40 CFR 147.2905 - Plugging and abandonment.
The owner/operator shall notify the Osage UIC office within 30 days of the date injection has terminated. The well must be plugged within 1 year after termination of injection. The Regional Administrator may extend the time to plug, but only if no fluid movement into a USDW will occur, and the operator has presented a viable plan for utilizing the well within a reasonable time.
(a) Until an injection well has been properly plugged and abandoned, annual reports to the Regional Administrator on well status, and mechanical integrity tests as outlined in §§ 147.2912 and 147.2920 will be required, whether or not injection has ceased.
(b) All wells shall be plugged to prevent movement of fluid into an USDW.
(c) The owner/operator shall notify the Osage UIC office by certified mail at least 5 days prior to the commencement of plugging operations. The Osage UIC office may waive or reduce the 5-day notice requirement when a qualified EPA representative is available to witness the plugging operation. The following information must be submitted as part of the notification:
(1) Type and number of plugs to be used;
(2) Elevation of top and bottom of each plug;
(3) Method of plug placement; and
(4) Type, grade and quantity of cement to be used.
(d) The well shall be kept full of mud as casing is removed. No surface casing shall be removed without written approval from the Regional Administrator.
(1) If surface casing is adequately set and cemented through all freshwater zones (set to at least 50 feet below the base of freshwater), a plug shall be set at least 50 feet below the shoe of the casing and extending at least 50 feet above the shoe of the casing, or
(2) If the surface casing and cementing is inadequate, the well bore shall be filled with cement from a point 50 feet below the base of fresh water to a point 50 feet above the shoe of the surface casing, and any additional plugs as required by the Osage UIC office and/or the Osage Agency.
(3) In all cases, the top 20 feet of the well bore below 3 feet of ground surface shall be filled with cement. Surface casing shall be cut off 3 feet below ground surface and covered with a secure steel cap on top of the surface pipe. The remaining 3 feet shall be filled with dirt.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, each producing or receiving formation shall be sealed off with a 50-foot cement plug placed at the base of the formation and a 50-foot cement plug placed at the top of the formation.
(2) The requirement in paragraph (f)(1) of this section does not apply if the producing/receiving formation is already sealed off from the well bore with adequate casing and cementing behind casing, and casing is not to be removed, or the only openings from the producing/receiving formation into the well bore are perforations in the casing, and the annulus between the casing and the outer walls of the well is filled with cement for a distance of 50 feet below the base of the formation and 50 feet above the top of the formation. When such conditions exist, a bridge plug capped with 10 feet of cement set at the top of the producing formation may be used.
(g) When specified by the Osage UIC office, any uncased hole below the shoe of any casing to be left in the well shall be filled with cement to a depth of at least 50 feet below the casing shoe, or the bottom of the hole, and the casing above the shoe shall be filled with cement to at least 50 feet above the shoe of the casing. If the well has a screen or liner which is not to be removed, the well bore shall be filled with cement from the base of the screen or liner to at least 50 feet above the top of the screen or liner.
(h) All intervals between cement plugs in the well bore shall be filled with mud.
(i) A report containing copies of the cementing tickets shall be submitted to BIA within 10 days of plugging completion.
(j) A surety bond must be on file with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and shall not be released until the well has been properly plugged and the Regional Administrator has agreed to the release of the bond.