36 FEBRUARY 2022 12 Months For Only $1098 Total = 12 Ads! Environmental Monitoring by Thomas Kwader, Ph.D., P.G. Owner, Qwater Well Developer and WorldWide Drilling Resource® Hydrogeologist Injections Wells ~ Do They Pose a Threat to Our Drinking Water? Part 2 of 3 This is Part 2 of a 3-part series addressing the practice of disposing of wastewaters in the past, and the current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program to permit and regulate such activities. Part 2 discusses the EPA’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) permitting program and Part 3 will discuss how we are currently moving forward. In an effort to assess the damage and begin cleanup of the past damage from bad disposal practices, as well as prevent future environmental impact to our surface and groundwaters, the EPA and many states began to inventory all known pits, ponds, and lagoons. The EPA began a massive campaign to locate buried tanks or drums containing toxins. Abandoned wells were identified, which may have been used for dumping toxic liquids. Volumes of data were collected identifying potential contamination sources. Monitoring wells were placed both up- and downgradient from sources identified through their investigations. Regulations were passed making it unlawful to dump, bury, or pour undocumented liquids on or into the ground. In the beginning regulatory stages, testing was new and analytical data was rudimentary. Accuracy was often questioned and not well understood. Stories of massive groundwater contamination was not always trusted. Since the beginning, great progress has been made in protecting the environment and the EPA’s UIC program plays a significant part. Their mission - to protect underground sources of drinking water. Injection wells are divided into six well classes and are strictly permitted and regulated by the EPA. In summary (per EPA document 816F19005 04/2020), they are: Class I: Wells are used to inject hazardous and nonhazardous waste into deep, confined rock formations below all underground sources of drinking water. Accounts for less than 1% of wells permitted. Class II: Used to inject fluids related to fuel and gas production (not including non-diesel fracking fluids). Accounts for approximately 25% of all wells permitted. Class III: Used to inject fluids used to aid in the extraction of minerals. Accounts for about 4% of wells. Class IV: Wells are allowed in limited circumstances for injection of groundwater treated as part of groundwater cleanup. Used to inject hazardous and radioactive wastes into or above underground sources of drinking water. These wells account for less than 0.1% of wells permitted. Class V: Used to inject fluids not classified as Class I, II, III, IV, and VI. Includes stormwater and a variety of other fluids. Construction is usually simply compared to Class I, II, III, and VI. They could be little more than a shallow well with a soil bottom. Accounts for approximately 70% of wells. Class VI: These wells are used to inject carbon dioxide underground for long-term storage. These wells account for less than 0.1% of wells permitted. Tom Tom Kwader may be contacted via e-mail to email@example.com ENV GOT BENTONITE? Place Your Business In Our Business Directory.