Oregon’s UIC permits ensure that fluid injection does not contaminate drinking water wells. The UIC program has developed the following UIC permits:
- Class V Stormwater Permits
- Class V Geothermal Permits
- Class II Oil & Natural Gas Permits
Class V stormwater permits
Class V Stormwater Permits are intended to authorize UICs within setbacks to water wells (within 500 feet of a water well or within the two-year time-of-travel of a water well). DEQ only authorizes UICs within well setbacks if the UIC owner can demonstrate that the UICs do not endanger underground sources of drinking water or violate the prohibition of fluid movement standard (see 40 CFR 144.82 and 40 CFR 144.12). DEQ’s fact sheet “Groundwater Protectiveness Demonstrations for Underground Injection Control Permits discusses the requirements for these demonstrations.
There are two options for authorizing UICs by permit: Individual Permit and General Permit. The Individual Permit is intended for large UIC systems, and the General Permit is intended for small UIC systems.
Individual Class V Stormwater Permit
The Individual Permit authorizes UICs at businesses that are located in a common geology or hydrogeology, or within the jurisdictional boundaries of a public body. All UIC systems are eligible for the Individual UIC Permit.
DEQ has received approximately 60 applications for an individual UIC permit, and is issuing permits at a rate of about one per month. Copies of the individual UIC permits that have been issued are available from DEQ’s online permit repository.
General Class V Stormwater Permit
DEQ issued the General UIC Permit in December 2015 (also known as the 1200-U). The General Permit authorizes UICs at a single facility, or within the jurisdictional boundaries of a public body. In order to be eligible for the General Permit, the UIC owner must own less than 50 UICs, and at least one UIC must be located within a well setback.
Class II oil and 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 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.