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The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is pursuing the development and administration of a state Underground Injection Control (UIC) permitting program. The UIC program regulates injection wells that are used to place fluid underground into geologic materials ranging from deep porous rocks to shallow soils. By regulating injection wells, the UIC program protects aquifers that are underground sources of drinking water (USDWs). Some examples of when a facility needs a UIC permit are - discharge of stormwater, recharge aquifers with treated effluent, underground mining of salt/copper, brine disposal wells from helium, carbon dioxide, oil and gas, and potash extraction.

Currently, some facilities that use injection wells are required to obtain a UIC permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). All injection wells regulated under the current federal UIC program will be regulated under the new Arizona program. Once EPA approves primacy of this program, facilities will only need to obtain UIC permits from ADEQ.

The UIC program regulates six classes of injection wells, Class I to Class VI, with Class V being the most common. Class V injection wells which do not require a permit to operate but must be reported to the EPA and comply with the UIC program requirements.

ADEQ is proposing to streamline regulatory reporting requirements across the state UIC program, Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) program, Drywell program, and other agency programs where possible. For example, ADEQ intends to ensure that registering a stormwater drywell under the drywell program or obtaining an APP for any Class V UIC well, will also fulfill UIC reporting requirements for Class V wells.

ADEQ is undergoing the draft rulemaking process with the rule expected to go into effect in Summer 2021. ADEQ is working on providing a draft version of the state UIC rules that incorporates changes provided by stakeholders on the first draft. Public comment and public hearing will take place in Fall 2020 and Winter 2020.

For facilities interested in participating in the rulemaking process or for general information on the proposed UIC program please refer to the Stakeholder Materials.

If you need support with commenting on the proposed rule, please contact the Trinity Arizona office.