Presentation on theme: "EPA’s Underground Injection Control Program"— Presentation transcript:
1 EPA’s Underground Injection Control Program Brine Disposal Well Regulation in PennsylvaniaStephen Platt, UIC National Expert
2 UIC Program HistoryRegulations authorized under the Safe Drinking Water ActNational concerns regarding unregulated injectionProtects USDWs from all types of injectionUIC program regulations promulgated in July, 1980EPA begins direct implementation of the Pennsylvania program June, 1985
3 UIC Well Classification Class I – Industrial and Municipal (including hazardous waste)Class II – Oil and Gas (including enhanced recovery and brine disposal)Class III – Mining related (e.g. salt solution mining)Class IV – Shallow hazardous waste injection, bannedClass V – All other wells
4 EPA UIC PermittingMandate to protect underground sources of drinking water (USDWs)USDWS defined as having less than 10,000 mg/l Total Dissolved SolidsCurrent and future use protectedPermitting is performance basedHydraulic fracturing not regulated under UIC Program
5 EPA UIC Permitting (cont.) Major Permitting requirements:Defining Area of Review/Zone of Endangering InfluenceInjection well construction (Depth of surface casing critical)Well operation (Maximum Injection Pressure and Injection Rates critical)Mechanical integrity testingPlugging and abandonmentFinancial Responsibility
8 Permit Issuance Process No application feeOne stop shopping: Permit issued for construction, operation, monitoring and reportingProcessing generally takes between 3-6 monthsPublic notification and opportunity for public hearing required.
9 Brine Disposal in Pennsylvania Facility Name County Injection Formation Injection Pressure Injection Volume (Bbls/M)Columbia Gas Beaver Huntersville/Oriskany ,000EXCO-North Coast Clearfield OriskanyCNX Gas Greene Mine Void ,000Range Resources* Erie Gatesburg ,000XTO Energy # Indiana BalltownCottonwood Somerset Oriskany ,000EXCO-North Coast Clearfield OriskanyDominion Somerset Huntersville/Oriskany ,000*Only commercial facility# Recently Plugged
10 Disposal HorizonsWells typically converted from unproductive or depleted gas production wellsMore research on other potential saline disposal zones neededMost reservoir data obtained from past drilling history or injectivity testing
11 Injectivity Testing Requirements Letter of Authorization from EPAShort term testing (no more than 30 days)Volume limitation imposedMaximum injection pressure limitation imposedWell must be protective of USDWsContinuous monitoring requiredPADEP regional offices notified
12 Injectivity Testing (cont.) As of mid-August, 13 injectivity testing applications approvedApproximately half have been completedRequests concentrated in the Northeastern and Southwestern, PA
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