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

Title 40Chapter ISubchapter DPart 144 → Subpart E


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


Subpart E—Permit Conditions


Contents
§144.51   Conditions applicable to all permits.
§144.52   Establishing permit conditions.
§144.53   Schedule of compliance.
§144.54   Requirements for recording and reporting of monitoring results.
§144.55   Corrective action.

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§144.51   Conditions applicable to all permits.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(3) Records of monitoring information shall include:

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

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

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

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

(v) The analytical techniques or methods used; and

(vi) The results of such analyses.

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

(k) Signatory requirement. All applications, reports, or information submitted to the Administrator shall be signed and certified. (See §144.32.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(m) Requirements prior to commencing injection. Except for all new wells authorized by an area permit under §144.33(c), a new injection well may not commence injection until construction is complete, and

(1) The permittee has submitted notice of completion of construction to the Director; and

(2)(i) The Director has inspected or otherwise reviewed the new injection well and finds it is in compliance with the conditions of the permit; or

(ii) The permittee has not received notice form the Director of his or her intent to inspect or otherwise review the new injection well within 13 days of the date of the notice in paragraph (m)(1) of this section, in which case prior inspection or review is waived and the permittee may commence injection. The Director shall include in his notice a reasonable time period in which he shall inspect the well.

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

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

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

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

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

(q) Duty to establish and maintain mechanical integrity. (1) The owner or operator of a Class I, II, III or VI well permitted under this part shall establish mechanical integrity prior to commencing injection or on a schedule determined by the Director. Thereafter the owner or operator of Class I, II, and III wells must maintain mechanical integrity as defined in §146.8 of this chapter and the owner or operator of Class VI wells must maintain mechanical integrity as defined in §146.89 of this chapter. 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.

(2) When the Director determines that a Class I, II, III or VI well lacks mechanical integrity pursuant to §146.8 or §146.89 of this chapter for Class VI of this chapter, he/she shall give written notice of his/her 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 pursuant to the requirements of §146.10 of this chapter or require the permittee 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 written notification from the Director that the owner or operator has demonstrated mechanical integrity pursuant to §146.8 of this chapter.

(3) 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.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 49 FR 20185, May 11, 1984; 53 FR 28147, July 26, 1988; 58 FR 63898, Dec. 3, 1993; 75 FR 77289, Dec. 10, 2010]

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§144.52   Establishing permit conditions.

(a) In addition to conditions required in §144.51, the Director shall establish conditions, as required on a case-by-case basis under §144.36 (duration of permits), §144.53(a) (schedules of compliance), §144.54 (monitoring), and for EPA permits only §144.53(b) (alternate schedules of compliance), and §144.4 (considerations under Federal law). Permits for owners or operators of hazardous waste injection wells shall include conditions meeting the requirements of §144.14 (requirements for wells injecting hazardous waste), paragraphs (a)(7) and (a)(9) of this section, and subpart G of part 146. Permits for owners or operators of Class VI injection wells shall include conditions meeting the requirements of subpart H of part 146. Permits for other wells shall contain the following requirements, when applicable.

(1) Construction requirements as set forth in part 146. Existing wells shall achieve compliance with such requirements according to a compliance schedule established as a permit condition. The owner or operator of a proposed new injection well shall submit plans for testing, drilling, and construction as part of the permit application. Except as authorized by an area permit, no constuction may commence until a permit has been issued containing construction requirements (see §144.11). New wells shall be in compliance with these requirements prior to commencing injection operations. Changes in construction plans during construction may be approved by the Administrator as minor modifications (§144.41). No such changes may be physically incorporated into construction of the well prior to approval of the modification by the Director.

(2) Corrective action as set forth in §§144.55, 146.7, and 146.84 of this chapter.

(3) Operation requirements as set forth in 40 CFR part 146; the permit shall establish any maximum injection volumes and/or pressures necessary to assure that fractures are not initiated in the confining zone, that injected fluids do not migrate into any underground source of drinking water, that formation fluids are not displaced into any underground source of drinking water, and to assure compliance with the part 146 operating requirements.

(4) Requirements for wells managing hazardous waste, as set forth in §144.14.

(5) Monitoring and reporting requirements as set forth in 40 CFR part 146. The permittee shall be required to identify types of tests and methods used to generate the monitoring data. For EPA administered programs, monitoring of the nature of 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 in certain circumstances by other methods that have been approved by the Regional Administrator.

(6) 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:

(i) Provides notice to the Regional Administrator;

(ii) Describes 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.

(7) Financial responsibility. (i) The permittee, including the transferor of a permit, 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:

(A) The well has been plugged and abandoned in accordance with an approved plugging and abandonment plan pursuant to §§144.51(o), 146.10, and 146.92 of this chapter, and submitted a plugging and abandonment report pursuant to §144.51(p); or

(B) The well has been converted in compliance with the requirements of §144.51(n); or

(C) The transferor of a permit has received notice from the Director that the owner or operator receiving transfer of the permit, the new permittee, has demonstrated financial responsibility for the well.

(ii) The permittee 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 or other materials acceptable to the Director. For EPA administered programs, the Regional Administrator may on a periodic basis require the holder of a lifetime permit to submit an estimate of the resources needed to plug and abandon the well revised to reflect inflation of such costs, and a revised demonstration of financial responsibility, if necessary. The owner or operator of a well injecting hazardous waste must comply with the financial responsibility requirements of subpart F of this part. For Class VI wells, the permittee shall show evidence of such financial responsibility to the Director by the submission of a qualifying instrument (see §146.85(a) of this chapter), such as a financial statement or other materials acceptable to the Director. The owner or operator of a Class VI well must comply with the financial responsibility requirements set forth in §146.85 of this chapter.

(8) Mechanical integrity. A permit for any Class I, II, III or VI well or injection project which lacks mechanical integrity shall include, and for any Class V well may include, a condition prohibiting injection operations until the permittee shows to the satisfaction of the Director under §146.8, or §146.89 of this chapter for Class VI, that the well has mechanical integrity.

(9) Additional conditions. The Director shall impose on a case-by-case basis such additional conditions as are necessary to prevent the migration of fluids into underground sources of drinking water.

(b)(1) In addition to conditions required in all permits the Director shall establish conditions in permits as required on a case-by-case basis, to provide for and assure compliance with all applicable requirements of the SDWA and parts 144, 145, 146 and 124.

(2) For a State issued permit, an applicable requirement is a State statutory or regulatory requirement which takes effect prior to final administrative disposition of the permit. For a permit issued by EPA, an applicable requirement is a statutory or regulatory requirement (including any interim final regulation) which takes effect prior to the issuance of the permit. Section 124.14 (reopening of comment period) provides a means for reopening EPA permit proceedings at the discretion of the Director where new requirements become effective during the permitting process and are of sufficient magnitude to make additional proceedings desirable. For State and EPA administered programs, an applicable requirement is also any requirement which takes effect prior to the modification or revocation and reissuance of a permit, to the extent allowed in §144.39.

(3) New or reissued permits, and to the extent allowed under §144.39 modified or revoked and reissued permits, shall incorporate each of the applicable requirements referenced in §144.52.

(c) Incorporation. All permit conditions shall be incorporated either expressly or by reference. If incorporated by reference, a specific citation to the applicable regulations or requirements must be given in the permit.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 49 FR 20185, May 11, 1984; 53 FR 28147, July 26, 1988; 58 FR 63898; Dec. 3, 1993; 65 FR 30913, May 15, 2000; 75 FR 77289, Dec. 10, 2010]

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§144.53   Schedule of compliance.

(a) General. The permit may, when appropriate, specify a schedule of compliance leading to compliance with the SDWA and parts 144, 145, 146, and 124.

(1) Time for compliance. Any schedules of compliance shall require compliance as soon as possible, and in no case later than 3 years after the effective date of the permit.

(2) Interim dates. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, if a permit establishes a schedule of compliance which exceeds 1 year from the date of permit issuance, the schedule shall set forth interim requirements and the dates for their achievement.

(i) The time between interim dates shall not exceed 1 year.

(ii) If the time necessary for completion of any interim requirement is more than 1 year and is not readily divisible into stages for completion, the permit shall specify interim dates for the submission of reports of progress toward completion of the interim requirements and indicate a projected completion date.

(3) Reporting. The permit shall be written to require that if paragraph (a)(1) of this section is applicable, progress reports be submitted no later than 30 days following each interim date and the final date of compliance.

(b) Alternative schedules of compliance. A permit applicant or permittee may cease conducting regulated activities (by plugging and abandonment) rather than continue to operate and meet permit requirements as follows:

(1) If the permittee decides to cease conducting regulated activities at a given time within the term of a permit which has already been issued:

(i) The permit may be modified to contain a new or additional schedule leading to timely cessation of activities; or

(ii) The permittee shall cease conducting permitted activities before noncompliance with any interim or final compliance schedule requirement already specified in the permit.

(2) If the decision to cease conducting regulated activities is made before issuance of a permit whose term will include the termination date, the permit shall contain a schedule leading to termination which will ensure timely compliance with applicable requirements.

(3) If the permittee is undecided whether to cease conducting regulated activities, the Director may issue or modify a permit to contain two schedules as follows:

(i) Both schedules shall contain an identical interim deadline requiring a final decision on whether to cease conducting regulated activities no later than a date which ensures sufficient time to comply with applicable requirements in a timely manner if the decision is to continue conducting regulated activities;

(ii) One schedule shall lead to timely compliance with applicable requirements;

(iii) The second schedule shall lead to cessation of regulated activities by a date which will ensure timely compliance with applicable requirements;

(iv) Each permit containing two schedules shall include a requirement that after the permittee has made a final decision under paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section it shall follow the schedule leading to compliance if the decision is to continue conducting regulated activities, and follow the schedule leading to termination if the decision is to cease conducting regulated activities.

(4) The applicant's or permittee's decision to cease conducting regulated activities shall be evidenced by a firm public commitment satisfactory to the Director, such as a resolution of the board of directors of a corporation.

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§144.54   Requirements for recording and reporting of monitoring results.

All permits shall specify:

(a) Requirements concerning the proper use, maintenance, and installation, when appropriate, of monitoring equipment or methods (including biological monitoring methods when appropriate);

(b) Required monitoring including type, intervals, and frequency sufficient to yield data which are representative of the monitored activity including when appropriate, continuous monitoring;

(c) Applicable reporting requirements based upon the impact of the regulated activity and as specified in part 146. Reporting shall be no less frequent than specified in the above regulations.

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§144.55   Corrective action.

(a) Coverage. Applicants for Class I, II, (other than existing), or III injection well permits shall identify the location of all known wells within the injection well's area of review which penetrate the injection zone, or in the case of Class II wells operating over the fracture pressure of the injection formation, all known wells within the area of review penetrating formations affected by the increase in pressure. For such wells which are improperly sealed, completed, or abandoned, the applicant shall also submit a plan consisting of such steps or modifications as are necessary to prevent movement of fluid into underground sources of drinking water (“corrective action”). Where the plan is adequate, the Director shall incorporate it into the permit as a condition. Where the Director's review of an application indicates that the permittee's plan is inadequate (based on the factors in §146.07), the Director shall require the applicant to revise the plan, prescribe a plan for corrective action as a condition of the permit under paragraph (b) of this section, or deny the application. The Director may disregard the provisions of §146.06 (Area of Review) and §146.07 (Corrective Action) when reviewing an application to permit an existing Class II well.

(b) Requirements—(1) Existing injection wells. Any permit issued for an existing injection well (other than Class II) requiring corrective action shall include a compliance schedule requiring any corrective action accepted or prescribed under paragraph (a) of this section to be completed as soon as possible.

(2) New injection wells. No owner or operator of a new injection well may begin injection until all required corrective action has been taken.

(3) Injection pressure limitation. The Director may require as a permit condition that injection pressure be so limited that pressure in the injection zone does not exceed hydrostatic pressure at the site of any improperly completed or abandoned well within the area of review. This pressure limitation shall satisfy the corrective action requirement. Alternatively, such injection pressure limitation can be part of a compliance schedule and last until all other required corrective action has been taken.

(4) Class III wells only. When setting corrective action requirements the Director shall consider the overall effect of the project on the hydraulic gradient in potentially affected USDWs, and the corresponding changes in potentiometric surface(s) and flow direction(s) rather than the discrete effect of each well. If a decision is made that corrective action is not necessary based on the determinations above, the monitoring program required in §146.33(b) shall be designed to verify the validity of such determinations.

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