40 CFR § 146.89 - Mechanical integrity.

§ 146.89 Mechanical integrity.

(a) A Class VI well has mechanical integrity if:

(1) There is no significant leak in the casing, tubing, or packer; and

(2) There is no significant fluid movement into a USDW through channels adjacent to the injection well bore.

(b) To evaluate the absence of significant leaks under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, owners or operators must, following an initial annulus pressure test, continuously monitor injection pressure, rate, injected volumes; pressure on the annulus between tubing and long-string casing; and annulus fluid volume as specified in § 146.88 (e);

(c) At least once per year, the owner or operator must use one of the following methods to determine the absence of significant fluid movement under paragraph (a)(2) of this section:

(1) An approved tracer survey such as an oxygen-activation log; or

(2) A temperature or noise log.

(d) If required by the Director, at a frequency specified in the testing and monitoring plan required at § 146.90, the owner or operator must run a casing inspection log to determine the presence or absence of corrosion in the long-string casing.

(e) The Director may require any other test to evaluate mechanical integrity under paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section. Also, the Director may allow the use of a test to demonstrate mechanical integrity other than those listed above with the written approval of the Administrator. To obtain approval for a new mechanical integrity test, the Director must submit a written request to the Administrator setting forth the proposed test and all technical data supporting its use. The Administrator may approve the request if he or she determines that it will reliably demonstrate the mechanical integrity of wells for which its use is proposed. Any alternate method approved by the Administrator will be published in the Federal Register and may be used in all States in accordance with applicable State law unless its use is restricted at the time of approval by the Administrator.

(f) In conducting and evaluating the tests enumerated in this section or others to be allowed by the Director, the owner or operator and the Director must apply methods and standards generally accepted in the industry. When the owner or operator reports the results of mechanical integrity tests to the Director, he/she shall include a description of the test(s) and the method(s) used. In making his/her evaluation, the Director must review monitoring and other test data submitted since the previous evaluation.

(g) The Director may require additional or alternative tests if the results presented by the owner or operator under paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section are not satisfactory to the Director to demonstrate that there is no significant leak in the casing, tubing, or packer, or to demonstrate that there is no significant movement of fluid into a USDW resulting from the injection activity as stated in paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section.