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 21, 2020

Title 40Chapter ISubchapter DPart 144 → Subpart D


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


Subpart D—Authorization by Permit


Contents
§144.31   Application for a permit; authorization by permit.
§144.32   Signatories to permit applications and reports.
§144.33   Area permits.
§144.34   Emergency permits.
§144.35   Effect of a permit.
§144.36   Duration of permits.
§144.37   Continuation of expiring permits.
§144.38   Transfer of permits.
§144.39   Modification or revocation and reissuance of permits.
§144.40   Termination of permits.
§144.41   Minor modifications of permits.

return arrow Back to Top

§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]

return arrow Back to Top

§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]

return arrow Back to Top

§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]

return arrow Back to Top

§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]

return arrow Back to Top

§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.

return arrow Back to Top

§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]

return arrow Back to Top

§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.

return arrow Back to Top

§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]

return arrow Back to Top

§144.39   Modification or revocation and reissuance 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]

return arrow Back to Top

§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.

return arrow Back to Top

§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]

return arrow Back to Top

Need assistance?