40 CFR § 144.28 - Requirements for Class I, II, and III wells authorized by rule.
(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:
(2) Any noncompliance or malfunction of the injection system which may cause fluid migration into or between USDWs.
(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:
(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
(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);
(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.
(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:
(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
(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.
(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:
(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:
(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.
(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;
(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.
(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;
(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.
(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;
(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.
(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:
(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.
(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.