40 CFR 146.81 - Applicability.

prev | next
§ 146.81 Applicability.

(a) This subpart establishes criteria and standards for underground injection control programs to regulate any Class VI carbon dioxide geologic sequestration injection wells.

(b) This subpart applies to any wells used to inject carbon dioxide specifically for the purpose of geologic sequestration, i.e., the long-term containment of a gaseous, liquid, or supercritical carbon dioxide stream in subsurface geologic formations.

(c) This subpart also applies to owners or operators of permit- or rule-authorized Class I, Class II, or Class V experimental carbon dioxide injection projects who seek to apply for a Class VI geologic sequestration permit for their well or wells. Owners or operators seeking to convert existing Class I, Class II, or Class V experimental wells to Class VI geologic sequestration wells must demonstrate to the Director that the wells were engineered and constructed to meet the requirements at § 146.86(a) and ensure protection of USDWs, in lieu of requirements at §§ 146.86(b) and 146.87(a). By December 10, 2011, owners or operators of either Class I wells previously permitted for the purpose of geologic sequestration or Class V experimental technology wells no longer being used for experimental purposes that will continue injection of carbon dioxide for the purpose of GS must apply for a Class VI permit. A converted well must still meet all other requirements under part 146.

(d)Definitions. The following definitions apply to this subpart. To the extent that these definitions conflict with those in § 144.3 or § 146.3 of this chapter these definitions govern for Class VI wells:

Area of review means the region surrounding the geologic sequestration project where USDWs may be endangered by the injection activity. The area of review is delineated using computational modeling that accounts for the physical and chemical properties of all phases of the injected carbon dioxide stream and displaced fluids, and is based on available site characterization, monitoring, and operational data as set forth in § 146.84.

Carbon dioxide plume means the extent underground, in three dimensions, of an injected carbon dioxide stream.

Carbon dioxide stream means carbon dioxide that has been captured from an emission source (e.g., a power plant), plus incidental associated substances derived from the source materials and the capture process, and any substances added to the stream to enable or improve the injection process. This subpart does not apply to any carbon dioxide stream that meets the definition of a hazardous waste under 40 CFR part 261.

Confining zone means a geologic formation, group of formations, or part of a formation stratigraphically overlying the injection zone(s) that acts as barrier to fluid movement. For Class VI wells operating under an injection depth waiver, confining zone means a geologic formation, group of formations, or part of a formation stratigraphically overlying and underlying the injection zone(s).

Corrective action means the use of Director-approved methods to ensure that wells within the area of review do not serve as conduits for the movement of fluids into underground sources of drinking water (USDW).

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.

Geologic sequestration project means an injection well or wells used to emplace a carbon dioxide stream beneath the lowermost formation containing a USDW; or, wells used for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide that have been granted a waiver of the injection depth requirements pursuant to requirements at § 146.95; or, wells used for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide that have received an expansion to the areal extent of an existing Class II enhanced oil recovery or enhanced gas recovery aquifer exemption pursuant to §§ 146.4 and 144.7(d) of this chapter. It includes the subsurface three-dimensional extent of the carbon dioxide plume, associated area of elevated pressure, and displaced fluids, as well as the surface area above that delineated region.

Injection zone means a geologic formation, group of formations, or part of a formation that is of sufficient areal extent, thickness, porosity, and permeability to receive carbon dioxide through a well or wells associated with a geologic sequestration project.

Post-injection site care means appropriate monitoring and other actions (including corrective action) needed following cessation of injection to ensure that USDWs are not endangered, as required under § 146.93.

Pressure front means the zone of elevated pressure that is created by the injection of carbon dioxide into the subsurface. For the purposes of this subpart, the pressure front of a carbon dioxide plume refers to a zone where there is a pressure differential sufficient to cause the movement of injected fluids or formation fluids into a USDW.

Site closure means the point/time, as determined by the Director following the requirements under § 146.93, at which the owner or operator of a geologic sequestration site is released from post-injection site care responsibilities.

Transmissive fault or fracture means a fault or fracture that has sufficient permeability and vertical extent to allow fluids to move between formations.

The section you are viewing is cited by the following CFR sections.