40 CFR § 144.3 - Definitions.

§ 144.3 Definitions.

Terms not defined in this section have the meaning given by the appropriate Act. When a defined term appears in a definition, the defined term is sometimes placed within quotation marks as an aid to readers.

Administrator means the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or an authorized representative.

Application means the EPA standard national forms for applying for a permit, including any additions, revisions or modifications to the forms; or forms approved by EPA for use in approved States, including any approved modifications or revisions.

Appropriate Act and regulations means the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); or Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), whichever is applicable; and applicable regulations promulgated under those statutes.

Approved State Program means a UIC program administered by the State or Indian Tribe that has been approved by EPA according to SDWA sections 1422 and/or 1425.

Aquifer means a geological “formation,” group of formations, or part of a formation that is capable of yielding a significant amount of water to a well or spring.

Area of review means the area surrounding an injection well described according to the criteria set forth in § 146.06 or in the case of an area permit, the project area plus a circumscribing area the width of which is either 1/4 of a mile or a number calculated according to the criteria set forth in § 146.06.

Cesspool means a “drywell” that receives untreated sanitary waste containing human excreta, and which sometimes has an open bottom and/or perforated sides.

Contaminant means any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter in water.

Director means the Regional Administrator, the State director or the Tribal director as the context requires, or an authorized representative. When there is no approved State or Tribal program, and there is an EPA administered program, “Director” means the Regional Administrator. When there is an approved State or Tribal program, “Director” normally means the State or Tribal director. In some circumstances, however, EPA retains the authority to take certain actions even when there is an approved State or Tribal program. In such cases, the term “Director” means the Regional Administrator and not the State or Tribal director.

Draft permit means a document prepared under § 124.6 indicating the Director's tentative decision to issue or deny, modify, revoke and reissue, terminate, or reissue a “permit.” A notice of intent to terminate a permit, and a notice of intent to deny a permit, as discussed in § 124.5 are types of “draft permits.” A denial of a request for modification, revocation and reissuance, or termination, as discussed in § 124.5 is not a “draft permit.”

Drilling mud means a heavy suspension used in drilling an “injection well,” introduced down the drill pipe and through the drill bit.

Drywell means a well, other than an improved sinkhole or subsurface fluid distribution system, completed above the water table so that its bottom and sides are typically dry except when receiving fluids.

Eligible Indian Tribe is a Tribe that meets the statutory requirements established at 42 U.S.C. 300j-11(b)(1).

Emergency permit means a UIC “permit” issued in accordance with § 144.34.

Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) means the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA means the United StatesEnvironmental Protection Agency.”

Exempted aquifer means an “aquifer” or its portion that meets the criteria in the definition of “underground source of drinking water” but which has been exempted according to the procedures in § 144.7.

Existing injection well means an “injection well” other than a “new injection well.”

Facility or activity means any UIC “injection well,” or an other facility or activity that is subject to regulation under the UIC program.

Fluid means any material or substance which flows or moves whether in a semisolid, liquid, sludge, gas, or any other form or state.

Formation means a body of consolidated or unconsolidated rock characterized by a degree of lithologic homogeneity which is prevailingly, but not necessarily, tabular and is mappable on the earth's surface or traceable in the subsurface.

Formation fluid means “fluid” present in a “formation” under natural conditions as opposed to introduced fluids, such as “drilling mud.”

Generator means any person, by site location, whose act or process produces hazardous waste identified or listed in 40 CFR part 261.

Geologic sequestration means the long-term containment of a gaseous, liquid, or supercritical carbon dioxide stream in subsurface geologic formations. This term does not apply to carbon dioxide capture or transport.

Ground water means water below the land surface in a zone of saturation.

Hazardous waste means a hazardous waste as defined in 40 CFR 261.3.

Hazardous waste management facility (“HWM facility”) means all contiguous land, and structures, other appurtenances, and improvements on the land used for treating, storing, or disposing of hazardous waste. A facility may consist of several treatment, storage, or disposal operational units (for example, one or more landfills, surface impoundments, or combination of them).

HWM facility means “Hazardous Waste Management facility”

Improved sinkhole means a naturally occurring karst depression or other natural crevice found in volcanic terrain and other geologic settings which have been modified by man for the purpose of directing and emplacing fluids into the subsurface.

Indian lands means “Indian country” as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151. That section defines Indian country as:

(a) All land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the United States government, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, and, including rights-of-way running through the reservation;

(b) All dependent Indian communities within the borders of the United States whether within the original or subsequently acquired territory thereof, and whether within or without the limits of a State; and

(c) All Indian allotments, the Indian titles to which have not been extinguished, including rights-of-way running through the same.

Indian Tribe means any Indian Tribe having a Federally recognized governing body carrying out substantial governmental duties and powers over a defined area.

Injection well means a “well” into which “fluids” are being injected.

Injection zone means a geological “formation” group of formations, or part of a formation receiving fluids through a “well.”

Interstate Agency means an agency of two or more States established by or under an agreement or compact approved by the Congress, or any other agency of two or more States or Indian Tribes having substantial powers or duties pertaining to the control of pollution as determined and approved by the Administrator under the “appropriate Act and regulations.”

Major facility means any UIC “facility or activity” classified as such by the Regional Administrator, or, in the case of approved State programs, the Regional Administrator in conjunction with the State Director.

Manifest means the shipping document originated and signed by the “generator” which contains the information required by subpart B of 40 CFR part 262.

New injection wells means an “injection well” which began injection after a UIC program for the State applicable to the well is approved or prescribed.

Owner or operator means the owner or operator of any “facility or activity” subject to regulation under the UIC program.

Permit means an authorization, license, or equivalent control document issued by EPA or an approved State to implement the requirements of this part, parts 145, 146 and 124. “Permit” includes an area permit (§ 144.33) and an emergency permit (§ 144.34). Permit does not include UIC authorization by rule (§ 144.21), or any permit which has not yet been the subject of final agency action, such as a “draft permit.”

Person means an individual, association, partnership, corporation, municipality, State, Federal, or Tribal agency, or an agency or employee thereof.

Plugging means the act or process of stopping the flow of water, oil or gas into or out of a formation through a borehole or well penetrating that formation.

Point of injection means the last accessible sampling point prior to waste fluids being released into the subsurface environment through a Class V injection well. For example, the point of injection of a Class V septic system might be the distribution box—the last accessible sampling point before the waste fluids drain into the underlying soils. For a dry well, it is likely to be the well bore itself.

Project means a group of wells in a single operation.

Radioactive Waste means any waste which contains radioactive material in concentrations which exceed those listed in 10 CFR part 20, appendix B, table II, column 2.

RCRA means the Solid Waste Disposal Act as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (Pub. L. 94-580, as amended by Pub. L. 95-609, Pub. L. 96-510, 42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.).

Regional Administrator means the Regional Administrator of the appropriate Regional Office of the Environmental Protection Agency or the authorized representative of the Regional Administrator.

Sanitary waste means liquid or solid wastes originating solely from humans and human activities, such as wastes collected from toilets, showers, wash basins, sinks used for cleaning domestic areas, sinks used for food preparation, clothes washing operations, and sinks or washing machines where food and beverage serving dishes, glasses, and utensils are cleaned. Sources of these wastes may include single or multiple residences, hotels and motels, restaurants, bunkhouses, schools, ranger stations, crew quarters, guard stations, campgrounds, picnic grounds, day-use recreation areas, other commercial facilities, and industrial facilities provided the waste is not mixed with industrial waste.

Schedule of compliance means a schedule of remedial measures included in a “permit,” including an enforceable sequence of interim requirements (for example, actions, operations, or milestone events) leading to compliance with the “appropriate Act and regulations.”

SDWA means the Safe Drinking Water Act (Pub. L. 93-523, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.).

Septic system means a “well” that is used to emplace sanitary waste below the surface and is typically comprised of a septic tank and subsurface fluid distribution system or disposal system.

Site means the land or water area where any “facility or activity” is physically located or conducted, including adjacent land used in connection with the facility or activity.

State means any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or an Indian Tribe treated as a State.

State Director means the chief administrative officer of any State, interstate, or Tribal agency operating an “approved program,” or the delegated representative of the State director. If the responsibility is divided among two or more States, interstate, or Tribal agencies, “State Director” means the chief administrative officer of the State, interstate, or Tribal agency authorized to perform the particular procedure or function to which reference is made.

State/EPA agreement means an agreement between the Regional Administrator and the State which coordinates EPA and State activities, responsibilities and programs.

Stratum (plural strata) means a single sedimentary bed or layer, regardless of thickness, that consists of generally the same kind of rock material.

Subsurface fluid distribution system means an assemblage of perforated pipes, drain tiles, or other similar mechanisms intended to distribute fluids below the surface of the ground.

Total dissolved solids means the total dissolved (filterable) solids as determined by use of the method specified in 40 CFR part 136.

Transferee means the owner or operator receiving ownership and/or operational control of the well.

Transferor means the owner or operator transferring ownership and/or operational control of the well.

UIC means the Underground Injection Control program under Part C of the Safe Drinking Water Act, including an “approved State program.”

Underground injection means a “well injection.”

Underground source of drinking water (USDW) means an aquifer or its portion:


(1) Which supplies any public water system; or

(2) Which contains a sufficient quantity of ground water to supply a public water system; and

(i) Currently supplies drinking water for human consumption; or

(ii) Contains fewer than 10,000 mg/l total dissolved solids; and

(b) Which is not an exempted aquifer.

USDW means “underground source of drinking water.”

Well means: A bored, drilled, or driven shaft whose depth is greater than the largest surface dimension; or, a dug hole whose depth is greater than the largest surface dimension; or, an improved sinkhole; or, a subsurface fluid distribution system.

Well injection means the subsurface emplacement of fluids through a well.

[48 FR 14189, Apr. 1, 1983, as amended at 49 FR 45305, Nov. 15, 1984; 52 FR 20676, June 2, 1987; 53 FR 37412, Sept. 26, 1988; 58 FR 63895, Dec. 3, 1993; 59 FR 64345, Dec. 14, 1994; 64 FR 68565, Dec. 7, 1999; 75 FR 77287, Dec. 10, 2010]