EPA Delegates Regulation of Injection Wells to Division of Oil and Gas

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 22, 2017) – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has delegated the Energy and Environment Cabinet, Division of Oil & Gas to administer the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class II injection well program under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for UIC Class II wells located within the state.

The EPA Region 4 approved the Cabinet’s longstanding application, effective March 21, 2017. Delegation of the UIC-Class II program from the EPA allows the Division of Oil & Gas more comprehensive regulatory enforcement of the oil and natural gas industry.

The Class II program regulates the injection of produced fluids associated with oil and gas operations into wells for enhanced oil recovery and permanent brine disposal. The Division will receive a $143,000 annual EPA grant to help defray the cost of administering the program.

“This action by the EPA will allow us to give Class II wells increased oversight, which will add another layer of protection to drinking water sources,” said Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles Snavely. “In addition, the public and industry will benefit from a centralized permitting process and regulatory oversight.”

Under EPA Region 4’s prior oversight, there were two contract EPA inspectors responsible for overseeing Kentucky’s 900 active UIC Class II enhanced recovery wells and 82 Class II disposal wells. The Kentucky Division of Oil & Gas has 14 inspectors for the same coverage and intends to add additional employees through the EPA grant.

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