Class I Aquifer

Class I Aquifer means an aquifer that is surficial or shallow, permeable, and is highly vulnerable to contamination. Class I aquifers include:
(1) Unconsolidated Aquifers (Class Ia) that consist of surficial, unconsolidated, and permeable alluvial, terrace, outwash, beach, dune and other similar deposits. These aquifers generally contain layers of sand and gravel that, commonly, are interbedded to some degree with silt and clay. Not all Class Ia aquifers are important water-bearing units, but they are likely to be both permeable and vulnerable. The only natural protection of these aquifers is the thickness of the unsaturated zone and the presence of fine-grained material;
(2) Soluble and Fractured Bedrock Aquifers (Class Ib). Lithologies in this class include limestone, dolomite, and, locally, evaporitic units that contain documented karst features or solution channels, regardless of size. Generally these aquifers have a wide range of permeability. Also included in this class are sedimentary strata, and metamorphic and igneous (intrusive and extrusive) rocks that are significantly faulted, fractured, or jointed. In all cases groundwater movement is largely controlled by secondary openings. Well yields range widely, but the important feature is the potential for rapid vertical and lateral ground water movement along preferred pathways, which result in a high degree of vulnerability;
(3) Semiconsolidated Aquifers (Class Ic) that generally contain poorly to moderately indurated sand and gravel that is interbedded with clay and silt. This group is intermediate to the unconsolidated and consolidated end members. These systems are common in the Tertiary age rocks that are exposed throughout the Gulf and Atlantic coastal states. Semiconsolidated conditions also arise from the presence of intercalated clay and caliche within primarily unconsolidated to poorly consolidated units, such as occurs in parts of the High Plains Aquifer; or
(4) Covered Aquifers (Class Id) that are any Class I aquifer overlain by less than 50 feet of low permeability, unconsolidated material, such as glacial till, lacustrian, and loess deposits.


49 CFR § 195.6

Scoping language

As used in this part, a USA means a drinking water or ecological resource area that is unusually sensitive to environmental damage from a hazardous liquid pipeline release.

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