40 CFR § 146.90 - Testing and monitoring requirements.

§ 146.90 Testing and monitoring requirements.

The owner or operator of a Class VI well must prepare, maintain, and comply with a testing and monitoring plan to verify that the geologic sequestration project is operating as permitted and is not endangering USDWs. The requirement to maintain and implement an approved plan is directly enforceable regardless of whether the requirement is a condition of the permit. The testing and monitoring plan must be submitted with the permit application, for Director approval, and must include a description of how the owner or operator will meet the requirements of this section, including accessing sites for all necessary monitoring and testing during the life of the project. Testing and monitoring associated with geologic sequestration projects must, at a minimum, include:

(a) Analysis of the carbon dioxide stream with sufficient frequency to yield data representative of its chemical and physical characteristics;

(b) Installation and use, except during well workovers as defined in § 146.88(d), of continuous recording devices to monitor injection pressure, rate, and volume; the pressure on the annulus between the tubing and the long string casing; and the annulus fluid volume added;

(c) Corrosion monitoring of the well materials for loss of mass, thickness, cracking, pitting, and other signs of corrosion, which must be performed on a quarterly basis to ensure that the well components meet the minimum standards for material strength and performance set forth in § 146.86(b), by:

(1) Analyzing coupons of the well construction materials placed in contact with the carbon dioxide stream; or

(2) Routing the carbon dioxide stream through a loop constructed with the material used in the well and inspecting the materials in the loop; or

(3) Using an alternative method approved by the Director;

(d) Periodic monitoring of the ground water quality and geochemical changes above the confining zone(s) that may be a result of carbon dioxide movement through the confining zone(s) or additional identified zones including:

(1) The location and number of monitoring wells based on specific information about the geologic sequestration project, including injection rate and volume, geology, the presence of artificial penetrations, and other factors; and

(2) The monitoring frequency and spatial distribution of monitoring wells based on baseline geochemical data that has been collected under § 146.82(a)(6) and on any modeling results in the area of review evaluation required by § 146.84(c).

(e) A demonstration of external mechanical integrity pursuant to § 146.89(c) at least once per year until the injection well is plugged; and, if required by the Director, a casing inspection log pursuant to requirements at § 146.89(d) at a frequency established in the testing and monitoring plan;

(f) A pressure fall-off test at least once every five years unless more frequent testing is required by the Director based on site-specific information;

(g) Testing and monitoring to track the extent of the carbon dioxide plume and the presence or absence of elevated pressure (e.g., the pressure front) by using:

(1) Direct methods in the injection zone(s); and,

(2) Indirect methods (e.g., seismic, electrical, gravity, or electromagnetic surveys and/or down-hole carbon dioxide detection tools), unless the Director determines, based on site-specific geology, that such methods are not appropriate;

(h) The Director may require surface air monitoring and/or soil gas monitoring to detect movement of carbon dioxide that could endanger a USDW.

(1) Design of Class VI surface air and/or soil gas monitoring must be based on potential risks to USDWs within the area of review;

(2) The monitoring frequency and spatial distribution of surface air monitoring and/or soil gas monitoring must be decided using baseline data, and the monitoring plan must describe how the proposed monitoring will yield useful information on the area of review delineation and/or compliance with standards under § 144.12 of this chapter;

(3) If an owner or operator demonstrates that monitoring employed under §§ 98.440 to 98.449 of this chapter (Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) accomplishes the goals of paragraphs (h)(1) and (2) of this section, and meets the requirements pursuant to § 146.91(c)(5), a Director that requires surface air/soil gas monitoring must approve the use of monitoring employed under §§ 98.440 to 98.449 of this chapter. Compliance with §§ 98.440 to 98.449 of this chapter pursuant to this provision is considered a condition of the Class VI permit;

(i) Any additional monitoring, as required by the Director, necessary to support, upgrade, and improve computational modeling of the area of review evaluation required under § 146.84(c) and to determine compliance with standards under § 144.12 of this chapter;

(j) The owner or operator shall periodically review the testing and monitoring plan to incorporate monitoring data collected under this subpart, operational data collected under § 146.88, and the most recent area of review reevaluation performed under § 146.84(e). In no case shall the owner or operator review the testing and monitoring plan less often than once every five years. Based on this review, the owner or operator shall submit an amended testing and monitoring plan or demonstrate to the Director that no amendment to the testing and monitoring plan is needed. Any amendments to the testing and monitoring plan must be approved by the Director, must be incorporated into the permit, and are subject to the permit modification requirements at § 144.39 or § 144.41 of this chapter, as appropriate. Amended plans or demonstrations shall be submitted to the Director as follows:

(1) Within one year of an area of review reevaluation;

(2) Following any significant changes to the facility, such as addition of monitoring wells or newly permitted injection wells within the area of review, on a schedule determined by the Director; or

(3) When required by the Director.

(k) A quality assurance and surveillance plan for all testing and monitoring requirements.

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