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Water Quality

Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program

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Underground Injection Control Water Pollution Control Facilities Permits

Oregon’s UIC program regulates fluid discharges to the subsurface by issuing permits or authorizations to ensure that injection does not contaminate underground sources of drinking water. The UIC program has developed discharge permits for the following: Class II Oil & Natural Gas Permits, Class V Stormwater Permits, and Class V Geothermal Permits. Because the permits authorize a subsurface discharge to ground (i.e., no discharge to navigable waters), they are known as Water Pollution Control Facilities permits.

Class II Oil & Natural Gas Permits

Class II UICs inject fluids that are associated with oil and natural gas production and recovery. Most of the injected fluid is brine produced when oil and gas are extracted from the earth.

One Class II UIC permit has been issued in Oregon (permit number 101690). The permit authorizes injection of formation salt water produced at the Mist Gas Field in Mist, Oregon. A copy of this permit is available from DEQ’s online permit repository.

Class V Stormwater Permits

Class V stormwater UICs inject stormwater runoff from roofs, streets, and parking lots. Most Class V stormwater UICs are authorized by rule when they meet the eligibility criteria established under Oregon’s Administrative Rules for UICs. However, some UICs are authorized by permit if the UICs do not meet the conditions for authorization by rule, or if authorization by rule is cost-prohibitive.

DEQ only authorizes UICs by permit if the permittee can demonstrate that the UICs do not endanger existing or future underground sources of drinking water (see 40 CFR 144.82), and do not allow movement of fluid containing contaminants into underground sources of drinking water, if the presence of that contaminant may cause violation of a Maximum Contaminant Level or otherwise adversely affect the health of persons (see 40 CFR 144.12).

DEQ’s Class V stormwater permits allow area permit coverage, meaning that the permits authorize all UICs that are owned by the permittee. There are two options for authorizing UICs by permit: individual permit or general permit.

Individual Permit
Individual permits are issued using a template that was developed in July 2012. DEQ holds a public comment period for each proposed UIC permit to solicit public input on the permit.

DEQ has received approximately 60 applications for an individual UIC permit, and has issued 14 individual UIC permits to date. Copies of these permits are available from DEQ’s online permit repository.

DEQ is issuing individual permits at a rate of about two per month, and has developed a schedule for issuing pending permits. DEQ will contact each permittee approximately one year before permit issuance to discuss the process for receiving the UIC permit, and to identify the information that the permittee needs to provide prior to receiving the permit.

General Permit
DEQ is developing a general permit for entities that own or operate less than 50 UICs. DEQ recognizes that some entities that have applied for an individual permit may be eligible for coverage under the general permit. DEQ does not plan to issue individual permits to these entities until after the general permit has been developed, and will provide guidance to these entities to inform the decision of whether an individual or general permit is more appropriate.

DEQ will hold a public comment period to solicit public input on the general permit, and intends to issue the permit by the summer of 2015.

Class V Geothermal Permits

Class V Geothermal UICs inject fluids produced during geothermal exploration or production into the same or comparable geothermal reservoir. Short-term geothermal exploration operations require authorization under the 1900B general permit, and long-term geothermal reservoir production requires authorization under an individual UIC permit.

One Class V Geothermal individual UIC permit has been issued in Oregon (permit number 119576). The permit authorizes injection of spent geothermal fluids at the Neal Hot Springs Geothermal Project. A copy of this permit is available from DEQ’s online permit repository.

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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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