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Water Quality

Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program

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Underground Injection Control Permits

The UIC program has permits divided into the following categories: State Permits, Individual Permits, Industrial Permits, and Geothermal Exploration Permits as described below.

State Permits

DEQ is allowed under 40 CFR 144.25 to require permits for any Class V system to protect fresh water aquifers. Currently approximately one-third of the existing State general WPCF permits are for various types of injection systems. Existing WPCF permits may be modified or converted to UIC WPCF permits as needed to reflect the use of injection systems.

Injection system permits will need to address groundwater quality and SDWA standards.
Individual UIC WPCF permits (on a case-by-case basis) may be used for other types of high risk injection systems located in areas adjacent to wetlands, sites within 500 feet of wells; Sole Source Aquifers; Groundwater Management Areas; areas adjacent to Endangered species spawning; areas adjacent to water quality limited water bodies or water bodies with set Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs); floodplains and DEQ listed Cleanup sites (including some brownfields). Other state agency permits can be substituted for a DEQ WPCF permit when the agency is acting as DEQ's agent under a MOU (e.g. Water Resources Department ASR). Registration is still required with DEQ. 

Individual Permits

Municipal owners, state agencies, commercial property owners with multiple sites and industrial injection systems owners will generally need an individual area-wide permit. Use of injection systems can be allowed in most instances, provided treatment occurs prior to discharge, and the system meets state groundwater standards. Individual permits are developed and issued at the regional level.

Area-Wide Permit for Jurisdictions and Agencies

To date, area-wide UIC WPCF permits have been issued to:

  • City of Portland, permit number 102830
  • City of Gresham, permit number 103043
  • City of Eugene, permit number 103047
  • City of Redmond, permit number 103050
  • City of Bend, permit number 103052
  • City of Keizer, permit number 103068
  • Clackamas County, permit number 103059
  • Multnomah County, permit number 103076
  • City of Canby, permit number 103077
  • Tri-County Metropolitan Transporation (TriMet), permit number 103083
  • Parkrose School District No. 3, permit number 103084
  • City of Milwaukie, permit number 103089
  • City of La Grande, permit number 103093

DEQ's online permit repository holds documents associated with these WPCF permits. DEQ will post permits following internal document processing. You may not be able to access recently issued permits through the repository because DEQ must process documents prior to their posting. The repository also contains major modifications made to the City of Portland's permit. The primary documents associated with the City of Portland's 2005 permit issuance are below.

Jurisdictions and state or federal agencies with numerous injection systems should consider applying for an area-wide UIC WPCF permit. This permit covers all publicly owned injection systems in the jurisdiction's boundary and allows the continued use of existing non-rule authorizable injection systems. Jurisdictions would be expected to monitor UICs, register existing/new injection systems, and file closure notices for their jurisdiction. In some cases in the future, DEQ may be able to allow the jurisdiction to act as DEQs agent and also administer privately owned injection systems through plan review.


Examples of Industrial/Commercial process water and wastewater facilities include: refineries, chemical plants, smelters, pharmaceutical plants, laundromats, dry cleaners, tanneries, car washes, laboratories, tank condensation water, electrical power generation, and cooling water return wells. Other types might include: utilities and small/large quantity hazardous waste generators.

Use of any septic onsite and drainfield system for industrial waste disposal, regardless of size, requires a permit. All mixed waste streams (e.g. sewage and process wash water, fireside and boiler blowdown) will to prevent the need to get an industrial permit. Technical assistance is available from the regional pollution prevention staff.

Individual UIC WPCF permits will require monitoring, periodic analysis of fluids discharged, operation and maintenance plans, spill contingency plans and pre-treatment prior to discharge, natural hazard screening, depending upon the use, location, risk to groundwater drinking water users/public health, quality and quantity of discharge.

In most cases industrial injection system operators when notified of the cost of an individual permit will take alternative actions that will not require a permit (e.g. recycling). Technical assistance on alternatives can be acquired at the regional offices from Pollution Prevention staff in each region if the owner/operator is interested.

Geothermal Exploration

Geothermal exploration operations require coverage under this permit to temporarily inject or reinject geothermal fluids produced during short-term geothermal exploration well testing into the same or comparable geothermal reservoir. This permit does not cover injection activities associated with long-term reservoir production.

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For more information about DEQ's Underground Injection Control Program, please see the UIC Contacts page.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 811 SW Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204-1390
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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