section, or by latitude and longitude to the nearest second, according to the conventional practice in the State;

(iii) Date of completion of each well;

(iv) Identification and depth of the formation(s) into which each well is injecting;

(v) Total depth of each well;

(vi) Casing and cementing record, tubing size, and depth of packer;

(vii) Nature of the injected fluids;

(viii) Average and maximum injection pressure at the wellhead;

(ix) Average and maximum injection rate; and

(x) Date of the last mechanical integrity test, if any.

(c) Notice. Upon approval of the UIC Program in a State, the Director shall notify owners or operators of injection wells of their duty to submit inventory information. The method of notification selected by the Director must assure that the owners or operators will be made aware of the inventory requirement.

(d) Deadlines. (1) The owner or operator of an injection well shall submit inventory information no later than one year after the date of approval or effective date of the UIC program for the State. The Director need not require inventory information from any facility with interim status under RCRA.

(2) For EPA administered programs the information need not be submitted if a complete permit application is submitted within one year of the effective data of the UIC program. The owner or operator of Class IV well shall submit inventory information no later than 60 days after the effective date of the program.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 49 FR 20182, May 11, 1984; 58 FR 63896, Dec. 3, 1993; 64 FR 68566, Dec. 7, 1999; 67 FR 39593, June 7, 2002]

return arrow Back to Top

§144.27   Requiring other information.

(a) For EPA administered programs only, in addition to the inventory requirements of §144.26, the Regional Administrator may require the owner or operator of any well authorized by rule under this subpart to submit information as deemed necessary by the Regional Administrator to determine whether a well may be endangering an underground source of drinking water in violation of §144.12 of this part.

(b) Such information requirements may include, but are not limited to:

(1) Performance of ground-water monitoring and the periodic submission of reports of such monitoring;

(2) An analysis of injected fluids, including periodic submission of such analyses; and

(3) A description of the geologic strata through and into which injection is taking place.

(c) Any request for information under this section shall be made in writing, and include a brief statement of the reasons for requiring the information. An owner or operator shall submit the information within the time period(s) provided in the notice.

(d) An owner or operator of an injection well authorized by rule under this subpart is prohibited from injecting into the well upon failure of the owner or operator to comply with a request for information within the time period(s) specified by the Director pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section. An owner or operator of a well prohibited from injection under this section shall not resume injection except under a permit issued pursuant to §§144.25, 144.31, 144.33 or 144.34.

[49 FR 20182, May 11, 1984, as amended at 58 FR 63896, Dec. 3, 1993]

return arrow Back to Top

§144.28   Requirements for Class I, II, and III wells authorized by rule.

The following requirements apply to the owner or operator of a Class I, II or III well authorized by rule under this subpart, as provided by §§144.21(e) and 144.22(d).

(a) The owner or operator shall comply with all applicable requirements of this subpart and subpart B of this part. Any noncompliance with these requirements constitutes a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act and is grounds for enforcement action, except that the owner or operator need not comply with these requirements to the extent and for the duration such noncompliance is authorized by an emergency permit under §144.34.

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

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

(2) Any noncompliance 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 owner or operator becomes aware of the circumstances. A written submission shall also be provided within five days of the time the owner or operator 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 recurrence of the noncompliance.

(c) Plugging and abandonment plan. (1) The owner or operator shall prepare, maintain, and comply with a plan for plugging and abandonment of the well or project that meets the requirements of §146.10 of this chapter and is acceptable to the Director. For purposes of this paragraph, temporary intermittent cessation of injection operations is not abandonment.

(2) For EPA administered programs:

(i) The owner or operator shall submit the plan, on a form provided by the Regional Administrator, no later than one year after the effective date of the UIC program in the state.

(ii) The owner or operator shall submit any proposed significant revision to the method of plugging reflected in the plan no later than the notice of plugging required by §144.28(j)(2) (i.e., 45 days prior to plugging unless shorter notice is approved).

(iii) The plan shall include the following information:

(A) The nature and quantity and material to be used in plugging;

(B) The location and extent (by depth) of the plugs;

(C) Any proposed test or measurement to be made;

(D) The amount, size, and location (by depth) of casing to be left in the well;

(E) The method and location where casing is to be parted; and

(F) [Reserved]

(G) The estimated cost of plugging the well.

(iv) After a cessation of operations of two years the owner or operator shall plug and abandon the well in accordance with the plan unless he:

(A) Provides notice to the Regional Administrator;

(B) Describe actions or procedures, satisfactory to the Regional Administrator, that the owner or operator will take to ensure that the well will not endanger USDWs during the period of temporary abandonment. These actions and procedures shall include compliance with the technical requirements applicable to active injection wells unless waived by the Regional Administrator.

(v) The owner or operator of any well that has been temporarily abandoned [ceased operations for more than two years and has met the requirements of paragraphs (c)(2) (A) and (B) of this section] shall notify the Regional Administrator prior to resuming operation of the well.

(d) Financial responsibility. (1) The owner, operator and/or, for EPA-administered programs, the transferor of a Class I, II or III well, is required to demonstrate and maintain financial responsibility and resources to close, plug and abandon the underground injection operation in a manner prescribed by the Director until:

(i) The well has been plugged and abandoned in accordance with an approved plugging and abandonment plan pursuant to §§144.28(c) and 146.10 and submission of a plugging and abandonment report has been made pursuant to §144.28(k);

(ii) The well has been converted in compliance with the requirements of §144.28(j); or

(iii) For EPA-administered programs, the transferor has received notice from the Director that the transferee has demonstrated financial responsibility for the well. The owner or operator shall show evidence of such financial responsibility to the Director by the submission of a surety bond, or other adequate assurance, such as a financial statement.

(2) For EPA-administered programs, the owner or operator shall submit such evidence no later than one year after the effective date of the UIC program in the State. Where the ownership or operational control of the well is transferred more than one year after the effective date of the UIC program, the transferee shall submit such evidence no later than the date specified in the notice required pursuant to §144.28(l)(2).

(3) For EPA administered programs the Regional Administrator may require the owner or operator to submit a revised demonstration of financial responsibility if the Regional Administrator has reason to believe that the original demonstration is no longer adequate to cover the cost of closing, plugging and abandoning the well.

(4) For EPA administered programs the owner or operator of a well injecting hazardous waste must comply with the financial responsibility requirements of subpart F of this part.

(5) For EPA-administered programs, an owner or operator must notify the Regional Administrator by certified mail of the commencement of any voluntary or involuntary proceeding under Title 11 (Bankruptcy) of the United States Code which names the owner or operator as debtor, within 10 business days after the commencement of the proceeding. Any party acting as guarantor for the owner or operator for the purpose of financial responsibility must so notify the Regional Administrator, if the guarantor is named as debtor in any such proceeding.

(6) In the event of commencement of a proceeding specified in paragraph (d)(5) of this section, an owner or operator who has furnished a financial statement for the purpose of demonstrating financial responsibility under this section shall be deemed to be in violation of this paragraph until an alternative financial assurance demonstration acceptable to the Regional Administrator is provided either by the owner or operator or by its trustee in bankruptcy, receiver, or other authorized party. All parties shall be prohibited from injecting into the well until such alternate financial assurance is provided.

(e) Casing and cementing requirements. For enhanced recovery and hydrocarbon storage wells:

(1) The owner or operator shall case and cement the well to prevent movement of fluids into or between underground sources of drinking water. In determining and specifying casing and cementing requirements, the following factors shall be considered:

(i) Depth to the injection zone;

(ii) Depth to the bottom of all USDWs; and

(iii) Estimated maximum and average injection pressures.

(2) In addition, in determining and specifying casing and cementing requirements the Director may consider information on:

(i) Nature of formation fluids;

(ii) Lithology of injection and confining zones;

(iii) External pressure, internal pressure, and axial loading;

(iv) Hole size;

(v) Size and grade of all casing strings; and

(vi) Class of cement.

(3) The requirements in paragraphs (e) (1) and (2) of this section need not apply if:

(i) Regulatory controls for casing and cementing existed at the time of drilling of the well and the well is in compliance with those controls; and

(ii) Well injection will not result in the movement of fluids into an underground source of drinking water so as to create a significant risk to the health of persons.

(4) When a State did not have regulatory controls for casing and cementing prior to the time of the submission of the State program to the Administrator, the Director need not apply the casing and cementing requirements in paragraph (e)(1) of this section if he submits as a part of his application for primacy, an appropriate plan for casing and cementing of existing, newly converted, and newly drilled wells in existing fields, and the Administrator approves the plan.

(f) Operating requirements. (1) Injection between the outermost casing protecting underground sources of drinking water and the well bore is prohibited.

(2) The owner or operator of a Class I, II or III injection well authorized by rule shall establish and maintain mechanical integrity as defined in §146.8 of this chapter until the well is properly plugged in accordance with an approved plugging and abandonment plan pursuant to §§144.28(c) and 146.10, and a plugging and abandonment report pursuant to §144.28(k) is submitted, or until the well is converted in compliance with §144.28(j). For EPA-administered programs, the Regional Administrator may require by written notice that the owner or operator comply with a schedule describing when mechanical integrity demonstrations shall be made.

(3) When the Director determines that a Class I (non-hazardous), II or III injection well lacks mechanical integrity pursuant to §146.8 of this chapter, the Director shall give written notice of his determination to the owner or operator. Unless the Director requires immediate cessation, the owner or operator shall cease injection into the well within 48 hours of receipt of the Director's determination. The Director may allow plugging of the well in accordance with the requirements of §146.10 of this chapter, or require the owner or operator to perform such additional construction, operation, monitoring, reporting and corrective action as is necessary to prevent the movement of fluid into or between USDWs caused by the lack of mechanical integrity. The owner or operator may resume injection upon receipt of written notification from the Director that the owner or operator has demonstrated mechanical integrity pursuant to §146.8 of this chapter.

(4) The Director may allow the owner or operator of a well which lacks mechanical integrity pursuant to §146.8(a)(1) of this chapter to continue or resume injection if the owner or operator has made a satisfactory demonstration that there is no movement of fluid into or between USDWs.

(5) For Class I wells, unless an alternative to a packer has been approved under §146.12(c) of this chapter, the owner or operator shall fill the annulus between the tubing and the long string of casings with a fluid approved by the Director and maintain a pressure, also approved by the Director, on the annulus. For EPA administered programs, the owner or operator of a Class I well completed with tubing and packer shall fill the annulus between tubing and casing with a noncorrosive fluid and maintain a positive pressure on the annulus. For other Class I wells, the owner or operator shall insure that the alternative completion method will reliably provide a comparable level of protection to underground sources of drinking water.

(6) Injection pressure.

(i) For Class I and III wells:

(A) Except during stimulation, the owner or operator shall not exceed an injection pressure at the wellhead which shall be calculated so as to assure that the pressure during injection does not initiate new fractures or propagate existing fractures in the injection zone; and

(B) The owner or operator shall not inject at a pressure which will initiate fractures in the confining zone or cause the movement of injection or formation fluids into an underground source of drinking water.

(ii) For Class II wells:

(A) The owner or operator shall not exceed a maximum injection pressure at the wellhead which shall be calculated so as to assure that the pressure during injection does not initiate new fractures of propagate existing fractures in the confining zone adjacent to the USDWs; and

(B) The owner or operator shall not inject at a pressure which will cause the movement of injection or formation fluids into an underground source of drinking water.

(g) Monitoring requirements. The owner or operator shall perform the monitoring as described in this paragraph. For EPA administered programs, monitoring of the nature of the injected fluids shall comply with applicable analytical methods cited and described in table I of 40 CFR 136.3 or in appendix III of 40 CFR part 261 or by other methods that have been approved by the Regional Administrator.

(1) The owner or operator of a Class I well shall:

(i) Analyze the nature of the injected fluids with sufficient frequency to yield data representative of their characteristics;

(ii) Install and use continuous recording devices to monitor injection pressure, flow rate and volume, and the pressure on the annulus between the tubing and the long string of casing;

(iii) Install and use monitoring wells within the area of review if required by the Director, to monitor any migration of fluids into and pressure in the underground sources of drinking water. The type, number and location of the wells, the parameters to be measured, and the frequency of monitoring must be approved by the Director.

(2) For Class II wells:

(i) The owner or operator shall monitor the nature of the injected fluids with sufficient frequency to yield data representative of their characteristics. For EPA administered programs, this frequency shall be at least once within the first year of the authorization and thereafter when changes are made to the fluid.

(ii) The owner or operator shall observe the injection pressure, flow rate, and cumulative volume at least with the following frequencies:

(A) Weekly for produced fluid disposal operations;

(B) Monthly for enhanced recovery operations;

(C) Daily during the injection of liquid hydrocarbons and injection for withdrawal of stored hydrocarbons; and

(D) Daily during the injection phase of cyclic steam operations.

(iii) The owner or operator shall record one observation of injection pressure, flow rate and cumulative volume at reasonable intervals no greater than thirty days.

(iv) For enhanced recovery and hydrocarbon storage wells:

(A) The owner or operator shall demonstrate mechanical integrity pursuant to §146.8 of this chapter at least once every five years during the life of the injection well.

(B) For EPA administered programs, the Regional Administrator by written notice may require the owner or operator to comply with a schedule describing when such demonstrations shall be made.

(C) For EPA administered programs, the owner or operator of any well required to be tested for mechanical integrity shall notify the Regional Administrator at least 30 days prior to any required mechanical integrity test. The Regional Administrator may allow a shorter notification period if it would be sufficient to enable EPA to witness the mechanical integrity testing if it chose. Notification may be in the form of a yearly or quarterly schedule of planned mechanical integrity tests, or it may be on an individual basis.

(v) The owner or operator of a hydrocarbon storage or enhanced recovery wells may monitor them by manifold monitoring on a field or project basis rather than on an individual well basis if such facilities consist of more than one injection well, operate with a common manifold, and provided the owner or operator demonstrates to the Director that manifold monitoring is comparable to individual well monitoring.

(3)(i) For Class III wells the owner or operator shall provide to the Director a qualitative analysis and ranges in concentrations of all constituents of injected fluids at least once within the first year of authorization and thereafter whenever the injection fluid is modified to the extent that the initial data are incorrect or incomplete. The owner or operator may request Federal confidentiality as specified in 40 CFR part 2. If the information is proprietary the owner or operator may in lieu of the ranges in concentrations choose to submit maximum concentrations which shall not be exceeded. In such a case the owner or operator shall retain records of the undisclosed concentrations and provide them upon request to the Regional Administrator as part of any enforcement investigation; and

(ii) Monitor injection pressure and either flow rate or volume semi-monthly, or meter and record daily injected and produced fluid volumes as appropriate;

(iii) Monitor the fluid level in the injection zone semi-monthly, where appropriate;

(iv) All Class III wells may be monitored on a field or project basis rather than an individual well basis by manifold monitoring. Manifold monitoring may be used in cases of facilities consisting of more than one injection well, operating with a common manifold. Separate monitoring systems for each well are not required provided the owner or operator demonstrates to the Director that manifold monitoring is comparable to individual well monitoring.

(h) Reporting requirements. The owner or operator shall submit reports to the Director as follows:

(1) For Class I wells, quarterly reports on:

(i) The physical, chemical, and other relevant characteristics of the injection fluids;

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

(iii) The results from ground-water monitoring wells prescribed in paragraph (g)(1)(iii) of this section;

(iv) The results of any test of the injection well conducted by the owner or operator during the reported quarter if required by the Director; and

(v) Any well work over performed during the reported quarter.

(2) For Class II wells:

(i) An annual report to the Director summarizing the results of all monitoring, as required in paragraph (g)(2) of this section. Such summary shall include monthly records of injected fluids, and any major changes in characteristics or sources of injected fluids. Previously submitted information may be included by reference.

(ii) The owner or operator of hydrocarbon storage and enhanced recovery projects may report on a field or project basis rather than on an individual well basis where manifold monitoring is used.

(3) For Class III wells:

(i) Quarterly reporting on all monitoring, as required in paragraph (g)(3) of this section;

(ii) Quarterly reporting of the results of any periodic tests required by the Director that are performed during the reported quarter;

(iii) Monitoring may be reported on a project or field basis rather than an individual well basis where manifold monitoring is used.

(i) Retention of records. The owner or operator shall retain records of all monitoring information, including the following:

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

(2) The nature and composition of all injected fluids until three years after the completion of any plugging and abandonment procedures specified under §144.52(l)(6). 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.

(j) Notice of abandonment. (1) The owner or operator shall notify the Director, according to a time period required by the Director, before conversion or abandonment of the well.

(2) For EPA-administered programs, the owner or operator shall notify the Regional Administrator at least 45 days before plugging and abandonment. The Regional Administrator, at his discretion, may allow a shorter notice period.

(k) 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, an updated version of the plan, on the form supplied by the Regional Administrator, specifying the different procedures used.

(l) Change of ownership or operational control. For EPA-administered programs:

(1) The transferor of a Class I, II or III well authorized by rule shall notify the Regional Administrator of a transfer of ownership or operational control of the well at least 30 days in advance of the proposed transfer.

(2) The notice shall include a written agreement between the transferor and the transferee containing a specific date for transfer of ownership or operational control of the well; and a specific date when the financial responsibility demonstration of §144.28(d) will be met by the transferee.

(3) The transferee is authorized to inject unless he receives notification from the Director that the transferee has not demonstrated financial responsibility pursuant to §144.28(d).

(m) Requirements for Class I hazardous waste wells. The owner or operator of any Class I well injecting hazardous waste shall comply with §144.14(c). In addition, for EPA-administered programs the owner or operator shall properly dispose of, or decontaminate by removing all hazardous waste residues, all injection well equipment.

[49 FR 20182, May 11, 1984, as amended at 58 FR 63897, Dec. 3, 1993]

return arrow Back to Top

Need assistance?