U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Feb 28, 2020
Any underground injection, except into a well authorized by rule or except as authorized by permit issued under the UIC program, is prohibited. The construction of any well required to have a permit is prohibited until the permit has been issued.
(a) No owner or operator shall construct, operate, maintain, convert, plug, abandon, or conduct any other injection activity in a manner that allows the movement of fluid containing any contaminant into underground sources of drinking water, if the presence of that contaminant may cause a violation of any primary drinking water regulation under 40 CFR part 142 or may otherwise adversely affect the health of persons. The applicant for a permit shall have the burden of showing that the requirements of this paragraph are met.
(b) For Class I, II, III, and VI wells, if any water quality monitoring of an underground source of drinking water indicates the movement of any contaminant into the underground source of drinking water, except as authorized under part 146, the Director shall prescribe such additional requirements for construction, corrective action, operation, monitoring, or reporting (including closure of the injection well) as are necessary to prevent such movement. In the case of wells authorized by permit, these additional requirements shall be imposed by modifying the permit in accordance with § 144.39, or the permit may be terminated under § 144.40 if cause exists, or appropriate enforcement action may be taken if the permit has been violated. In the case of wells authorized by rule, see §§ 144.21 through 144.24. For EPA administered programs, such enforcement action shall be taken in accordance with appropriate sections of the SDWA.
(c) For Class V wells, if at any time the Director learns that a Class V well may cause a violation of primary drinking water regulations under 40 CFR part 142, he or she shall:
(1) Require the injector to obtain an individual permit;
(2) Order the injector to take such actions (including, where required, closure of the injection well) as may be necessary to prevent the violation. For EPA administered programs, such orders shall be issued in accordance with the appropriate provisions of the SDWA; or
(3) Take enforcement action.
(d) Whenever the Director learns that a Class V well may be otherwise adversely affecting the health of persons, he or she may prescribe such actions as may be necessary to prevent the adverse effect, including any action authorized under paragraph (c) of this section.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Director may take emergency action upon receipt of information that a contaminant which is present in or likely to enter a public water system or underground source of drinking water may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons. If the Director is an EPA official, he must first determine that the appropriate State and local authorities have not taken appropriate action to protect the health of such persons, before taking emergency action.
(a) The following are prohibited, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section:
(1) The construction of any Class IV well.
(2) The operation or maintenance of any Class IV well not in operation prior to July 18, 1980.
(3) The operation or maintenance of any Class IV well that was in operation prior to July 18, 1980, after six months following the effective date of a UIC program approved or promulgated for the state.
(4) Any increase in the amount of hazardous waste or change in the type of hazardous waste injected into a Class IV well.
(b) The owner or operator of a Class IV well shall comply with the requirements of § 144.14, and with the requirements of § 144.23 regarding closure of Class IV wells.
(c) Wells used to inject contaminated ground water that has been treated and is being reinjected into the same formation from which it was drawn are not prohibited by this section if such injection 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. 9601-9657,or,42.S.C. 6901 through 6987.
(d) Clarification. The following wells are not prohibited by this action:
(1) Wells used to inject hazardous waste into aquifers or portions thereof that have been exempted pursuant to § 146.4, if the exempted aquifer into which waste is injected underlies the lowermost formation containing a USDW. Such wells are Class I wells as specified in § 144.6(a)(1), and the owner or operator must comply with the requirements applicable to Class I wells.
(2) Wells used to inject hazardous waste where no USDW exists within one quarter mile of the well bore in any underground formation, provided that the Director determines that such injection is into a formation sufficiently isolated to ensure that injected fluids do not migrate from the injection zone. Such wells are Class I wells as specified in § 144.6(a)(1), and the owner or operator must comply with the requirements applicable to Class I wells.
(a) Applicability. The regulations in this section apply to all generators of hazardous waste, and to the owners or operators of all hazardous waste management facilities, using any class of well to inject hazardous wastes accompanied by a manifest. (See also § 144.13.)
(b) Authorization. The owner or operator of any well that is used to inject hazardous waste required to be accompanied by a manifest or delivery document shall apply for authorization to inject as specified in § 144.31 within 6 months after the approval or promulgation of the State UIC program.
(c) Requirements. In addition to complying with the applicable requirements of this part and 40 CFR part 146, the owner or operator of each facility meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, shall comply with the following:
(1) Notification. The owner or operator shall comply with the notification requirements of section 3010 of Public Law 94-580.
(2) Identification number. The owner or operator shall comply with the requirements of 40 CFR 264.11.
(3) Manifest system. The owner or operator shall comply with the applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements for manifested wastes in 40 CFR 264.71.
(4) Manifest discrepancies. The owner or operator shall comply with 40 CFR 264.72.
(5) Operating record. The owner or operator shall comply with 40 CFR 264.73(a), (b)(1), and (b)(2).
(6) Annual report. The owner or operator shall comply with 40 CFR 264.75.
(7) Unmanifested waste report. The owner or operator shall comply with 40 CFR 264.75.
(8) Personnel training. The owner or operator shall comply with the applicable personnel training requirements of 40 CFR 264.16.
(9) Certification of closure. When abandonment is completed, the owner or operator must submit to the Director certification by the owner or operator and certification by an independent registered professional engineer that the facility has been closed in accordance with the specifications in § 144.52(a)(6).
(d) Additional requirements for Class IV wells. [Reserved]
The construction, operation or maintenance of any non-experimental Class V geologic sequestration well is prohibited.
(a) When injection does not occur into, through or above an underground source of drinking water, the Director may authorize a well or project with less stringent requirements for area of review, construction, mechanical integrity, operation, monitoring, and reporting than required in 40 CFR part 146 or § 144.52 to the extent that the reduction in requirements will not result in an increased risk of movement of fluids into an underground source of drinking water.
(b) When injection occurs through or above an underground source of drinking water, but the radius of endangering influence when computed under § 146.06(a) is smaller or equal to the radius of the well, the Director may authorize a well or project with less stringent requirements for operation, monitoring, and reporting than required in 40 CFR part 146 or § 144.52 to the extent that the reduction in requirements will not result in an increased risk of movement of fluids into an underground source of drinking water.
(c) When reducing requirements under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, the Director shall prepare a fact sheet under § 124.8 explaining the reasons for the action.
The Director or the Administrator may require, by written notice on a selective well-by-well basis, an owner or operator of an injection well to establish and maintain records, make reports, conduct monitoring, and provide other information as is deemed necessary to determine whether the owner or operator has acted or is acting in compliance with Part C of the SDWA or its implementing regulations.
Owners or operators of Class VI wells must obtain a permit. Class VI wells cannot be authorized by rule to inject carbon dioxide.
(a) Owners or operators that are injecting carbon dioxide for the primary purpose of long-term storage into an oil and gas reservoir must apply for and obtain a Class VI geologic sequestration permit when there is an increased risk to USDWs compared to Class II operations. In determining if there is an increased risk to USDWs, the owner or operator must consider the factors specified in § 144.19(b).
(b) The Director shall determine when there is an increased risk to USDWs compared to Class II operations and a Class VI permit is required. In order to make this determination the Director must consider the following:
(1) Increase in reservoir pressure within the injection zone(s);
(2) Increase in carbon dioxide injection rates;
(3) Decrease in reservoir production rates;
(4) Distance between the injection zone(s) and USDWs;
(5) Suitability of the Class II area of review delineation;
(6) Quality of abandoned well plugs within the area of review;
(7) The owner's or operator's plan for recovery of carbon dioxide at the cessation of injection;
(8) The source and properties of injected carbon dioxide; and
(9) Any additional site-specific factors as determined by the Director.