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Class I and V Well Inventory (Excel spreadsheet, as of April 15, 2014)
The Underground Injection Control (UIC) program is responsible for the regulation of Class I, IV and V injection wells, and for assuring that their operation does not contaminate underground sources of drinking water. The UIC program was established under the authority of Ohio Revised Code sections 6111.043 and 6111.044, and regulates Class I, IV, and V wells by implementing Chapter 3745-34 of the Ohio Administrative Code.
Please consult the U.S. EPA web site for a complete description of the various classes of injection wells as well as a detailed overview of the U.S. EPA's UIC program.
Class I wells inject hazardous and non-hazardous wastes into deep, isolated rock formations that are thousands of feet below the lowermost underground source of drinking water.
Class I injection wells inject far below the lowermost aquifer. Injection zones typically range from 1,700 to more than 10,000 feet in depth. The injection zone is separated from any aquifers by an impermeable “cap” rock called the confining layer, along with additional layers of permeable and impermeable rock and sediment.
Three facilities in Ohio currently operate a total of ten Class I injection wells regulated by Ohio EPA. Vickery Environmental (4 wells) operates a commercial waste disposal facility, receiving many types of waste from multiple sources. Innovene USA (4 wells) and AK Steel (2 wells) dispose of wastes generated on site during normal manufacturing operations. Fact sheets are available for the three active Ohio Class I injection well facilities:
Owners and Operators of Class I injection wells are required to apply to Ohio EPA for a permit for each well:
Permits are granted only after extensive data review followed by issuance of draft permits open to public comment.
All Class I wells have strict siting, construction, operation and maintenance requirements designed to ensure protection of the uppermost sources of drinking water (USDWs). Wells injecting hazardous wastes have siting requirements to show that, with a reasonable degree of certainty, there will be no migration of hazardous constituents from the injection interval.
Class IV wells are defined in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Rule 3745-34-04(D). Class IV wells are shallow wells used to inject hazardous or radioactive wastes into or above a geologic formation that contains an underground source of drinking water. In 1984, U.S. EPA banned the use of Class IV injection wells for disposal of hazardous or radioactive waste. Now, these wells may only be operated as part of a U.S. EPA- or state-authorized ground water clean-up action. There are about 32 waste clean-up sites with Class IV wells in the United States.
In general, both shallow Class IV and Class V wells inject fluids into or above the uppermost underground source of drinking water and may be of similar construction. The difference between Class IV and Class V wells is the quality of the fluid being injected. Class V wells may only inject non-hazardous fluids that will not endanger underground sources of drinking water. However, if a Class V well is misused and receives hazardous waste, as defined by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the well would be considered a Class IV well and therefore be banned.
Class IV wells are prohibited by OAC Rule 3745-34-08 unless the injection wells are used to inject contaminated ground water that has been treated and is being injected into the same formation from which it was drawn. These remediation injection wells are authorized by rule for the life of the well if such subsurface emplacement of fluids is approved by the director of Ohio EPA and/or U.S. EPA as part of a remediation program pursuant to provisions for cleanup of releases under Chapter 3734 of the Revised Code and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C. 9601-9675, or pursuant to requirements and provisions under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. 6901-6992k..
When an unauthorized Class IV well is discovered, the UIC Program coordinates with the Division of Materials and Waste Management to ensure that they are plugged appropriately and that any necessary corrective actions are taken at the site. All Class IV wells must submit information to the Underground Injection Control program per OAC Rule 3745-34-11(L). In addition, all unauthorized Class IV wells must be closed per the requirements of OAC Rule 3745-34-08(B) which includes submitting a closure plan at least 30 days prior to closure and disposing of all waste materials per all applicable laws and regulations.
Class V wells are used to inject non-hazardous fluids underground. Fluids are injected either into or above an underground source of drinking water. There are 17 different types of Class V wells. Examples of Class V wells include, among others, surface water runoff drainage wells, septic systems, dry wells, motor vehicle waste disposal wells, and industrial, commercial, and utility disposal wells.
Most Class V wells are "low-tech" and depend on gravity to drain fluids directly below the land surface. Drywells, cesspools, and septic system leach fields are examples of simple Class V wells. Because their construction often provides little or no pretreatment and these fluids are injected directly into or above an underground source of drinking water, proper management is important.
More sophisticated Class V wells may rely on gravity or use pressure systems for fluid injection. Some sophisticated systems include advanced wastewater disposal systems used by industry, experimental wells used to test new or unproven technologies, and even systems used to inject and store water for later reuse.
The owner or operator of a Class V well is required by OAC Rule 3745-34-11(M) to notify Ohio EPA of the well's existence. The notification is required to be submitted within 30 days of installing a new well and shall include a completed "Underground Injection Control Class V Well Inventory Form" if an inventory form has not already been submitted.
Owners or operators of Class V wells associated with golf course maintenance facilities should also reference the following fact sheet:
All Class V wells are required to be registered by the owner or operator of the well with the Ohio EPA (OAC Rule 3745-34-11(M)). Registration is done by submitting a completed inventory form to Ohio EPA. No Class V injection well is authorized to operate unless an inventory form has been completed and submitted to Ohio EPA.
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