In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) giving EPA the power to regulate underground fluid injection. EPA set minimum requirements to protect drinking water supply from contamination (42 U.S. Code § 300h). EPA established six categories of injection wells based on their uses (Class I, II, III, IV, V, and VI). Category Class II is composed of Salt Water Disposal Wells, Enhanced Recovery Wells, and Hydrocarbon Storage Wells.
States, however, may obtain approval to primarily enforce their UIC programs provided they demonstrate that said programs contain minimum requirements that are as stringent as the EPA UIC requirements. The requirements to be satisfied include permitting, inspection, monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting. States managing Class I, III, IV, V and VI wells must comply with Section 1422 of SDWA. As for Class II injection wells, states must comply with Section 1425 demonstrating the effectiveness of the UIC program to avoid endangering the drinking water supply.
This guide is intended to present a collection of legal resources relating to underground injection control well regulations and programs. While the Center for Agriculture and Shale Law makes every effort to maintain and update the content furnished in this guide, no warranty or other guarantee is made regarding the timeliness or accuracy of any information provided.