[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 234 (Tuesday, December 7, 1999)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 68546-68573]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-31048]



[[Page 68545]]

_______________________________________________________________________

Part IV





Environmental Protection Agency





_______________________________________________________________________



40 CFR Parts 9, 144, 145, and 146



Underground Injection Control Regulations for Class V Injection Wells, 
Revision; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 64, No. 234 / Tuesday, December 7, 1999 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 68546]]



ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Parts 9, 144, 145 and 146

[FRL-6482-2]
RIN 2040-AB83


Revisions to the Underground Injection Control Regulations for 
Class V Injection Wells

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 
promulgating revisions to the Class V Underground Injection Control 
(UIC) regulations. This rule adds new requirements for two categories 
of endangering Class V wells to ensure protection of underground 
sources of drinking water. In particular, it: bans existing motor 
vehicle waste disposal wells in ground water protection areas and other 
sensitive ground water areas with a provision that allows well owners 
and operators to seek a waiver from the ban and obtain a permit; and 
bans new motor vehicle waste disposal wells and new and existing large-
capacity cesspools nationwide. The preamble also discusses EPA's 
decision to postpone finalization of new requirements for the 
industrial well category as defined in the proposed rule. EPA believes 
it would be worthwhile to further study this well category and will 
finalize the rule for industrial wells at a later date.

DATES: This rule will be effective April 5, 2000.

ADDRESSES: The rule and supporting documents, including public comments 
and EPA responses, are available for review in the UIC Class V W-98-05 
Water Docket at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; 401 M Street, 
SW., EB57, Washington, D.C. 20460. For information on how to access 
Docket materials, please call (202) 260-3027 between 9 a.m. and 3:30 
p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information, contact the 
Safe Drinking Water Hotline, phone 800-426-4791. The Safe Drinking 
Water Hotline is open Monday through Friday, excluding federal 
holidays, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time. For technical 
inquiries, contact Robyn Delehanty, Underground Injection Control 
Program, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (mailcode 4606), 
EPA, 401 M Street, SW., Washington, DC, 20460. Phone: 202-260-1993. E-
mail: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulated Entities: Although certain 
clarifications to the UIC regulations apply to owners or operators of 
any type of Class V well, the entities regulated by additional 
requirements are owners or operators of Class V motor vehicle waste 
disposal wells and large-capacity cesspools. Potentially regulated 
categories and entities include:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Examples of regulated entities (if they
           Category                       have a Class V well)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Industry and Commerce........  Motor Vehicle Facilities: gasoline
                                service stations, new and used car
                                dealers, any facility that does any
                                vehicle repair work (e.g., body shops,
                                transmission repair shops, and muffler
                                repair shops).
                               Large-Capacity Cesspools: residential or
                                commercial facilities such as
                                campgrounds, multi-unit residences,
                                churches, schools.
State and Local Government...  Motor Vehicle Facilities: road
                                facilities, fire stations.
                               Large-Capacity Cesspools: campgrounds,
                                rest stops.
Federal Government...........  Any Federal Agency that owns or operates
                                one of the above entities.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a 
guide for readers regarding entities likely to be regulated by this 
action. This table lists the types of entities, of which EPA is 
currently aware, that are potentially regulated by this action. Other 
types of entities not listed in the table could also be regulated. To 
determine whether your injection well is regulated by this action, you 
should carefully examine the applicability criteria in Secs. 144.81 and 
144.85 of the rule. If you have questions regarding the applicability 
of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed in the 
preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

Table of Contents

I. Format and Scope of Rule
II. Background
    A. Statutory and Regulatory Framework
    B. History of this Rulemaking
    1. 1994 Consent Decree With the Sierra Club
    2. 1995 Proposed Rule
    3. 1997 Modified Consent Decree
    4. 1998 Proposed Rule
III. Actions Taken After Close of the Public Comment Period
    A. Public Comment
    B. National Drinking Water Advisory Council
    C. Notice of Data Availability
    1. Class V Study
    2. Region II and VIII Data
    3. Contaminant Occurrence Report
IV. Description of Today's Action
    A. Definitions/Terminology
    1. Ground Water Protection Areas
    2. Sensitive Ground Water Areas
    3. Point of Injection
    4. Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells
    B. Industrial Waste Disposal Wells
    C. Coverage of the Rule
    1. Large-Capacity Cesspools
    2. Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells
    D. Ban of Large-Capacity Cesspools
    E. Requirements for Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells
    1. Ban New Wells and Require Existing Wells to Either Close or 
Get a Permit
    2. MCLs at the Point of Injection
    3. Reclassification of Certain Motor Vehicle Wells
    4. Stormwater Wells at Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Sites
    F. Compliance Period
    G. Deadlines for Delineations of Covered Areas
    1. Drinking Water Source Assessment Program Not Completed On 
Time
    2. Sensitive Ground Water Areas Not Delineated on Time
    3. Assessments for Ground Water Protection Areas Completed 
Before UIC Primacy Revisions are Approved
    H. Pre-closure Notification
    I. Exclusion Criteria for Cesspools and Septic Systems
    J. Other Amendments
    1. Categories of Class V Wells
    2. Sections 144.3 and 146.3--Definitions
    3. Sections 144.6 and 146.5--Classification of Wells
    4. Existing Regulations Being Reiterated or Replaced in 40 CFR 
Part 144, Subpart G
    5. Part 145--State UIC Program Requirements
    6. Sections 144.23 and 146.10--Class IV Wells
V. Cost of the Rule
    A. Methodology Overview
    1. Revised Estimates of the Numbers of Affected Wells
    2. Phase-in Assumptions
    3. Higher Closure Costs
    B. National Cost of the Rule
    C. Facility Impacts
VI. Effect on States With Primacy
VII. Administrative Requirements
    A. Executive Order 12866
    B. Children's Health Protection and Executive Order 13045
    C. Paperwork Reduction Act
    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small 
Business

[[Page 68547]]

Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), 5 USC 601 et 
seq.
    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism
    F. Executive Order 13084: Consultation and Coordination with 
Indian Tribal Governments
    G. Unfunded Mandates
    H. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
    I. Environmental Justice
    J. Congressional Review Act

I. Format and Scope of Rule

    Today's notice consolidates Class V UIC regulations in a new 
Subpart G to 40 CFR Part 144. This subpart is written in a simple-to-
understand, plain-English format. Before reading the rest of this 
preamble, Class V well owners/operators should review the final 
regulation that presents the enforceable legal requirements they need 
to know about. This preamble does not repeat many of the requirements 
contained in the final rule, but rather provides background and 
additional rationale not included in the regulation.

II. Background

A. Statutory and Regulatory Framework

    Class V wells are regulated under the authority of Part C of the 
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA or the Act) (42 U.S.C. 300h et seq.). The 
SDWA is designed to protect the quality of drinking water in the United 
States, and Part C specifically mandates the regulation of underground 
injection of fluids through wells. The Agency has promulgated a series 
of underground injection control (UIC) regulations under this 
authority.
    Section 1421 of the Act requires EPA to propose and promulgate 
regulations specifying minimum requirements for State programs to 
prevent underground injection that endangers drinking water sources. 
EPA promulgated administrative and permitting regulations, now codified 
in 40 CFR parts 144 and 146, on May 19, 1980 (45 FR 33290), and 
technical requirements in 40 CFR part 146 on June 24, 1980 (45 FR 
42472). The regulations were subsequently amended on August 27, 1981 
(46 FR 43156), February 3, 1982 (47 FR 4992), January 21, 1983 (48 FR 
2938), April 1, 1983 (48 FR 14146), July 26, 1988 (53 FR 28118), 
December 3, 1993 (58 FR 63890), June 10, 1994 (59 FR 29958), December 
14, 1994 (59 FR 64339), and June 29, 1995 (60 FR 33926).
    Section 1422 of the Act provides that States may apply to EPA for 
primary enforcement responsibility to administer the UIC program; those 
States receiving such authority are referred to as ``Primacy States.'' 
Where States do not seek this responsibility or fail to demonstrate 
that they meet EPA's minimum requirements, EPA is required by 
regulation to prescribe a UIC program for such States. These direct 
implementation (DI) programs regulations were issued in two phases, on 
May 11, 1984 (49 FR 20138) and November 15, 1984 (49 FR 45308). For the 
remainder of this preamble, references to the UIC Program ``Director'' 
mean either the Director of the EPA program (where the program is 
implemented directly by EPA) or the Director of the Primacy State 
program (where the State is responsible for implementing the program). 
Also, currently all Class V UIC Programs in Indian Country are directly 
implemented by EPA. Therefore, for the remainder of this preamble, 
references to DI Programs include Class V programs in Indian Country.

B. History of This Rulemaking

1. 1994 Consent Decree With the Sierra Club
    On August 31, 1994, EPA entered into a consent decree with the 
Sierra Club that required that no later than August 15, 1995, the EPA 
Administrator sign a notice to be published in the Federal Register 
proposing regulatory action that fully discharges the Administrator's 
rulemaking obligation under section 1421 of the SDWA, 42 U.S.C. 300h, 
with respect to Class V injection wells.
2. 1995 Proposed Rule
    On August 15, 1995, the Administrator signed a notice of proposed 
rulemaking that proposed a regulatory determination and minor revisions 
to the UIC regulations for Class V injection wells (60 FR 44652, August 
28, 1995). In this notice, EPA proposed not to adopt additional federal 
regulations for any types of Class V wells. Instead, the Agency 
proposed to address the risks posed by certain wells using existing 
authorities and a Class V management strategy designed to (1) speed up 
the closure of potentially endangering wells and (2) promote the use of 
best management practices to ensure that other Class V wells of concern 
do not endanger underground sources of drinking water (USDWs). Several 
factors led EPA to propose this approach, including: (1) The wide 
diversity in the types of fluids being injected, ranging from high risk 
to not likely to endanger; (2) the large number of facilities to be 
regulated; and (3) the nature of the regulated community, which 
consists of a large proportion of small businesses.
    EPA received many comments that supported the Agency's proposal to 
not impose more regulations for Class V wells. However, EPA also 
received a number of comments that raised concerns about the proposal. 
In particular, several commentors questioned whether a UIC program 
without additional requirements for relatively high-risk well types 
would prevent endangerment to drinking water sources as required by the 
SDWA. Others questioned whether the proposal was really the best EPA 
could do given the known threat to USDWs that some wells present.
3. 1997 Modified Consent Decree
    Based on comments received on the 1995 proposal, EPA decided to 
reconsider that proposed approach. Because this reconsideration would 
extend the time necessary to complete the rulemaking for Class V wells, 
EPA and the Sierra Club entered into a modified consent decree on 
January 28, 1997 (D.D.C. No. 93-2644) that extended the dates for 
rulemaking that had been in the 1994 decree. The modified decree 
requires three actions.
    First, by no later than June 18, 1998, the EPA Administrator was 
required to sign a notice to be published in the Federal Register 
proposing regulatory action that fully discharges the Administrator's 
rulemaking obligation under section 1421 of the SDWA with respect to 
those types of Class V injection wells presently determined to be high 
risk for which EPA does not need additional information. A thirty-day 
extension was granted; the Administrator signed the notice on July 17, 
1998. The Administrator is required to sign a final determination for 
these endangering Class V wells by no later than October 29, 1999, 
although the decree provides the Administrator with discretion to 
exercise another 30-day extension.
    Second, by no later than September 30, 1999, EPA must complete a 
study of all Class V wells not included in the first rulemaking on 
endangering Class V injection wells. EPA has completed this study. 
Based on this study, EPA may find that some of these other types of 
Class V wells also pose an endangerment to drinking water.
    Third, by no later than April 30, 2001, the EPA Administrator must 
sign a notice to be published in the Federal Register proposing to 
discharge the Administrator's rulemaking obligations under section 1421 
of the SDWA with respect to all Class V injection wells not included in 
the first rulemaking for Class V injection wells. The Administrator 
must sign a final determination for these remaining Class V wells by no 
later than May 31, 2002.

[[Page 68548]]

4. 1998 Proposed Rule
    On July 29, 1998 (63 FR 40586), in response to the first action 
required under the modified consent decree, EPA proposed revisions to 
the Class V UIC regulations that would add new requirements for three 
categories of Class V wells that were believed to endanger drinking 
water. According to this proposal, Class V motor vehicle waste disposal 
wells in ground water protection areas (as defined in Section IV.A.1 of 
the preamble) would either be banned or would have to get a permit that 
requires fluids released in those wells to meet the drinking water 
maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) and other health-based standards at 
the point of injection. Class V industrial waste disposal wells in 
ground water protection areas also would be required to meet the MCLs 
and other health-based standards at the point of injection, and large-
capacity cesspools in such areas would be banned.
    EPA discussed the 1998 proposal with several stakeholders and small 
entity representatives. During January and February of 1998, EPA 
convened three stakeholder meetings to inform potentially affected 
entities of the requirements under consideration and to solicit 
feedback. In addition, as required by the Small Business Regulatory 
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), EPA conducted outreach to 
representatives of small entities affected by the rule. In consultation 
with the Small Business Administration, EPA identified 17 
representatives of small entities that were most likely to be affected 
by the proposal.
    A Small Business Advocacy Review Panel met for 60 days in 1998 to 
identify small entity concerns with the proposed rulemaking. The 1998 
proposal incorporated all recommendations on which the Panel reached 
consensus (see 63 FR 40590, July 29, 1998).

III. Actions Taken After Close of the Public Comment Period

A. Public Comment

    The 1998 proposed rule was initially open for public comment for 60 
days. In response to a request to extend the comment period, EPA 
published a notice in the Federal Register (63 FR 51882) which reopened 
the comment period for an additional 60 days.
    Ninety-seven commentors addressed the proposal. EPA has developed a 
response to comment document addressing all public comments received on 
motor vehicle waste disposal wells and large-capacity cesspools, which 
are the well types addressed in this rulemaking. This document is 
available at the Water Docket. In addition, some comments are discussed 
in today's preamble. Public comment received regarding regulation of 
industrial wells will be considered and addressed when the final 
determination for those wells is published.

B. National Drinking Water Advisory Council

    The National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) was 
established by the SDWA Section 1446 to provide practical and 
independent advice, consultation, and recommendations to the Agency on 
the activities, functions and policies related to the SDWA. At its 
April 1997 meeting, NDWAC decided to form a Federal Advisory Committee 
Act (FACA) working group to address the Class V Underground Injection 
Control and Source Water Protection Program integration issues.
    The EPA UIC and Source Water working group represents a broad range 
of public interests including: State, federal and local government 
representatives; public interest groups, including environmental 
organizations; universities; industry; and utility operators. The group 
met twice in 1999 to discuss the proposed Class V regulation, as well 
as issues addressed in public comment.
    The full NDWAC council considered the working group's conclusions 
during their May 1999 meeting. The full council then made formal 
recommendations to the Administrator.

C. Notice of Data Availability

    EPA published a notice of data availability (NODA) and further 
request for comment related to the 1998 proposed rule on May 21, 1999 
(64 FR 27741). A total of 14 public comment letters were received in 
response to this request.
    The NODA was published in response to additional information 
received during and after the close of the comment period. It outlined 
additional data and issues EPA was considering in developing the final 
rule, including the following information that is discussed in separate 
sections below: contamination incident information and injectate 
quality data from the Class V study; a draft report on contaminant 
occurrence in public water systems; and injectate quality and 
contamination incident data from EPA Regions II and VIII. Two other 
categories of information presented in the NODA, Class V well closure 
cost data from Penske Truck Leasing Company and Source Water Assessment 
Plans submitted to EPA, are discussed in section V.A of today's 
preamble relating to the economic impact analysis.
    The following sections only address the NODA as it pertains to 
motor vehicle waste disposal wells and large-capacity cesspools 
targeted in today's rule. As discussed in more detail in section IV.B 
of this preamble, several public commentors on the 1998 proposal 
questioned the basis for regulating all industrial wells in the same 
manner, given the diversity of wells that exist within that category as 
it was proposed and the Agency has decided not to go final with the 
1998 proposal for industrial wells at this time.
1. Class V Study
    EPA has completed a study of Class V injection wells to meet the 
requirements of a modified consent decree in Sierra Club v. Browner 
(D.D.C. Mo. 93-2644). This consent decree required the Agency to study 
Class V wells not included in today's rulemaking. The information was 
collected from both State and EPA Regional offices using survey 
questionnaires and selected site visits, and from other sources, such 
as trade associations, research institutions and universities. 
Information from the study will be used to determine if additional 
Class V regulations are needed to protect USDWs from Class V injection 
wells not regulated by today's rulemaking. The focus of the study 
consisted of an information collection effort for 23 subclasses of 
Class V wells.
    Through the study, States and EPA Regional offices were also asked 
to supply information on the three well types addressed in the proposed 
rule: motor vehicle waste disposal wells: industrial waste disposal 
wells and large-capacity cesspools. Before the study was completed and 
the final methods and results were fully documented, information 
received on the three well types targeted by the proposed Class V rule 
were compiled in a single notebook and made available through the NODA. 
The data was presented in three sections. The first section provided 
the latest State inventory information for each of the three well types 
as reported in survey responses. The second provided information on 
contamination incidents identified by the States. The third contained 
injectate quality data collected from motor vehicle and industrial 
waste disposal wells.
    In the NODA, EPA stated its plan to use this new information to 
help assess the threat posed by the different well

[[Page 68549]]

types and to better project the number of affected entities. Below, EPA 
describes how the recently obtained injectate quality and contamination 
case information presented in the NODA supports the Agency's regulatory 
determination in today's final rule-making. The new inventory data 
presented in the NODA is discussed in Section V of this preamble.
    As part of the Class V Study EPA received limited injectate 
sampling data for motor vehicle waste disposal wells. In ``Analyses 
from Sampling at Class V Industrial and Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal 
Wells,'' A. Melcer and N. Wiser, USEPA Region 5, examined the 
analytical results of liquid and sludge injectate taken from 26 motor 
vehicle waste disposal wells in Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota. 
Approximately 50 percent of the liquid samples collected exceeded MCLs 
and approximately 19 percent of the samples exceeded toxicity 
characteristic (TC) hazardous waste limits. Approximately 80 percent of 
the sludge leachate samples analyzed exceeded MCLs and 30 percent 
qualified as hazardous waste. Laboratory results submitted by another 
motor vehicle facility indicated that some organic constituents in the 
injectate were above MCLs. As a result, the permit for the Class V UIC 
well was denied. A database containing thirty cases of soil and/or 
ground water contamination caused by the operation of such wells was 
also submitted as part of the Study. Most of the contamination cases 
are for service stations in New York but the database does not provide 
specific details.
    Six public commentors said this information did not support the 
Agency's proposed high-risk conclusion and a ban for motor vehicle 
waste disposal wells. These commentors believed the information shows 
that motor vehicle wells can be safely operated under certain 
circumstances, that the contamination cases are few in number and 
possibly not representative of today's operating practices, and that 
the information is too vague and anecdotal to support informed decision 
making.
2. Region II and VIII Data
    The Region II and VIII data provide additional evidence that fluids 
released in motor vehicle waste disposal wells commonly exceed MCLs and 
that these wells have been linked with environmental contamination. For 
example, one report shows that out of 38 motor vehicle facilities in 
the State of New York, 20 had injectate above MCLs entering drywells 
and 19 had injectate above MCLs entering septic systems. Out of 27 case 
study files reviewed in Region II, nine had documented incidents of 
ground water and/or soil contamination. Region VIII submitted both 
laboratory reports from motor vehicle waste disposal facilities in 
Montana and two reports from South Dakota which included injectate 
sampling data. All facilities exceeded primary drinking water standards 
in one or more sampling events for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) 
and/or heavy metals. For example, benzene was detected in some samples 
at 1.1 to 22 times the MCL. Tetrachloroethylene levels were seen 
ranging from 1.1 to 38 to 280 times MCL and methylene chloride at 96 
times the MCL. Some metals were found to exceed the hazardous waste 
toxicity characteristic levels.
    Only one commentor addressed these data specifically. This 
commentor believed the data support their contention that motor vehicle 
wells cannot be categorically classified as high risk. The commentor 
noted that less than one percent of all Class V well contamination 
cases in Region II involved ground water contamination.
    EPA believes the injectate data and contamination cases cited in 
the NODA from the study and Regions II and VIII support the 1998 
proposal that motor vehicle waste disposal wells warrant additional 
federal regulation. The additional information confirm that samples of 
injectate exceed the MCLs for volatile organic compounds and metals. In 
some cases, contaminants exceeded RCRA toxic characteristic levels. 
This data is consistent with information collected to support the 
proposed rule making and supports EPA concerns about potential 
endangerment of drinking water by these wells. However, the Agency 
recognizes that there may be situations in which an owner or operator 
of a Class V motor vehicle waste disposal well could implement best 
management practices (BMPs) and/or install treatment measures such that 
the waste injected would not exceed the MCL or other health based 
standards and could therefore remain open without endangering USDWs. 
For that reason, today's rule allows owners and operators of existing 
Class V motor vehicle waste disposal wells to seek a waiver from the 
ban and apply for a permit.
3. Contaminant Occurrence Report
    This report summarizes occurrence data from finished water 
collected from 14 different State databases for public drinking water 
systems. In total, the data include over 10 million analytical results 
from over 25,000 public water systems. Only contaminants that were 
tested in a significant number of systems (e.g., several hundred or 
more) in at least one of the State databases were evaluated in the 
report. Twenty-three contaminants known or believed to be associated 
with motor vehicle waste disposal wells were selected for analysis. 
Each of the 23 contaminants were detected in ground water based systems 
at concentrations greater than the MCL.
    The results of the analysis show that contaminants associated with 
Class V wells occur in public drinking water systems across the nation. 
Contaminant occurrence varied widely from State to State. For example, 
12.8% and 19.4% of the ground water systems in certain States detected 
trichloroethene and 1,1,1-trichlororethane, respectively. Furthermore, 
all contaminants were detected at levels that exceeded the MCL. In 
certain States, 2.0% of ground water systems exceeded the MCL for 
mercury and 5.7% of ground water systems exceeded the MCL for 
tetrachloroethylene (PCE). Determining the source of the contamination 
was beyond the scope of this report, but the occurrence data clearly 
demonstrates that contaminants known to be associated with Class V 
wells occur nationally in public water systems.

IV. Description of Today's Action

    Today EPA is finalizing additional requirements for motor vehicle 
waste disposal wells and large capacity cesspools, to embrace 
priorities and help achieve goals defined under the 1996 Amendments to 
the SDWA, and to fulfill the first phase of the Agency's requirements 
under the 1997 consent decree with the Sierra Club.
    Class V wells are currently authorized by rule as long as (1) they 
do not endanger USDWs, and (2) the well owners or operators submit 
basic inventory and assessment information. If a Class V well may 
endanger USDWs, UIC Program Directors can require the owner/operator to 
apply for a permit, order preventive actions (including closure of the 
well) to prevent the violation, require remediation to assure USDWs are 
protected, or take enforcement action. These, and other existing 
federal requirements and authorities will continue as basic elements of 
EPA's Class V strategy, applicable to all Class V wells in all areas.
    Consistent with the 1997 decree, EPA is taking a step-wise approach 
to supplement the existing program and ensure Class V injection wells 
do not endanger USDWs. This approach

[[Page 68550]]

consists of (1) an initial rule creating additional requirements for 
some of the Class V well types determined by EPA, as an initial matter, 
to be higher risk, and (2) further study of other types of Class V 
wells not covered in the initial rule to provide the factual basis for 
further regulatory action, as necessary.
    As the first step of its Class V strategy, EPA is today finalizing 
additional requirements for two categories of Class V injection wells 
determined by EPA to be a source of endangerment to drinking water. 
Specifically, the rule covers: (1) Existing motor vehicle waste 
disposal wells located in ground water protection areas delineated for 
community water systems and non-transient non-community water systems 
that use ground water as a source and other sensitive ground water 
areas as delineated by States; and, (2) new and existing large-capacity 
cesspools and new motor vehicle waste disposal wells nationwide. The 
conclusion that these Class V wells pose an endangerment is based on 
substantial information and the combined professional judgment of EPA 
and State geologists and engineers that are responsible for 
implementing the Class V UIC program.
    In the case of motor vehicle waste disposal wells, today's rule has 
been developed to use and promote linkages between the Class V UIC 
program and EPA's State Drinking Water Source Assessment and Protection 
Program. Both programs are authorized by the SDWA. The UIC Program is 
designed to protect all current and potential USDWs from contamination 
by injection wells. The State Drinking Water Source Assessment and 
Protection Program is structured to identify all potential sources of 
contamination within areas that provide short-term recharge to public 
water supply wells and surface water intakes.
    The focus on ground water protection areas and other State 
delineated sensitive ground water areas is a key element for the 
protection of current and future drinking water sources. Areas 
delineated under the State Drinking Water Source Assessment and 
Protection Program represent, at a minimum, areas designated to receive 
top priority for the protection of existing public drinking water 
supplies. Sensitive ground water areas are ground water areas 
identified by the State as needing additional protection from Class V 
wells with injectate likely to endanger drinking water. Consistent with 
this prioritization, this rule uses a phased-in approach that targets 
motor vehicle waste disposal wells in ground water protection areas 
first, and State designated sensitive ground water areas at a later 
date. This allows States to prioritize critical ground water areas 
initially and phase-in other priority protection areas at a later time.
    The decision to regulate motor vehicle waste disposal wells is 
based on the high potential for these wells to endanger USDWs. Motor 
vehicle waste disposal wells are located throughout the country--mainly 
in populated areas--at a variety of facilities, such as automobile 
service stations, car dealerships, automotive repair shops, and 
specialty repair shops (e.g., transmission shops, muffler shops, body 
shops). They tend to be shallow, with injection occurring into or above 
USDWs. They also tend to be uncased, which could allow contaminated 
fluids to move more easily into USDWs. Given all of these factors, the 
quality of fluids they inject becomes very important in determining 
whether these wells are a threat to USDWs.
    Although the development and use of BMPs by the automotive industry 
have improved recycling and waste disposal practices over the past 
decade, EPA is concerned about motor vehicle-related facilities which 
inject fluids with little or no treatment. These fluids, which may be 
injected intentionally for waste disposal or accidentally as a result 
of spills or leaks, include spilled gasoline and oil, waste oil, 
grease, engine cleaning solvents, brake and transmission fluids, and 
antifreeze. Such fluids contain potentially harmful contaminants, often 
in high concentrations. For example, fluids containing waste oils or 
gasoline generally include benzene, toluene, xylenes, and other 
volatile contaminants. Waste oils and antifreeze also contain some 
priority pollutant heavy metals, such as barium, cadmium, chromium, and 
lead. Other contaminants that may be injected include methylene 
chloride, a compound found in many degreasers, and ethylene glycol, a 
component of antifreeze. All of these contaminants can be toxic above 
certain levels. Some, such as benzene and toluene, have the potential 
to cause cancer.
    Data collected for the 1987 Report to Congress and from later EPA 
Regional investigations indicate that fluids being injected may exceed 
health-based limits for contaminant levels in water by 10 to 100 times 
(see p. 5-19 of the August 1989 Class V Task Force Report available in 
the docket). These data were confirmed for a number of motor vehicle 
service stations during the implementation of a 1991 National 
Administrative Order addressing failures to submit inventory 
information required under 40 CFR 144.26 and 146.52(a). Analyses of 
fluids disposed at a group of facilities subject to this order found a 
total of 13 contaminants present in concentrations above the drinking 
water MCL, although not all contaminants exceeded the MCL in every 
sample at every facility (see Data from the National Administrative 
Order on Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells, March 16, 1998, available 
in the docket). For example, benzene concentrations exceeded the 
drinking water MCL at 19 of the 20 facilities tested and in 32 of 35 
samples analyzed. The highest measured benzene concentration was 40 
times the MCL. Similarly, arsenic exceeded the MCL at 11 of 17 
facilities and in 18 of 30 samples, with the highest arsenic 
concentration being 31 times the MCL.
    The injection of used petroleum products may leave behind an oily 
residue within the wells. A 1995 report on natural bioattenuation of 
hazardous organic compounds in the subsurface states: ``Most organic 
contaminants, however, enter the subsurface as an oily liquid, such as 
a fuel spill or release of chlorinated solvent. Groundwater moving 
through the material dissolves a small portion of the contaminant, 
which becomes a plume of groundwater contamination. Because the 
contaminant mass in the oily material is much greater than that 
dissolved in the groundwater, the spill can continue to maintain the 
plume more or less indefinitely. As the plume moves away from its 
source natural biological processes may attenuate the contamination in 
the groundwater.'' 1
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Anderson, William, Innovative Site Technology, 
Bioremediation, Chapter 3.4, page 1, 1995
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Examples of instances where motor vehicle waste disposal wells have 
endangered USDWs include a case in Missoula, Montana, a sole-source 
aquifer area, where investigations starting in June of 1988 discovered 
that PCE from operating drainage wells at auto service stations had 
contaminated community wells serving approximately 45,000 
people.2 3 Three community wells were closed and 
another 15 have elevated levels of PCE. In Gilford, New Hampshire, a 
March 1988 assessment of a site with a garage, a tire center, auto body 
shop, and a U.S. Army Reserves maintenance shop discovered that 
operating floor drains had contaminated

[[Page 68551]]

the ground water, the soil, and an on-site water supply with 
PCE.4 In Exton, Pennsylvania, trichloroethylene (TCE), PCE, 
and 1,1,1-trichloroethane from a stone bed drain field connected to 
floor drains of an auto repair/body shop operating until 1984, 
contaminated ground water that supplies drinking water to about 76,700 
people.5 In Liberal, Kansas, solvents disposed in a septic 
system by an engine repair shop resulted in volatile organic compound 
(VOC) contamination of several water supply wells in 1982; 
concentrations of VOCs in the septic system were as high as 32,000 ug/
l.6 As presented in Section III.C, additional data from 
Region II, Region VIII and the Class V study show exceedences of the 
MCLs for volatile organic compounds and metals in Class V motor vehicle 
waste disposal well injectate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Background Paper prepared by Alan English, Missoula City-
County Health Department for U.S. EPA Underground Injection Control 
Program, February 1992.
    \3\ An Investigation of the Volatile Organic Content of Sludges, 
Soils and Liquids Entering the Missoula Aquifer from Selected 
Sources,'' prepared by the Missoula City-County Health Department, 
Environmental Health Division, Contributors: Tom Barger and Alan 
English, July 27, 1990.
    \4\ Background information titled ``5X28 Service Station, 
Gilford, NH'' available in the docket. This background information 
was obtained from U.S. EPA Region 1 staff in May 1990.
    \5\ Superfund Site Fact Sheet, A.I.W. Frank/Mid-County Mustang 
Site, Pennsylvania, EPA ID# PAD004351003, Last Update: March 1998. 
http://www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/super/aiwfrank/pad.htm.
    \6\ Site Description Printout for the Panhandle Eastern Pipeline 
Site, from Teresa Hattan, Kansas Department of Health and 
Environment, July 15, 1998.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA believes many of the industries that operate motor vehicle 
waste disposal wells are making efforts to implement best management 
practices, waste minimization techniques, and recycling to reduce their 
impact on the environment and lower operating costs. However, more 
recent information presented in the NODA and EPA's experience 
implementing Class V programs across the country indicate that 
contamination of drinking water supplies from endangering motor vehicle 
waste disposal wells is a problem that still needs to be addressed.
    Some commentors opposed the proposed approach for motor vehicle 
waste disposal wells. They felt motor vehicle waste disposal wells did 
not pose a risk to USDWs when located in ground water protection areas 
and should not be banned. They contended that the industry has 
instituted BMPs and recycling, and therefore, are no longer disposing 
of motor vehicle wastes in these wells. While EPA agrees that the use 
of BMPs and recycling have improved, motor vehicle waste disposal wells 
in ground water protection areas and sensitive ground water areas still 
pose a potential endangerment to USDWs. However, there are indications 
that with treatment, BMPs and recycling, facilities can meet MCLs and 
continue to use their wells. Therefore, existing motor vehicle waste 
disposal wells are banned in ground water protection areas and other 
sensitive ground water areas, but owners and operators can seek a 
waiver from the ban and obtain a permit. Additionally, EPA is banning 
new motor vehicle waste disposal wells statewide. The Agency will also 
issue guidance on conversion of motor vehicle wells to another type of 
Class V well if owners and operators take certain steps to prevent 
motor vehicle waste from entering the well. EPA has also extended the 
compliance time from 90 days to one year to enable owners and operators 
to explore all options available for compliance.
    Large-capacity cesspools have a high potential to contaminate USDWs 
because: they are not designed to treat sanitary waste; they frequently 
exceed drinking water MCLs for nitrates, total suspended solids and 
coliform bacteria; and, they may contain other constituents of concern 
such as phosphates, chlorides, grease, viruses, and chemicals used to 
clean cesspools such as trichloroethane and methylene chloride. 
Pathogens in untreated sanitary waste released into large-capacity 
cesspools could contaminate the water supply sources such as transient 
systems and pose an ``acute'' risk if consumed (meaning there could be 
a serious health risk with a single exposure given the nature of 
contamination). This is a particular concern for Class V cesspools 
located in hydrogeologic settings that would permit pathogens to 
migrate to a ground water supply well that serves a transient system 
with inadequate disinfection of the water or individual wells. To 
further limit the acute risk associated with large-capacity cesspools, 
EPA expanded today's large-capacity cesspool requirements nationwide.
    EPA proposed additional requirements for industrial waste disposal 
wells to meet the MCLs and other health based standards at the point of 
injection. Many commentors questioned why the Agency chose to regulate 
a wide range of industries with different disposal practices with one 
approach. Some commentors suggested requirements similar to those 
proposed for motor vehicle waste disposal wells, to either ban 
industrial wells or require site specific permits. Still others felt 
the industrial category was too diverse and types of industrial waste 
streams should be regulated based on their specific characteristics and 
risks. After consideration of these comments, EPA agrees that the 
industrial category is diverse and represents a variety of waste 
streams. For this reason, EPA is not including requirements for 
industrial waste disposal wells in today's final rule. Industrial waste 
disposal wells will be studied further and addressed in a future rule 
making.
    EPA underscores that this initial rule targets certain ground water 
protection areas for the purpose of prioritizing national policy. The 
rule does not establish differential levels of protection for different 
areas, but rather proposes specific measures EPA believes are necessary 
to ensure that potentially problematic Class V wells do not endanger 
USDWs in the highest priority areas. The prohibition against 
endangerment of USDWs, found in Sec. 144.12 of the existing UIC 
regulations, continues to apply to all Class V wells and all areas, 
whether or not a State has a completed its State Drinking Water Source 
Assessment and Protection Program. Section 144.12(a) in particular 
provides that no injection-related activity may be conducted ``in a 
manner that allows the movement of fluid containing any contaminant 
into underground sources of drinking water, if the presence of that 
contaminant may cause a violation of any primary drinking water 
regulation under 40 CFR part 142 or may otherwise adversely affect the 
health of persons.'' Similarly, Sec. 144.12(c) and (d) authorize a 
variety of actions if a Class V well may cause a violation of primary 
drinking water regulations or otherwise adversely affect the health of 
persons.
    In addition to Sec. 144.12, other existing UIC authorities continue 
to be available to control Class V wells on a case-by-case basis, as 
needed to protect USDWs in any area. These can include requiring a 
permit under Secs. 144.25 and/or requiring submission of additional 
inventory information under Sec. 144.26. In States with EPA-
administered programs, the inventory requirements under Sec. 144.26 can 
be supplemented by additional information requirements, including 
ground water monitoring, analysis of injected fluids, or submission of 
geologic information under Sec. 144.27.
    EPA expects and strongly encourages States to use these existing 
authorities to take whatever measures are needed to ensure Class V 
wells are not endangering USDWs in any other areas beyond ground water 
protection areas and sensitive ground water areas. If believed to be 
necessary, States should apply the same requirements in this rule to 
these and other areas and/or to other Class V wells. Nothing in this 
rule precludes a State or local government from promulgating more 
stringent requirements above and beyond the existing UIC authorities.

[[Page 68552]]

A. Definitions/Terminology

1. Ground Water Protection Areas
    At Sec. 144.85, the proposal specified that only those owners or 
operators of motor vehicle waste disposal wells and large-capacity 
cesspools that are located in delineated source water protection areas 
for community or non-transient non-community water systems that use 
ground water as a source must meet the requirements of the rule. 
However, EPA's Final Guidance for Source Water Assessments and 
Protection Programs (8/97), does not require States to call their 
delineated areas ``Source Water Protection Areas'' and the State 
Drinking Water Source Assessment and Protection Programs submitted to 
EPA to date indicate that States may identify these areas by other 
names (e.g., source water assessment areas, ground water areas). 
Therefore, to avoid the confusion these terms may cause, the term 
``ground water protection areas'' will be used in this rule to identify 
areas delineated and assessed under section 1453 of the Safe Drinking 
Water Act for community and non-transient non-community water systems 
that use ground water as a source , and are therefore subject to this 
rule. In cases where the State delineates zones or areas representing 
various levels of protection, the State would determine which areas 
correspond to ground water protection areas for the purposes of this 
rule.
2. Sensitive Ground Water Areas
    The phrase ``sensitive ground water area'' was not used in the 
proposed Class V rule. However, the proposal recognized that areas 
beyond ground water protection areas might warrant additional 
protection and requested public comment on whether the new Class V 
regulations should apply beyond these areas, possibly statewide, to 
ensure protection of USDWs.
    EPA received many comments recommending that the rule requirements 
extend beyond ground water protection areas in order to protect future 
sources of drinking water and to protect the public health of persons 
using individual wells. EPA agrees with those commentors and expanded 
the requirements to owners or operators of motor vehicle waste disposal 
wells located in additional sensitive ground water areas, as designated 
by the program director. The phrase ``sensitive ground water areas'' in 
this rule refers to ground water areas that are critical for public 
health protection because of hydrogeologic and other features that 
would cause USDWs to be vulnerable to contamination from the well-types 
regulated by this action. A general definition of other ``sensitive 
ground water areas'' has been included in the final rule at 
Sec. 144.86. This definition should act as a guide to regulators when 
delineating sensitive ground water areas. At Sec. 145.23 EPA requires 
States, as part of their Class V program revision, to submit a plan for 
delineating other sensitive ground water areas (unless the State 
chooses to implement the program statewide). Program revisions are 
subject to public review and, therefore, the public will have the 
opportunity to comment on the States approach to delineating other 
sensitive ground water areas. EPA is not requiring States to submit a 
plan for ground water protection areas as part of their program 
revision because, as required under 1453 of the Safe Drinking Water 
Act, each State's Drinking Water Source Assessment and Protection 
Program outlines the States plan for conducting ground water protection 
area assessments and has already undergone public review and is 
undergoing EPA review. EPA also intends to provide States with further 
guidance on delineating sensitive ground water areas. Guidance 
documents will be made available from EPA Regional Offices or through 
the Safe Drinking Water Hotline.
3. Point of Injection
    In the proposed Class V rule, the phrase ``point of injection'' was 
used at Sec. 144.88 to establish where fluids injected into a well 
would be required to meet MCLs and other health-based standards. The 
proposal, however, did not define the term ``point of injection.''
    Several commentors requested that this term be defined to avoid 
confusion. Other commentors expressed concern about where the ``point 
of compliance'' would be and suggested various points to measure 
compliance, ranging from ``point of use'' to the property boundary. 
Others recommended not defining the point of injection, because a 
highly prescriptive definition of the ``point of injection'' would be 
difficult to implement due to the many different engineering 
configurations of Class V wells.
    To resolve this issue, EPA sought public comment in the May 21, 
1999, NODA on the need for the final Class V regulation to clearly 
define the ``point of injection.'' The majority of the commentors on 
the NODA supported defining the point of injection for Class V wells as 
the distribution box (for the case of septic systems) or the end of the 
pipe for injection wells. One commentor stressed the need to give UIC 
Directors the authority to determine the point of injection on a case 
by case basis.
    In response to public comment, EPA has decided to define ``point of 
injection.'' Taking into account the difficulties of applying a 
specific definition to a variety of wells, ``point of injection'' is 
defined as, ``the last accessible sampling point prior to waste fluids 
being released into the subsurface environment,'' at Sec. 144.3. For 
septic systems, the last accessible sampling point might be the 
distribution box, for injection wells the last accessible point prior 
to injection would be the end of the pipe. This definition, in addition 
to a guidance document, should act as a guide to regulators and Class V 
well owners and operators, regardless of well configuration, when 
determining the most appropriate sampling point to determine 
compliance.
4. Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells
    In its proposal, EPA determined that injection wells located in 
ground water protection areas that receive waste fluids from the 
servicing of motor vehicles pose an endangerment to underground sources 
of drinking water. Motor vehicle waste disposal wells are defined at 
Sec. 144.81 (16) as follows ``Motor vehicle waste disposal wells 
receive or have received fluids from vehicular repair or maintenance 
activities, such as an auto body repair shop, automotive repair shop, 
new and used car dealership, specialty repair shop (e.g., transmission 
and muffler repair shop), or any facility that does any vehicular 
repair work.''

B. Industrial Waste Disposal Wells

    In the July 29, 1998 notice, EPA proposed additional requirements 
for the group of Class V wells categorized as ``industrial'' when 
located in ground water protection areas because these well types may 
pose an endangerment to underground sources of drinking water. The 
proposed industrial well category included a wide range of industries 
disposing of wastes from such various industries as animal hospitals, 
environmental laboratories, dry cleaners, and oil refineries. In 
addition to representing a wide range of industrial discharges, these 
wells vary in construction, depth, and operation. The Agency solicited 
comment on the appropriateness of designating industrial wells as high 
risk and regulating them under this rule.
    Based on public comment, EPA now believes that, although these 
wells may pose high risks to underground sources of drinking water, the 
well category as defined in the proposal may be too diverse to follow 
the same regulatory

[[Page 68553]]

approach. EPA believes that more information is needed to formulate an 
effective program for these wells and wastestreams. As a result, EPA 
has decided to defer finalization of the 1998 proposal for this 
category of wells.

C. Coverage of the Rule

1. Large-Capacity Cesspools
    The proposed rule banned large-capacity cesspools in ground water 
protection areas. However, in the preamble to the proposed rule, the 
Agency recognized that there may be instances where pathogens in 
untreated sanitary waste released from Class V large-capacity cesspools 
could pose an acute heath risk (i.e., a person could become ill by 
taking one drink from an affected drinking water supply) and sought 
comment on the merits of broadening the coverage of the rule to include 
ground water protection areas for transient public water systems and 
possibly statewide. Many commentors supported the idea of extending the 
ban on large-capacity cesspools, due to concerns over one-time exposure 
to pathogens in drinking water. Some commentors supported extending the 
ban to ground water protection areas delineated for transient non-
community systems that use ground water as a source, but the majority 
of commentors supported statewide coverage, primarily because of the 
acute risk these wells pose, the nature of the contaminants and the on-
site disposal alternatives available to owners or operators.
    Based on these public comments, EPA has decided to ban new and 
existing large-capacity cesspools nationwide. EPA believes that 
extending the rule's coverage is the most appropriate course of action 
given that many States already ban new large-capacity cesspools, the 
acute nature of the risks posed by these wells, and the relative ease 
of developing alternative means to dispose of sanitary waste on-site.
2. Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells
    The proposal would have regulated motor vehicle waste disposal 
wells in ground water-based community and non-transient, non-community 
ground water protection areas, but encouraged States to use existing 
UIC authorities to ensure Class V wells are not endangering USDWs 
beyond those areas. However, the proposal recognized that additional 
areas might warrant additional protection and requested public comment 
on whether the new Class V regulations should apply to motor vehicle 
waste disposal wells beyond ground water protection areas.
    One-third of the commentors on this issue opposed expanding the 
rule. These commentors believed existing authority adequately protected 
USDWs outside of ground water protection areas, EPA would be exceeding 
its authority, limited resources and the need for State flexibility 
would inhibit implementation of the rule in additional areas, and 
additional regulatory burden would be placed on well owners or 
operators outside ground water protection areas.
    About one-half of the commentors on this subject favored expanding 
the requirements for motor vehicle waste disposal wells beyond ground 
water protection areas. A number of these commentors specified 
additional areas where the regulation should apply, including impaired 
ground water areas, critical aquifer protection areas, sole-source 
aquifers, aquifer storage and recovery areas, sand/gravel/karst 
aquifers, national parks, possible future USDWs, rural areas with 
private wells, and the entire State. Some commentors suggested phasing 
in additional sensitive ground water areas over time.
    Commentors supporting expansion sought to ensure protection of all 
USDWs and uniform application of the regulations. Others believed that 
expansion of the rule is needed to protect future sources of drinking 
water, private drinking wells, and other sensitive ground water areas 
not included in ground water protection areas.
    The NODA requested comment on an approach to expand the rule beyond 
ground water protection areas to other sensitive ground water areas 
that the State identified and phasing in the implementation of the rule 
in these additional areas. Eleven commentors addressed the addition of 
sensitive ground water areas and nine commentors addressed the phased 
approach to implementation. For expansion of the rule beyond ground 
water protection areas, seven commentors supported the need to protect 
additional areas with two of the commentors recommending statewide 
coverage of the rule. Three commentors opposed expansion, stating that 
limiting the rule to ground water protection areas adequately protected 
USDWs. Seven commentors supported phasing in the regulations beyond 
ground water protection areas. They agreed that the given time frame 
allowed adequate time for owners/operators and States to implement the 
rule, and the phase in would assist States in prioritizing areas for 
implementation of the rule. Two commentors opposed the phasing in of 
any additional sensitive ground water areas.
    EPA agrees with those commentors suggesting additional areas need 
to be covered by this rulemaking. The State Source Water Protection 
Program provides protection for areas directly around public drinking 
water supplies and does not consider or protect drinking water sources 
that are not currently being used. In addition, limiting the rule to 
ground water protection areas does not take into consideration factors 
such as contaminants that could readily migrate to existing water 
supplies, sole source aquifers, and individual well fields. Therefore, 
the Agency feels it is important to extend the rule beyond ground water 
protection areas to fulfill its mandate to protect current and future 
drinking water sources. Thus, EPA, at Sec. 144.85, regulates existing 
motor vehicle wells in both ground water protection areas and other 
sensitive ground water areas, as delineated by the Director and bans 
new motor vehicle waste disposal wells nationwide. In delineating 
sensitive ground water areas, both Primacy States and EPA Regions (for 
DI States) should evaluate the hydrogeologic setting and consider such 
factors as: the presence or absence of karst topography, fractured 
bedrock, sandstone, and/or confining layers; the depth to ground water; 
significance as a drinking water source; and future uses of the land. 
Primacy States and EPA Regions (for DI States) must implement the rule 
for existing motor vehicle waste disposal wells in ground water 
protection areas within one year of the completion of the local 
assessments, and must delineate sensitive ground water areas by January 
1, 2004 and implement the rule in these areas by January 1, 2007.

D. Ban of Large-Capacity Cesspools

    As discussed in section IV of this preamble, concerns over 
``acute'' health risks have led EPA to extend the ban of large-capacity 
cesspools to all large-capacity cesspools nationwide. Separate from 
this issue of the rule coverage, however, is whether large-capacity 
cesspools should be banned.
    The majority of commentors supported the ban. The prevailing 
opinion among these commentors was that strong steps need to be taken 
to keep pathogens from these wells from entering drinking water 
sources. The use of new large-capacity cesspools is recognized as an 
inferior method of disposing of waste that can be remedied by the 
installation of a septic system and has already been banned by many 
States. Thus, in response to the many

[[Page 68554]]

concerns expressed regarding acute contaminants in cesspools, EPA has 
banned new and existing large-capacity cesspools nationwide.

E. Requirements for Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells

1. Ban New Wells and Require Existing Wells To Either Close or Get a 
Permit
    EPA co-proposed a ban and a ban with a waiver for existing motor 
vehicle waste disposal wells. The alternative allowing a waiver for 
existing wells would include a permit requiring waste fluids to meet 
MCLs and other health-based standards at the point of injection, owners 
or operators to adopt practices such as BMPs, and provide injectate and 
sludge monitoring.
    Half of the commentors opposed the idea of waivers, believing a ban 
was necessary to prevent endangerment of current and future drinking 
water sources. Commentors' concerns with a permit program included: 
inadequacy of monitoring and sampling; limited technical knowledge on 
the part of many owners/operators to ensure that USDWs are not being 
threatened; and the burden on regulating agencies to satisfactorily 
implement and enforce a permit program. Pointing to the vulnerability 
of motor vehicle waste disposal wells to accidental spills of motor 
vehicle fluids, some commentors thought that any well left open would 
violate the existing non-endangerment provision in 40 CFR 144.12(a) of 
the UIC regulations. Some of these commentors recommended that if the 
waiver option was chosen, the permit must: (1) include sampling to 
determine the baseline quality of ground water; (2) specify that 
injection of waste must not degrade the current quality of the ground 
water, or must meet MCLs, whichever is more stringent; (3) include 
continued ground water sampling; (4) specify, based on the baseline 
quality of ground water, that no new substances can be introduced; and 
(5) specify that MCLs, other health-based standards, or Best Available 
Technologies (BATs) are utilized, whichever is most stringent.
    Some of the commentors favored the waiver option, viewing a ban to 
be unnecessary and supporting the additional flexibility a waiver would 
allow States and industry. Commentors suggested a range of permit 
requirements including monitoring, sampling, training, and technology 
requirements. Some States expressed concern with sampling costs, site-
specific criteria, and compliance assurance.
    EPA believes there is a high potential for endangerment of drinking 
water sources from motor vehicle waste disposal wells located in ground 
water protection areas and other sensitive ground water areas. However, 
EPA recognizes that treatment technologies and BMPs, if properly 
implemented, could allow wastewater to meet MCLs and other health-based 
standards at the point of injection. Therefore, today's final rule 
promulgates a ban with a waiver option for existing motor vehicle waste 
disposal wells. UIC Directors should use their best judgment when 
issuing waivers from the ban, and consider factors such as cost 
effectiveness, maintenance of treatment systems, potential for 
impacting water systems, a facility's compliance history, and records 
showing waste recycling.
    The specific permit requirements could vary from one well to the 
next, but would have to include the following three conditions at a 
minimum. First, owners or operators would have to make sure fluids 
released in their wells meet the primary drinking water MCLs and other 
appropriate health-based standards at the point of injection. Second, 
owners or operators would have to follow specified BMPs for motor 
vehicle-related facilities. Third, owners or operators would have to 
monitor the quality of their injectate and sludge (if present in dry 
wells or tanks holding injectate) both initially and on a continuing 
basis in order to demonstrate compliance with the MCLs. The rule, 
however, does not specify monitoring requirements that must be 
followed, leaving those instead to the discretion of the Director to 
specify in the permit.
    When all of these requirements are put together, EPA believes the 
permit would specify the following kinds of monitoring requirements, 
but recognizes that States will design monitoring requirements 
appropriate to the situation. As a first step, owners or operators 
might be required to characterize the quality of their injectate and 
any sludge. If liquid from the sludge has chemical concentrations below 
the MCLs, owners or operators might be required to analyze the 
injectate quarterly for the first three years and then annually if it 
is consistently below the MCLs. They also might be required to analyze 
their sludge annually. If the injectate is below the MCLs but liquid 
from the sludge is above the MCLs, then owners or operators might have 
to follow the same monitoring requirements as above plus pump and 
properly dispose of their sludge. Finally, if the injectate is above 
the MCL and the liquid from the sludge is above the MCL, then the owner 
or operator would need to: (1) Install treatment to meet permit 
requirements to meet MCLs and other health based standards at the point 
of injection; (2) pump and properly dispose of their sludge; (3) 
perform quarterly sampling of injectate for the first three years and 
then annually if consistently below the MCLs; (4) perform annual 
sampling of the sludge; and (5) other requirements established by the 
Director to protect USDWs.
    Although the rule envisions that States will issue individual 
permits, States are not precluded from issuing a general permit to a 
group of facilities that have similar characteristics. For instance, 
there may be a number of service stations in an area that have similar 
waste streams, BMP's, good compliance histories and for which the 
permit conditions would be identical. Another example could be a group 
of facilities owned by a municipality that are used for a similar 
purpose, have similar waste streams and follow that same procedure, 
including BMPs. General permits would have to specify the initial and 
ongoing monitoring requirements, BMPs, and that MCLs and other health 
based standards must be met at the point of injection. State 
regulations would have to include provisions for these general permits, 
including their conditions and where they could apply.
2. MCLs at the Point of Injection
    Under the ban with a waiver option proposed for existing motor 
vehicle waste disposal wells, such wells would be allowed to stay open 
subject to a permit that, among other things, requires waste fluids to 
meet MCLs and other health-based standards at the point of injection. 
As discussed in the preamble to the proposed rule, some members of the 
Small Business Advocacy Review Panel thought that EPA should allow MCLs 
to be exceeded (e.g., by 10 or 100 times) for certain contaminants 
under certain conditions. These Panel members pointed out that metals 
and some other contaminants are attenuated as they migrate through soil 
prior to reaching the water table and are diluted within an aquifer 
prior to reaching a drinking water withdrawal well.
    The majority of commentors supported the proposal to meet MCLs and 
other health-based standards at the point of injection. In general, 
these commentors believed that allowing injection at levels above the 
MCL would be the same as providing ``a permit to pollute,'' and that it 
would be illogical for EPA to use the MCLs as cleanup benchmarks at 
Superfund sites, yet allow new ground water contamination by permitting 
injection above the MCLs.

[[Page 68555]]

Several of these commentors also believed it was not realistic to 
expect small businesses that own or operate motor vehicle waste 
disposal wells to be able to determine whether their site-specific 
conditions were suitable to safely allow injection at levels higher 
than the MCLs.
    A few commentors were concerned that MCLs at the point of injection 
was not protective enough, believing instead that background 
concentrations in ground water should be used as the standard or that 
the rule should prohibit the introduction of any potentially hazardous 
chemical into USDWs, even when present in concentrations below MCLs. 
About a third of the commentors opposed the proposed requirement, 
believing that it was unnecessary to protect USDWs where contaminant 
dilution and/or attenuation was expected to be significant and that it 
would impose an undue burden on well owners or operators.
    Based on these public comments, today's final rule requires fluids 
released into motor vehicle waste disposal wells to meet MCLs and other 
appropriate health-based standards at the point of injection, as one of 
the permit conditions that have to be met when such wells remain open 
under the waiver option. EPA also believes that developing a set of 
conditions within which a motor vehicle waste disposal well could 
release fluids that exceed drinking water standards without endangering 
USDWs is not a viable option for most small businesses and regulatory 
authorities because of the difficulty and expense involved in 
collecting the site-specific hydrologic, geologic, and soil information 
needed to determine that injection above the MCLs does not endanger 
USDWs. EPA believes that requiring MCLs and other health based 
standards to be met at the point of injection is necessary to ensure 
that motor vehicle waste disposal wells meet the non-endangerment 
provision in Sec. 144.12(a). In future rulemaking, the regulatory 
controls needed to prevent endangerment from other types of Class V 
wells will be evaluated on a case by case basis. House Report 13002 
(July 10, 1974) stated that the UIC endangerment standard should be 
``liberally construed so as to effectuate the preventive and public 
health protective purposes'' of the SDWA (A Legislative History of the 
Safe Drinking Water Act, Committee Print, February, 1982, at 564). More 
specifically, in defining endangerment, the House Report states that 
``actual contamination of drinking water is not a prerequisite either 
for the establishment of regulations or permit requirements or for the 
enforcement thereof.'' Id.
3. Reclassification of Certain Motor Vehicle Wells
    The proposed rule did not address specific conditions or 
requirements for converting a Class V motor vehicle waste disposal well 
to another kind of Class V well. The preamble to the proposed rule, 
however, did discuss how a motor vehicle service facility might 
continue to operate its Class V well if all motor vehicle waste fluids 
generated at the facility were segregated and only other liquids, such 
as stormwater, ice melt, and wastewater from carwashes, were allowed to 
enter the injection well. The preamble to the proposed rule suggested 
actions that could result in a well being converted, including 
performing motor vehicle maintenance in areas that do not drain into 
the Class V well, or installing a semi-permanent plug (also known as a 
plumber's plug) in the sump outlet leading to the injection well.
    The proposal advised that for the use of a semi-permanent plug to 
be acceptable, the plug would truly have to be semi-permanent. It could 
not be easily removed, as this would create the potential for the well 
to remain open and subject to abuse. Because of these concerns, the 
proposal specifically requested comment on the use of semi-permanent 
plugs, particularly on their limitations and on circumstances where 
their use is or is not appropriate.
    Most of the public comment received on motor vehicle waste disposal 
well conversions addressed the use of semi-permanent plugs, with the 
majority opposing their use. Concerns included potential for improper 
disposal of wastes, economic incentives to dispose of automotive wastes 
in the well, and the regulatory program's inability to maintain an 
adequate field presence to ensure such plugs are being properly used. 
The majority of these commentors preferred permanent closure of the 
well.
    Supporters of semi-permanent plugs maintained that inappropriate 
wastes would not enter the drain, adding that the flexibility to inject 
appropriate fluids while avoiding the costs of well closure is an 
important option for small businesses. Commentors suggested provisions 
be added to ensure abuse does not occur.
    EPA agrees with commentors concerned with the potential misuse and/
or abuse of floor drains in motor vehicle-related facilities. However, 
because of the need expressed by small businesses, EPA will allow motor 
vehicle waste disposal well conversions at the UIC Directors' 
discretion as long as no motor vehicle waste can enter the well. The 
Director must ensure that all motor vehicle fluids are physically 
segregated from the fluid being injected and the unintentional or 
illicit discharge of motor vehicle waste is unlikely based on a 
facility's compliance history and records showing proper waste 
disposal. Based on the concerns expressed through public comment, the 
use of semi-permanent plugs will not be considered as a viable means to 
segregate waste. EPA believes that in order to meet the requirements 
for well conversion, owners or operators of converted Class V wells in 
motor vehicle related facilities will need to implement BMPs. In 
addition, in order to meet the requirements for well conversion, owners 
and operators must take measures to ensure that motor vehicle waste 
fluids are physically segregated from the injection well. EPA plans to 
develop a guidance document for the conversion of motor vehicle waste 
disposal wells.
4. Storm Water Wells at Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Sites
    During stakeholder meetings and through public comment, commentors 
expressed concern over the classification of storm water drainage wells 
located at motor vehicle facilities. In the proposed rule, EPA 
solicited comment on ways of defining storm water wells and 
distinguishing them from motor vehicle waste disposal and industrial 
wells. While this final rule does not address industrial or storm water 
injection wells, it is important to clarify EPA's position regarding 
storm water wells located at motor vehicle facilities.
    Storm water drainage wells located at motor vehicle facilities that 
are intended for storm water management but that also may receive 
insignificant amounts of fuel due to unintentional small volume leaks, 
drips, or spills at the pump are not considered motor vehicle waste 
disposal wells and are not subject to this rule. The Agency will 
develop guidance to assist owners /operators in determining if their 
well is a motor vehicle waste disposal or drainage well.

F. Compliance Period

    At Sec. 144.87, the proposed regulation provided 90 days after the 
local assessment for ground water protection areas is completed for 
owners/operators of existing motor vehicle waste disposal wells in 
those areas to either close their wells or submit an application for a 
waiver, if allowed. The UIC Program Director would have the flexibility 
of extending the 90-day deadline for up to one year.

[[Page 68556]]

    While one commentor supported the proposed compliance period, the 
majority of the commentors opposed the 90-day deadline. Reasons for 
opposition included the burden on small businesses and States, as well 
as potential difficulties in disseminating information and finding 
alternative means for wastewater disposal within that time frame. These 
commentors recommended that the deadline be extended anywhere from 180 
days to two years, with the majority suggesting a one-year compliance 
period.
    EPA agrees with the majority of the commentors that a 90-day 
compliance period may not be sufficient to comply with the new 
requirements. Therefore, EPA has extended the compliance period to one 
year after completion of the local assessment for ground water 
protection areas. However, EPA strongly encourages owners and operators 
who wish to apply for a waiver to do so within 90 days of the 
completion of their local assessment for ground water protection areas 
to insure they are operating under permit conditions within the one 
year compliance period. The additional time will allow State UIC staff 
to conduct outreach and will provide owners and operators additional 
time to achieve compliance. In addition, as proposed, the UIC Director 
may grant a one-year extension if the most efficient compliance option 
is connection to a sanitary sewer or installation of new treatment 
technologies.

G. Deadlines for Delineations of Covered Areas

1. Drinking Water Source Assessment Program Not Completed On Time
    The proposed rule, at Sec. 144.87(b), states that if a State does 
not complete its EPA approved Drinking Water Source Assessment Program 
for its community water systems and non-transient non-community water 
systems by May 2003, the regulations will apply statewide permanently. 
This deadline was chosen because it assumed all States would meet the 
deadlines in Section 1453 of the SDWA and that EPA would approve an 
eighteen month extension for States to complete assessments, which 
would be in May of 2003. The proposal requested comments on alternative 
approaches.
    About one quarter of the commentors on this issue agreed that the 
requirements should apply statewide if a State's Drinking Water Source 
Assessment Program is not complete by May 2003, noting that this option 
would maintain consistency throughout each State.
    The remaining commentors on this issue opposed either permanent 
statewide application of the rule or the May 2003 deadline. Many of 
those opposed were concerned with the burden on owners and operators. A 
few commentors asserted that statewide implementation would exceed 
EPA's authority under the SDWA, that States do not need an added 
incentive to complete Drinking Water Source Assessment Programs, or 
that permanent statewide application of the rule would discourage 
partnerships between States and owners or operators.
    Several commentors suggested variations on the statewide proposal, 
such as: phased implementation linked to Drinking Water Source 
Assessment completion; exempting wells on a case-by-case basis from a 
statewide ban; and, exempting areas of the State where delineations 
were completed but Drinking Water Source Assessments were not.
    Commentors who opposed the proposal also expressed concern that the 
pressure to complete a State's Drinking Water Source Assessment Program 
by the May 2003 deadline may hinder a State's effort to develop an 
effective program. Other commentors supported an extension in May 2003 
if a State could show significant progress on its Drinking Water Source 
Assessments or utilizing financial incentives to encourage States to 
complete their Drinking Water Source Water Assessment Program on time.
    In response to many of these comments, for purposes of this rule 
EPA has extended the deadline. The final rule specifies at Sec. 144.87 
(b) that the rule applies statewide on January 1, 2004 if the local 
ground water assessments for community water systems and non transient 
non community water systems under an EPA approved Drinking Water Source 
Assessment Program are not completed. The extra time accounts for 
possible modifications to State programs submitted during EPA's review 
process. Further, the later date provides additional time for affected 
owners and operators to be informed of the application of this rule to 
their facilities and come into compliance. In addition, States can 
apply to the EPA for an extension to up to one year if they have made 
reasonable progress in completing their assessments for ground water 
protection areas. States must apply to EPA for an extension by June 1, 
2003.
    EPA retained statewide implementation, if a State Drinking Water 
Source Assessment Program is not completed because this is the only 
preventive approach practical given that it would be difficult to 
ascertain which areas are most vulnerable if assessments are not 
completed. At the same time, EPA believes that all States will complete 
assessments for community water systems and non transient non community 
water systems before the January 1, 2004 deadline. There are 
approximately 170,000 public water systems for which States must 
develop source water assessments. Of those systems 40,820 are community 
water systems, 18,660 are non transient non community water systems and 
87,870 are transient water systems. Thus, for the purposes of this 
rule, States must complete less than half of their assessments by this 
deadline and EPA believes that if a State does encounter difficulties 
it will prioritize its efforts and complete the community and non-
transient non-community systems first. In addition, many States have 
received early approval of their programs and have begun their 
assessments ahead of schedule. In addition, a review of the State's 
Source Water Assessment Plans, which have been submitted to EPA for 
approval, indicate that many States intend to use their EPA approved 
Well Head Protection Program as the basis for developing their ground 
water protection areas. Approved Well Head Protection Programs include 
two of the three steps required to complete the ground water portion of 
a State Source Water Protection Plan. States that adopt their existing 
Well Head Protection Plan will have met the majority of the 
requirements for the ground water portion of the State Drinking Water 
Source Assessment and Protection Program. Therefore, if a State fails 
to complete all local assessments for ground water protection areas by 
January 1, 2004 (or January 1, 2005 with an extension) the rule will 
apply statewide for existing motor vehicle waste disposal wells.
2. Sensitive Ground Water Areas Not Delineated on Time
    Both Primacy States and EPA Regions (for DI States) must delineate 
sensitive ground water areas by January 1, 2004. If States have not 
delineated their other ``sensitive ground water areas'' by that time, 
the regulations affecting motor vehicle waste disposal wells will apply 
statewide permanently by January 1, 2007. Existing motor vehicle waste 
disposal wells (in delineated sensitive ground water areas but outside 
of ground water protection areas) in Primacy States and EPA Regions 
(for DI States) must achieve compliance by January 1, 2007.
    The January 1, 2004 date was chosen as a deadline for delineation 
of sensitive ground water areas to allow States time

[[Page 68557]]

to delineate these areas. EPA is confident that States will delineate 
sensitive ground water areas well before the January 2004 deadline. 
States can delineate sensitive ground water areas based on existing 
information such as State specific geologic and hydro-geologic maps. An 
assessment and inventory of contaminant sources within these areas will 
not have to be completed. In addition, States already have knowledge of 
these areas, and some States and EPA Regions (for direct implementation 
States) have already mapped sensitive ground water areas. Phased 
implementation will allow resources to be spent on sensitive ground 
water areas once the rule has already been implemented in ground water 
protection areas. However, States may apply to the EPA for an extension 
for up to one year to complete delineations for sensitive ground water 
areas if they are making reasonable progress in identifying these 
areas. States must apply for this extension by June 1, 2003. EPA will 
consider and decide the merits of the extension requests separately for 
completing assessments for ground water protection areas and for 
identifying other sensitive areas.
3. Assessments for Ground Water Protection Areas Completed Before UIC 
Primacy Revisions Are Approved
    EPA believes that, based on the current status of States in 
developing State Drinking Water Source Assessment and Protection 
Programs and EPA in approving them, most programs will likely be 
approved by the end of 1999. Once approved, States will begin to 
complete their local assessments for ground water protection areas. It 
is likely, therefore, that some local assessments will be completed 
before certain Primacy States have had an opportunity to revise and 
receive EPA approval for their updated Class V UIC programs. In this 
case, owners and operators of existing motor vehicle waste disposal 
wells (located in a ground water protection area with a completed 
assessment) have one year from the date of EPA's approval of their 
State's Class V UIC program revision to comply with the new Class V 
requirements.

H. Pre-Closure Notification

    The proposal, at Sec. 144.88 (table), required owners or operators 
of large-capacity cesspools and motor vehicle waste disposal wells in 
States where the UIC Program is directly implemented by EPA to notify 
the Program Director of their intent to close their well at least 30 
days prior to closure.
    These requirements were proposed for DI programs based on the need 
to track high-priority well closures in EPA-administered programs. In 
the interest of flexibility, the proposal did not require State-
administered UIC programs to adopt the same pre-closure notification. 
EPA solicited comments on the merits and potential impacts on Primacy 
States of requiring pre-closure notification.
    The majority of commentors were in favor of requiring pre-closure 
notification in Primacy States, as this would allow for a more accurate 
inventory, and would provide a mechanism for State oversight of well 
closures.
    For these reasons, EPA has decided to extend pre-closure 
notification for large-capacity cesspools and motor vehicle waste 
disposal wells to Primacy States in all areas covered by the rule at 
Sec. 144.88 (table).

I. Exclusion Criteria for Cesspools and Septic Systems

    EPA proposed to revise the exclusion criteria for septic systems 
and cesspools receiving solely sanitary wastes to exclude from the UIC 
regulations both septic systems and cesspools with the capacity to 
serve fewer than 20 persons per day and those serving individual or 
single family residences. The proposal eliminated the distinction 
between residential and non-residential systems and set the exclusion 
criteria at systems with the capacity to serve fewer than 20 people per 
day. While most commentors supported the 1995 proposal, the vast 
majority of people addressing this issue added that the 20 persons-per-
day threshold should be changed. These commentors, many of which were 
States, generally favored a criterion that was based on waste flow rate 
or septic tank size. However, it was not clear to EPA if any of the 
alternative criteria that were suggested could be adopted on a national 
level without significantly disrupting many State programs nor that 
such a change was needed to improve USDW protection.
    To shed further light on this issue, the 1998 proposal asked for 
further comments on whether the criterion needed to be changed to fix a 
significant problem. In general, the comments received were similar to 
those received for the 1995 proposal. The majority of the commentors 
suggested EPA use a flow rate (ranging from less than 400 to 20,000 
gallons per day). Some commentors thought the 20 persons criterion was 
too low and should be set at 25. Still others suggested that there is 
less waste per person from industrial/commercial sites than residential 
sites.
    EPA recognizes that the current criterion as written in 
Sec. 144.1(g) has weaknesses. However, because no commentor recommended 
an alternative criterion that would not disrupt existing State programs 
or that was necessary to ensure better protection of USDWs, today's 
rule retains the criterion at Sec. 144.1(g). Under this criterion, non-
residential cesspools, septic systems or similar waste disposal systems 
are covered under the UIC program if they are used solely for the 
disposal of sanitary waste, and have the capacity to serve 20 or more 
persons a day. Residential large-capacity cesspools and septic systems 
are covered by the UIC program if they are used by a multiple dwelling, 
community or regional system for the injection of waste.
    EPA will re-evaluate this issue in the context of a future Class V 
rulemaking, using information collected during the Class V Study of all 
wells not covered by todays rule, including septic systems.

J. Other Amendments

    EPA is finalizing other minor revisions originally proposed in the 
August 28, 1995 notice, in order to provide a complete and coherent 
picture of all Class V UIC changes being contemplated. These revisions 
address (1) a few definitions in Secs. 144.3 and 146.3, and (2) the 
classification of radioactive waste disposal wells in Secs. 144.6 and 
146.5. In addition, certain existing Class V requirements are being 
reiterated in or moved to the plain-English version of the consolidated 
Class V regulations in 40 CFR 144 Subpart G.
1. Categories of Class V Wells
    In the 1995 and 1998 Class V proposals, EPA solicited comment on a 
proposed reclassification scheme for all Class V well subtypes. Some 
commentors objected to the new classification scheme. Additionally, 
preliminary information gathered as a part of the Class V study 
indicates the proposed categorization scheme may not appropriately 
group the Class V subtypes and could be a source of confusion to Class 
V owners and operators in future rules.
    In response to the public comment, EPA will retain the current 
Class V well type definitions found in Sec. 146.5 (e) with one 
exception. The current list of Class V wells at Sec. 146.5 does not 
include a definition of Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal wells. Therefore, 
EPA is finalizing the definition for Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal wells 
at Secs. 146.5 (e)(16) and 144.81 as it was proposed.

[[Page 68558]]

2. Sections 144.3 and 146.3--Definitions
    The regulation adds new definitions for ``cesspool,'' ``drywell,'' 
``improved sinkhole,'' ``point of injection'', ``sanitary waste,'' 
``septic system,'' and ``subsurface fluid distribution system.'' The 
rule also revises the existing definitions for ``well'' and ``well 
injection.''
    An ``improved sinkhole'' is defined as a type of injection well 
regulated under the UIC program. Today's definition codifies EPA's 
interpretation that the intentional disposal of waste waters in natural 
depressions, open fractures, and crevices (such as those commonly 
associated with the cooling of lava flows or weathering of limestone) 
fits within the statutory definition of underground injection. A 
``subsurface fluid distribution system,'' which is a term used in the 
new definition of ``septic system,'' is defined with a standard 
engineering description. The definition of ``well'' has been revised to 
clarify that a ``well'' includes improved sinkholes and subsurface 
fluid distribution systems.
    The definition of ``well injection'' has been revised to eliminate 
a redundancy and simply state that well injection means the subsurface 
emplacement of fluids through a well.
3. Sections 144.6 and 146.5--Classification of Wells
    The regulation revises Sec. 144.6(a) and Sec. 146.5(a) by adding a 
paragraph (3) to move Class V radioactive waste disposal wells 
injecting below all USDWs into the Class I category. Such Class V 
wells, in fact, are similar to Class I wells in terms of their design, 
the nature of fluids that they inject, and their potential to endanger 
USDWs. In particular, like Class I wells, such radioactive waste 
injection wells inject below all USDWs and warrant the same level of 
control.
    The Agency believes that all of these wells are located in Texas, 
which already regulates them as Class I wells. Existing Class V 
radioactive waste disposal wells, therefore, should not be subject to 
any additional regulatory requirements. However, the Agency believes 
that Class I requirements related to permitting, construction, 
operating, monitoring, reporting, mechanical integrity testing, area of 
review, and plugging and abandonment are needed to prevent any new 
radioactive waste disposal wells from endangering USDWs. The Agency, 
thus, has reclassified Class V wells that inject radioactive waste 
below the lowermost USDW as Class I wells and subject them to the full 
set of existing Class I requirements. This approach is administratively 
simpler and more straightforward than keeping the wells in the Class V 
universe and developing identical requirements under the Class V 
program.
    EPA wishes to clarify that this reclassification of Class V 
radioactive waste disposal wells does not affect the disposal of 
naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in Class II wells as 
part of oil and gas field operations. The injection of fluids 
associated with oil and natural gas production, including such fluids 
containing NORM, would continue to be regulated under existing Class II 
UIC requirements or under applicable regulations prescribed by the 
Primacy State agency.
4. Existing Regulations Being Reiterated or Replaced in 40 CFR Part 
144, Subpart G
    The existing description of the five classes of injection wells in 
Sec. 144.6 has been reiterated in Sec. 144.80 in the new Subpart G. 
Similarly, the existing prohibition of fluid movement in Sec. 144.12 
has been reiterated in Sec. 144.82.
    The description of when Class V injection is authorized by rule in 
Sec. 144.24 has been deleted and moved to Secs. 144.84 in the new 
Subpart G.
5. Part 145--State UIC Program Requirements
    The Agency has amended Sec. 145.11 to be consistent with the 
changes in 40 CFR Part 144. These amendments insert a set of new 
requirements in Sec. 144.88 that State programs must have the legal 
authority to implement.
    These amendments to Part 145 are technical corrections to 
incorporate the changes to 40 CFR Part 144. The corrections include a 
reference to the new section and a redesignation of paragraphs to 
accommodate the new references.
6. Sections 144.23 and 146.10--Class IV Wells
    The August 28, 1995 notice proposed to add a new Sec. 144.23(c) to 
clearly rule authorize Class IV wells used to inject treated water into 
the formation from which it came if such injection is approved by EPA 
or a State as part of a RCRA or CERCLA remediation program. The 1995 
notice also proposed to add a new paragraph in Sec. 146.10(b) to 
reiterate that owners or operators of Class IV wells in EPA-
administered programs have to close their well in accordance with the 
existing requirements in Sec. 144.23(b) prior to abandonment. Both of 
these proposals, which are described in more detail in the preamble of 
the 1995 proposal (see 60 FR 44665), are not related to Class V wells 
and thus were discussed but not revisited in the 1998 proposed 
revisions to the Class V regulations (63 FR 40587).
    In general, public commentors supported the August 28, 1995 
proposal as it related to section 144.23. Therefore, EPA is finalizing 
new language at Sec. 144.23 as proposed in 1995 as part of this 
rulemaking action.
    No commentors addressed the proposed addition in Sec. 146.10(b) 
presumably because it simply reiterates the existing Class IV well 
closure requirement in Sec. 144.23(b) for the sake of clarity. 
Accordingly, EPA is finalizing the new Sec. 146.10(b) as proposed in 
1995.

V. Cost of the Rule

    The Agency has prepared an Economic Analysis (EA) of today's final 
rule to assess its costs. This section summarizes the burden of the 
final rule on Class V large-capacity cesspool and motor vehicle waste 
disposal well owner/operators and the methods employed to calculate 
this impact. The complete EA has been placed in the rule-making docket.

A. Methodology Overview

    EPA's methodology for estimating the national cost of the rule is 
largely identical to the methodology used to analyze the July 1998 
proposed rule. The analysis was modified in certain respects, however, 
to reflect changes in the rule in response to public comment on the 
proposal and to make use of data that was not available at the time of 
proposal. On May 21, 1999, EPA published a Notice of Data Availability 
or ``NODA'' (64 FR 27741) to describe and request public comment on the 
additional data obtained by the Agency since its publication of the 
proposed rule in July 1998.
    The following discussion summarizes the revisions to the Economic 
Analysis based data obtained after the proposal. The complete analytic 
methodology, along with the detailed results of the analysis, are 
presented in the Economic Analysis document available in the public 
docket.
1. Revised Estimates of the Numbers of Affected Wells
    The Economic Analysis reflects new estimates of the number of wells 
that will be affected by today's rule. These estimates are based on 
information collected as a part of the ``Class V Study'' described in 
Section III.C of this preamble and the notice of data availability 
publish on May 21, 1999. The Class V Study provides the latest

[[Page 68559]]

State inventory information (i.e., on the documented and estimated 
number of wells of motor vehicle wells and large-capacity cesspools) 
reported to EPA in questionnaires completed by staff in the States and 
EPA Regions. The Economic Analysis uses the Class V Study to determine 
the national universe of potentially affected Class V UIC wells. (In 
contrast, the prior analysis developed national estimates of the number 
of waste disposal wells by employing a number of assumptions, because 
survey data on the number of wells were not available.)
    EPA received comments on the use of this data from five commentors. 
These commentors expressed concern that there are uncertainties 
associated with these data. EPA understands the concerns of the 
commentors and recognizes that a certain amount of uncertainty exists 
with this (and any other) facility inventory data. However, EPA 
believes that the new data presented in the NODA represents the best 
available information to use in the economic analysis supporting 
today's rule. EPA further believes that using this new information to 
estimate the economic impact of the Class V requirements is a vast 
improvement over the economic analysis for the proposed rule. In that 
analysis, EPA had to make numerous assumptions, relating to Class V 
well inventories, to estimate the economic burden of the new 
requirements.
    The Class V study also collected State Class V regulations. EPA 
reviewed State regulations to determine which States had requirements 
that were at least as stringent as today's final rule. The analysis 
then excluded wells in States with UIC programs that are at least as 
stringent as today's final rule. For example, the analysis excludes 
large-capacity cesspools in States that already have banned them in 
their regulations.
    To calculate the number of motor vehicle waste disposal wells that 
fall within ground water protection areas, EPA assumed that States will 
delineate ground water protection areas by using areas of one-half mile 
radius around water supply wells for ground water community water 
systems (G-CWS) and of one-quarter mile radius around water supply 
wells for ground water non-transient non-community water systems (G-
NTNCWS). This methodology is consistent with the 1998 economic 
analysis. However in the Economic Analysis for the final rule, EPA used 
data from State Drinking Water Source Assessment and Protection 
Programs, when available, to refine actual G-CWS and G-NTNCWS radii on 
a State by State basis. These State Drinking Water Source Assessment 
and Protection Programs were described in the NODA of May 21, 1999.
    The Economic Analysis estimates the number of wells assumed to fall 
within sensitive ground water areas based on State-specific data 
regarding the presence of certain conditions that might be considered 
sensitive for purposes of ground water protection (e.g., sole source 
aquifers, shallow unconsolidated aquifers, karst, fractured bedrock). 
The NODA requested public comment on applying the rule to wells in 
sensitive ground water areas.
    As a result of the new data and estimation methodology and the 
modified scope of the rule as applied to motor vehicle waste disposal 
wells in sensitive ground water areas, the number of wells estimated to 
be affected by the rule has changed relative to EPA's estimates for the 
proposed rule. The number of affected large-capacity cesspools is now 
estimated at 2,723 (compared to 55 estimated for the proposed rule). 
The number of affected motor vehicle wells is now estimated at to range 
from 3,035 to 9,903 (compared to 7,045 estimated for the proposed 
rule). This range is based on the amount of land area that States may 
delineate as sensitive.
2. Phase-in Assumptions
    The Economic Analysis has been revised to more realistically model 
when the rule will take effect. This is important primarily due to one 
aspect of how the final rule differs relative to the proposed rule. 
Specifically, with regard to motor vehicle wells, the final rule 
applies not only to wells in ground water protection areas (as did the 
proposed rule), but also to wells in sensitive ground water areas. 
However, the rule requires wells in ground water protection areas to 
come into compliance with the rule no later than 2004, whereas motor 
vehicle wells in sensitive ground water areas must come into compliance 
over a slightly longer period (by 2007). Moreover, even for large-
capacity cesspools and for motor vehicle wells in ground water 
protection areas, it is unrealistic to assume that all wells will come 
into compliance in the same year.
    To accurately evaluate the costs of the rule, the Economic Analysis 
has been revised to recognize the different time periods over which 
wells are expected to come into compliance. For motor vehicle wells in 
ground water protection areas, this period is 2001-2004. For motor 
vehicle wells in sensitive ground water areas, this period is 2004-
2007. For large-capacity cesspools, this period is 2001-2005.
3. Higher Closure Costs
    EPA has increased the estimated well closure costs associated with 
the final rule based on data obtained from several sources following 
the publication of the proposed Class V rule (63 FR 40586, July 29, 
1998). Specifically, EPA obtained additional well closure cost data 
from EPA Region II, as well as cost data submitted by the Penske Truck 
Leasing Company (Penske). Each of these sources was discussed in the 
NODA of May 21, 1999. EPA also considered the cost data submitted by 
the American Trucking Association (ATA) during the public comment 
period for the proposed rule.
     EPA Region II Data. EPA obtained well closure cost data 
from EPA Region II during a staff visit in March 1999 to review case 
files on Class V wells. This visit provided additional information on 
Class V motor vehicle wells found within the State of New York. Among 
the information obtained were a limited number of detailed cost 
breakdowns used as cost data references for the revised economic 
analysis.
     Penske Truck Leasing Company (Penske). The Penske data 
included closure cost information for seven Class V well closures, as 
well as a summary of closure costs for fifteen wells closed by Penske. 
EPA used two of the seven well closure reports that provided an 
itemized list of well closure costs. In addition, the EPA used the 
general summary sheet to obtain information on the costs associated 
with various alternative motor vehicle wastewater management 
strategies. The Penske information reflected, in particular, the costs 
of well closure activities at larger truck maintenance and washing 
facilities, rather than smaller automobile service facilities.
     American Trucking Association (ATA). During the public 
comment period on the proposed rule, the ATA submitted a set of 
comments presenting a variety of actual well closure costs and 
approximate cost ranges (e.g., minimum and maximum costs). The 
appendices included summaries with non-itemized closure costs for 24 
different motor vehicle facilities (including some of the same 
facilities described in the Penske data) as well as other summaries 
presenting partially-itemized closure costs and costs associated with 
alternative wastewater disposal strategies (e.g., connection to a 
sanitary sewer). Most of the well closure cost data provided by the ATA 
were aggregated in a manner that made it difficult to determine costs 
for specific well closure activities. Consequently, EPA relied 
primarily on certain

[[Page 68560]]

summary sheets included in the appendices.
    EPA compared these data to the costs used in the economic analysis 
for the proposed rule. Specific cost elements (e.g., soil waste 
disposal fees) used in the 1998 economic analysis were compared to the 
corresponding cost elements found in cost data from the three sources. 
Average costs were used when various cost estimates were available. 
Some cost elements could not be compared to cost elements reported in 
other sources (ATA, Penske, EPA Region II) because the other sources 
presented only aggregated costs or they categorized costs in a 
different manner.
    As part of the comparison, EPA also considered the scope and 
context of the new data. For example, larger facilities that perform 
truck maintenance and truck washing may generate a larger amount of 
wastewater, with different wastewater constituents, than most smaller 
automobile service facilities; therefore, the facilities might have a 
larger or different type of Class V well. In addition, more extensive 
contamination might occur at such sites, requiring more extensive well 
closure activities which in turn led to higher well closure costs. Well 
closures and clean ups performed voluntarily by the facility owner 
(e.g., to obtain an optional no-liability verification letter from the 
State environmental authority) or as a result of a notice of violation 
or EPA Administrative Order could be more extensive than would be 
required by the new Class V rule.
    EPA's cost comparison and analysis of the new data indicated that 
EPA's closure cost estimates in the proposal were generally reasonable 
or even overestimated the cost of some activities. However, the 
comparison also revealed that EPA had underestimated the fees that 
contractors, consultants, and/or engineers would charge for their well 
closure services. Specifically, EPA's prior estimates did not take into 
account the fact that motor vehicle facilities sometimes hire 
consultants and/or engineers to lead the well closure efforts. EPA 
therefore increased the estimate for the average cost of closing a 
motor vehicle waste disposal well to account for hiring consultants and 
engineers. However, because the rule does not require a facility to 
hire a consultant or engineer to close a well, EPA estimates that only 
10 percent of the motor vehicle facilities will do so. The new 
estimates therefore reflect a prorated average cost of hiring 
consultants and/or engineers. EPA has concluded that no other 
adjustments to the unit costs used in the economic analysis are 
necessary.

B. National Cost of the Rule

    The Agency estimates the total annual cost of the rule ranges from 
$18.1 million to $40.3 million. This estimate assumes that all large-
capacity cesspools will be affected by the rule, but that only those 
motor vehicle wells located in ground water protection areas or 
sensitive ground water areas will be affected. This assumption is 
consistent with EPA's belief that all States will complete their 
assessments of ground water protection areas by January 2004 and will 
delineate sensitive ground water areas by January 2004. In the event 
that a State fails to delineate ground water protection areas, or 
elects not to delineate sensitive ground water areas, then the 
provisions of the rule would apply to all motor vehicle wells in the 
State permanently. However, the Agency believes it unlikely that the 
rule will be applied to motor vehicles State-wide in any State because 
most State Drinking Water Assessment Programs will be approved by EPA 
by the end of the year and all States appear to be on track to meet the 
milestones established in the new Class V requirements for ground water 
protection areas. Further, States can receive a one year extension if 
they are making reasonable progress in completing assessments for 
ground water protection areas.

C. Facility Impacts

    The final rule results in an estimated average annual cost per 
facility to owners/operators of motor vehicle waste disposal wells of 
between $4,450 and $11,000 depending on the waste streams generated by 
the facility. The estimated average annual cost per facility to owner/
operators of large-capacity cesspools is $3,626. These per facility 
costs are amortized over 20 years at a discount rate of 7 percent.
    EPA estimates that companies in at least 18 SIC codes will be 
affected by the final rule. EPA estimates the total number of 
facilities affected by the rule to be 5,300 for motor vehicle wells and 
2700 for large-capacity cesspools. Approximately 98 percent of the 
affected facilities are classified as small businesses under the Small 
Business Administration regulations. See Section VI.D for a discussion 
of impacts to small businesses. For the final rule, EPA estimates that 
2,600 of the entities (or 50 percent the total businesses affected) 
will have to incur a cost of greater than one percent of sales to 
comply with the proposed rule. An estimated 945 businesses will incur 
costs greater than three percent of sales under the final rule. The 
cost per facility includes the full cost owners and operators would 
incur to implement BMPs such as recycling and waste reduction. A recent 
survey of motor vehicle related facilities indicated that a majority of 
facilities are already implementing some BMPs. Therefore, EPA believes 
that the number of facilities affected at greater that three percent of 
sales might be overestimated.
    The rule also affects about 380 small government entities. EPA did 
not estimate the total number of governments that are affected by the 
final rule. Governments are expected to incur a cost of less than one 
percent of their net revenue.

VI. Effect on States With Primacy

    According to regulations at 40 CFR 145.32, Primacy States would 
have 270 days from the effective date of the final rule to submit to 
EPA documents demonstrating that proper legal authority and regulations 
exist to administer and enforce the new requirements for Class V 
cesspools and motor vehicle waste disposal wells. Depending on the 
existing State program and authorities, these documents could include a 
modified program description that outlines the structure, coverage, and 
processes of the State's Class V UIC program. Revisions to State UIC 
Programs needed to incorporate the new requirements will be subject to 
public notice and comment requirements.
    Reasonable efforts by States to implement and enforce the new 
requirements as part of their ongoing programs should not be overly 
burdensome, because the new requirements are primarily directed toward 
well owners/operators, not UIC program authorities. For example, the 
ban on new motor vehicle waste disposal wells is self-implementing by 
owners or operators, with no new reporting, inspection, or other 
administrative requirements for Primacy States. However, there may be 
an increased burden on States that choose to use the waiver option for 
existing motor vehicle wells to review the permit application and 
appropriate conditions for each facility or facilities wishing to keep 
its motor vehicle waste disposal well open. Based on this review, 
States have to either deny the application or develop and enforce 
permit requirements to make sure the well does not endanger USDWs. 
Secondly, Primacy States may delineate other sensitive ground water 
areas or choose to implement the rule statewide. States will submit a 
plan to the EPA with their primacy program revision. The plan will 
outline how they intend to conduct the delineations.

[[Page 68561]]

VII. Administrative Requirements

A. Executive Order 12866

    Under Executive Order 12866, [58 FR 51,735 (October 4, 1993)] the 
Agency must determine whether the regulatory action is ``significant'' 
and therefore subject to OMB review and the requirements of the 
Executive Order. The Order defines ``significant regulatory action'' as 
one that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual 
effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a 
material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, 
competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, 
local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious 
inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by 
another agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of 
entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and 
obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy 
issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or 
the principles set forth in the Executive Order.
    Pursuant to the terms of Executive Order 12866, it has been 
determined that this rule is a ``significant regulatory action.'' As 
such, this action was submitted to OMB for review. Changes made in 
response to OMB suggestions or recommendations are documented in the 
public record.

B. Children's Health Protection and Executive Order 13045

    Executive Order 13045, entitled ``Protection of Children from 
Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks'' (62 FR 19885, April 23, 
1997) applies to any rule that: (1) Is determined to be ``economically 
significant'' as defined under Executive Order 12866, and (2) concerns 
an environmental health or safety risk that EPA has reason to believe 
may have disproportionate effect on children. If the regulatory action 
meets both criteria, the Agency must evaluate the environmental health 
or safety effects of the planned rule on children and explain why the 
planned regulation is preferable to other potentially effective and 
reasonably feasible alternatives considered by the Agency.
    This final rule is not subject to the Executive Order because it is 
not economically significant according to the criteria for economic 
significance in E.O. 12866. Further, the Agency does not have reason to 
believe the rule concerns environmental health or safety risks that may 
have a disproportionate affect on children. The environmental health 
and safety issues addressed by this rule are the protection of public 
drinking water sources used by all sectors of the population.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the 
information collection requirements contained in this rule under the 
provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and 
has assigned OMB control number 2040-0214.
    Several types of information will be collected under the rule. 
Owners and operators of large-capacity cesspools (which are banned 
under today's rule) will be required to submit a pre-closure 
notification to the State or EPA indicating their intention to close 
their large-capacity cesspool. Similarly, some owners and operators of 
Class V motor vehicle waste disposal wells located within a ground 
water protection areas or State-delineated sensitive ground water areas 
will close and must also submit a pre-closure notification. The pre-
closure notifications will enable EPA and States to ensure that wells 
are closed properly.
    Other motor vehicle well owners and operators that receive waivers 
will be required to obtain a permit and to meet the monitoring 
requirements as specified in the permit. While EPA has not specified 
the frequency of monitoring, for the purposes of the ICR, annual sludge 
monitoring and quarterly injectate monitoring for the first three years 
after the permit is received and annual monitoring thereafter was 
assumed in order to calculate information collection costs. The permit 
application and monitoring reports will enable the States and EPA to 
evaluate whether continued operation of the well will pose an 
unacceptable threat to ground water.
    At the State level, primacy States will need to prepare revised 
primacy applications to demonstrate their readiness to implement the 
rule. Also, States and EPA (for direct implementation States), are 
likely to delineate sensitive ground water areas within their State 
including karst, fractured bedrock, shallow unconsolidated aquifers, 
and sole source aquifers. This process will entail preparing a plan 
outlining the proposed methods for delineation that will be submitted 
with the States primacy program revision. The delineations will enable 
States and EPA to determine which motor vehicle waste disposal wells 
are affected by today's final rule.
    EPA believes the information discussed above is essential to 
protecting each State's ground water drinking supplies. EPA uses 
information on all classes of injection wells, including Class V wells, 
to track the performance of the UIC Program toward meeting its goal of 
protecting USDWs from potential threats due to injected wastes. 
Responses to the request for information will be mandatory in 
accordance with provisions in 40 CFR 144.83 (Underground Injection 
Control). Pre-closure notifications allow UIC Programs to track the 
success of the Program in closing those wells that pose the greatest 
threat to USDWs. The Agency uses the information supplied in permit 
applications to track the location and numbers of Class V wells. 
Monitoring data provide information on the types of wastes injected and 
will be used to determine whether or not injection should be allowed to 
continue and under what conditions. State Drinking Water Source 
Assessment and Protection Programs may use information on permitted or 
closed Class V injection wells if they choose to update their 
contaminant source inventories.
    Any Class V injection well operator may request that information 
submitted be kept confidential, as provided in 40 CFR 144.5 
(Confidentiality of Information). All confidential information is 
treated in accordance with the provisions of 40 CFR part 2 (Public 
Information). Respondents to the information collection requirements 
may claim confidentiality by stamping the words ``confidential business 
information'' on each page containing such information. However, the 
Agency will not consider the following information confidential:
     The name and address of any facility with a Class V waste 
disposal well.
     Information regarding the existence, absence, or level of 
contaminants in drinking water.
    If no claim of confidentiality is made at the time of submission, 
EPA may make the information available to the public without further 
notice.
    EPA has estimated the burden associated with the specific record 
keeping and reporting requirements (summarized above) of the rule in an 
accompanying Information Collection Request (ICR). Burden means the 
total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to 
generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or 
for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review 
instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and 
systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and verifying 
information, processing and maintaining information, and

[[Page 68562]]

disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to 
comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; 
train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; 
search data sources; complete and review the collection of information; 
and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.
    The ICR estimates the hourly burden and cost to owners and 
operators of affected Class V wells for complying with the 
requirements. EPA estimates that, over the three years covered by the 
information collection request, the number of owners and operators of 
Class V injection wells responding to the information collection 
request will be 1,463. The average annual hours per response for 
notification of well closure is 4.5 hours at a cost of $115 for large-
capacity cesspools and 7 hours at a cost of $621 for motor vehicle 
waste disposal wells. The notification is a one time only requirement. 
There are no operation and maintenance costs associated with well 
closure. For owners and operators of motor vehicle waste disposal wells 
who seek a waiver and obtain a permit, the average annual hours per 
permit application is 58 hours at a cost of $1,358. The costs for 
quarterly injectate monitoring and annual sludge monitoring, and annual 
reporting is $2,057 per facility per year.
    Over the three years covered by the ICR, a total of 1,192 Class V 
wells (including motor vehicle waste disposal wells and large-capacity 
cesspools) may be closed. In addition, 271 operators of motor vehicle 
waste disposal wells are expected to seek a waiver from the ban and 
apply for permits requiring them to monitor their injectate and sludge.
    The total respondent burden associated for the 3-year period is 
estimated to be 63,024 hours (an average of 21,008 hours per year), and 
the present value cost will be $2,680,674 (an average of $954,075 per 
year). The average annual burden per owner/operator is 75.5 hours; the 
cost per response is $5,203. The average annual burden per State is 984 
hours; their cost per response is $26,143.
    An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's 
regulations are listed in 40 CFR part 9 and 48 CFR Chapter 15. EPA is 
amending the table in Part 9 of currently approved ICR control numbers 
issued by OMB for various regulations to list the information 
requirements contained in this final rule.

D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as Amended by the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.

    The RFA generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory 
flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment 
rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any 
other statute unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, and small 
governmental jurisdictions.
    For purposes of assessing the impacts of today's rule on small 
entities, a small entity is defined as: (1) A small business based on 
the definition of small business found in the Small Business Act (SBA); 
(2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of a city, 
county, town, school district or special district with a population of 
less than 50,000; and (3) a small organization that is any not-for-
profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not 
dominant in its field.
    In accordance with section 603 of the RFA, EPA prepared an initial 
regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) for the proposed rule and 
convened a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel to obtain advice and 
recommendations of representatives of the regulated small entities in 
accordance with section 609(b) of the RFA (see 63 FR 40586). A detailed 
discussion of the Panel's advice and recommendations is found in the 
Panel Report (W-98-05 A). A summary of the Panel's recommendations is 
presented at 63 FR 40590.
    As required by section 604 of the RFA, EPA also prepared a final 
regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) for today's final rule. The FRFA 
addresses the issues raised by public comments on the IRFA, which was 
part of the proposal of this rule. The FRFA is available for review in 
the docket and is summarized below.
    The final rule adds new requirements for two categories of 
endangering Class V wells to ensure protection of underground sources 
of drinking water. In particular, it affects the owners and operators 
of existing motor vehicle waste disposal wells in ground water 
protection areas and other sensitive ground water areas and owners and 
operators of new motor vehicle waste disposal wells and large-capacity 
cesspools nationwide (both types of Class V wells are discussed in the 
FRFA). As discussed in Section V.B, EPA estimates that approximately 
5,300 motor vehicle wells and approximately 2,700 cesspools would be 
subject to the final rule.
    EPA's analysis to determine the impacts on small businesses uses 
the same methodology as the economic analysis for all businesses, as 
discussed in Section V, except the SBA size thresholds for small 
businesses were used to determine the number of small businesses 
affected. The SBA size thresholds were used in conjunction with 1992 
census data to determine the percentage of small businesses in each of 
the 18 SIC categories believed to have affected wells. Approximately 
4,800 small businesses and 380 small governments are affected by the 
motor vehicle well provisions of the final rule. EPA has limited data 
on the type of entities that use large-capacity cesspools and therefore 
has not estimated the number of small entities affected. EPA did not 
receive any public comment on the initial regulatory flexibility 
analysis.
    The rule bans existing motor vehicle waste disposal wells in ground 
water protection areas and other sensitive ground water areas, but 
allows them to continue to operate if they seek a waiver from the ban 
and obtain a permit. The final rule also bans new motor vehicle waste 
disposal wells and new and existing large-capacity cesspools 
nationwide. EPA estimates that about 50 percent of the affected small 
entities may incur costs for closure or obtaining a permit that 
represent more than 1 percent of their sales (or revenue for small 
governments). EPA estimates that about 18 percent of the affected small 
entities may incur costs that represent more than 3 percent of their 
sales (or revenue for small governments). Based on these estimates, EPA 
has determined that the final rule might have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    To reduce the impact of the final rule on small entities, EPA has 
attempted to keep permitting, reporting, and other administrative 
requirements to a minimum to provide regulatory relief to small 
entities while protecting drinking water supplies. In fact, the final 
rule incorporates many of the consensus recommendations offered by the 
Small Business Advocacy Review Panel that was convened by EPA to obtain 
advice and recommendations from representatives of affected small 
entities in accordance with Section 609(b) of the Act. In particular, 
the Panel recommended that the rule offer alternatives to the ban of 
Class V motor vehicle waste disposal wells. Therefore, the final rule 
allows owners/operators of existing motor vehicle waste disposal wells 
to seek a waiver from the ban and

[[Page 68563]]

obtain a permit. EPA also adopted the Panel recommendations that UIC 
Program Directors be allowed to extend the time to comply with the new 
requirements from 90 days to up to a year in certain situations. The 
final rule allows owners and operators one year to comply with the new 
requirements, and allows the UIC Program Director to extend the 
deadline for up to an additional year if necessary to install treatment 
or hook up to a sewer system.
    In the proposed rule, one option and one alternative were proposed 
for existing motor vehicle waste disposal wells: a ban; and rule 
authorization with additional requirements. The ban was not selected 
because, while it would offer the greatest protection to USDWs, the 
Agency recognized that there are some facilities that might be able to 
meet MCLs at the point of injection and could therefore seek a waiver 
from the ban and obtain a permit that allows them to continue using 
their well without endangering USDWs. The Agency did not choose the 
rule authorization option because it would not insure adequate 
protection of USDWs.
    Other changes made in response to Panel recommendations include the 
following: The preamble clarifies that Class V wells at motor vehicle 
service facilities may not be subject to the rule if motor vehicle 
waste fluids are prevented from entering the well; the supporting 
economic analysis has been revised to acknowledge and account for the 
cleanup requirements that may be triggered by the rule to close certain 
Class V wells and to account for the likely overlap between areas where 
Class V wells are located and source water protection areas; owners and 
operators of existing motor vehicle waste disposal well can take steps 
to convert their well to another Class V well type; and the regulatory 
language has been expanded to identify ways in which well owners or 
operators can learn whether they are in a source water protection area.
    EPA is requiring owner/operators of large-capacity cesspools and 
facilities with motor vehicle waste disposal wells that will close 
their well as a result of the rule to submit a single notification of 
their intent to close their wells. The collection of the pre-closure 
notification is necessary to track high-priority closures. Some motor 
vehicle waste disposal wells may choose to remain in operation based on 
a one-time waiver application from the ban to obtain a permit. The ICR 
assumes that States may require as a permit condition the collection of 
quarterly injectate monitoring and annual sludge monitoring data during 
the first three years, in order to provide information for owners and 
operators and the State on the injection of potentially threatening 
wastes. Individual States will determine whether less frequent 
collection may be appropriate for wells in their States. The majority 
of the information collection, reporting and recordkeeping required by 
this rule can be done by technical and clerical staff.
    As required by section 212 of SBREFA, EPA also is preparing a small 
entity compliance guide to help small entities comply with this rule. 
Small entities can obtain a copy of the compliance guide by contacting 
the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791, their State or EPA 
Regional UIC Director or the EPA website (http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/). 
The small entity compliance guide will be available in April 2000.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    Executive Order 13132, entitled ``Federalism'' (64 FR 43255, August 
10, 1999), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure 
``meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the 
development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.'' 
``Policies that have federalism implications'' is defined in the 
Executive Order to include regulations that have ``substantial direct 
effects on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government.'' Under 
Executive Order 13132, EPA may not issue a regulation that has 
federalism implications, that imposes substantial direct compliance 
costs, and that is not required by statute, unless the Federal 
government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance 
costs incurred by State and local governments, or EPA consults with 
State and local officials early in the process of developing the 
proposed regulation. EPA also may not issue a regulation that has 
federalism implications and that preempts State law unless the Agency 
consults with State and local officials early in the process of 
developing the proposed regulation.
    If EPA complies by consulting, Executive Order 13132 requires EPA 
to provide to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in a 
separately identified section of the preamble to the rule, a federalism 
summary impact statement (FSIS). The FSIS must include a description of 
the extent of EPA's prior consultation with State and local officials, 
a summary of the nature of their concerns and the agency's position 
supporting the need to issue the regulation, and a statement of the 
extent to which the concerns of State and local officials have been 
met. Also, effective November 2, 1999, when EPA transmits a draft final 
rule with federalism implications to OMB for review pursuant to 
Executive Order 12866, EPA must include a certification from the 
agency's Federalism Official stating that EPA has met the requirements 
of Executive Order 13132 in a meaningful and timely manner.
    This final rule will not have substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132. 
Thus, the requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order do not apply 
to this rule. This rule establishes requirements for owners and 
operators of certain Class V UIC wells. There will also be some costs 
to the implementing agency to administer this rule, however, EPA does 
not believe the incremental cost to administer the new requirements in 
the rule will be substantial. States and local governments may own or 
operate a well subject to this rule. However, the number of wells owned 
by States and local governments are limited and therefore there will 
not be substantial direct effects.
    Although section 6 of Executive Order 13132 does not apply to this 
rule, EPA did consult with State and local officials throughout the 
development of this rule. EPA consulted with States during numerous 
Ground Water Protection Council meetings, stakeholder meetings held 
prior to rule proposal (63 FR 40590), and the National Drinking Water 
Advisory Council UIC/ Source Water working group meetings. States 
primarily were concerned with a provision in the proposed rule stated 
the requirements would applied statewide if States failed to complete 
their Drinking Water Source Assessment and Protection Programs. The 
final rule allows States to apply to EPA for up to a one year extension 
for to complete their assessments (and sensitive ground water area 
delineations) if they have made reasonable progress. State comments on 
the proposed rule are addressed in the response to comment document.

F. Executive Order 13084: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    Under Executive Order 13084, EPA may not issue a regulation that is 
not

[[Page 68564]]

required by statute, that significantly or uniquely affects the 
communities of Indian tribal governments, and that imposes substantial 
direct compliance costs on those communities, unless the Federal 
government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance 
costs incurred by the tribal governments, or EPA consults with those 
governments. If EPA complies by consulting, Executive Order 13084 
requires EPA to provide to the Office of Management and Budget, in a 
separately identified section of the preamble to the rule, a 
description of the extent of EPA's prior consultation with 
representatives of affected tribal governments, a summary of the nature 
of their concerns, and a statement supporting the need to issue the 
regulation. In addition, Executive Order 13084 requires EPA to develop 
an effective process permitting elected officials and other 
representatives of Indian tribal governments ``to provide meaningful 
and timely input in the development of regulatory policies on matters 
that significantly or uniquely affect their communities.''
    Today's rule does not significantly or uniquely affect the 
communities of Indian tribal governments because there are ten 
documented wells on tribal lands, and the majority of those are owned 
by private businesses not by Tribal governments. Accordingly, the 
requirements of section 3(b) of Executive Order 13084 do not apply to 
this rule. However, EPA did conduct outreach to Indian tribal 
governments during the comment period for the proposed rule. EPA 
Regions distributed information to tribal representatives through; 
presentations at water association meetings; distributing the proposed 
rule to Indian health services; direct mailings and notifying national 
tribal organizations.

G. Unfunded Mandates

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public 
Law 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the 
effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal 
governments and the private sector. Under section 202 of the UMRA, EPA 
generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost-benefit 
analysis, for proposed and final rules with ``Federal mandates'' that 
may result in expenditures to State, local, and tribal governments, in 
the aggregate, or to the private sector, of $100 million or more in any 
one year. Before promulgating an EPA rule for which a written statement 
is needed, section 205 of the UMRA generally requires EPA to identify 
and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt 
the least costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative 
that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of section 205 
do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover, 
section 205 allows EPA to adopt an alternative other than the least 
costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative if the 
Administrator publishes with the final rule an explanation why that 
alternative was not adopted. Before EPA establishes any regulatory 
requirements that may significantly or uniquely affect small 
governments, including tribal governments, it must have developed under 
section 203 of the UMRA a small government agency plan. The plan must 
provide for notifying potentially affected small governments, enabling 
officials of affected small governments to have meaningful and timely 
input in the development of EPA regulatory proposals with significant 
Federal intergovernmental mandates, and informing, educating, and 
advising small governments on compliance with the regulatory 
requirements. EPA consulted with State and local governments, as 
described in section VI.E. and tribes as discussed in section VI.F.
    EPA has determined that this rule does not contain a Federal 
mandate that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more for 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or the private 
sector in any one year. Specifically, the annualized costs of this rule 
to the regulated community are estimated to range from $18.1 million to 
$40.3 million. The annualized cost estimates for State governments are 
$254,000. Thus, today's rule is not subject to the requirements of 
section 202 and 205 of the UMRA.
    EPA has determined that this rule contains no regulatory 
requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small local 
governments. Because EPA estimates that any small local government 
entities affected by this final rule will incur a cost of less than one 
percent of their net revenue, EPA has determined that this rule 
contains no regulatory requirements that might significantly or 
uniquely affect small local governments.

H. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    As noted in the proposed rule, section 12(d) of the National 
Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (``NTTAA''), Pubic Law 
No. 104-113 section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs EPA to use 
voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless to do 
so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. 
Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials 
specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business 
practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus 
standards bodies. The NTTAA directs EPA to provide Congress, through 
OMB, explanations when the Agency decides not to use available and 
applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    As explained in the proposal, this rule does not involve technical 
standards. Therefore, EPA did not consider the use of any voluntary 
consensus standards, and no commentor suggested otherwise or suggested 
any application.

I. Environmental Justice

    Pursuant to Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994), 
the Agency has considered environmental justice related issues with 
regard to the potential impacts of this action on the environmental and 
health conditions in low-income and minority communities. The Agency 
believes that today's rule provides equal public health protection to 
communities irrespective of their socio-economic condition and 
demographic make-up.

J. Congressional Review Act

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other 
required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of 
Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior 
to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot 
take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal 
Register. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 
804(2). This rule will be effective April 5, 2000.

List of Subjects

40 CFR Part 9

    Environmental protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

40 CFR Part 144

    Administrative practice and procedure, Hazardous waste, Indians-
lands, Water supply.

[[Page 68565]]

40 CFR Part 145

    Confidential buisness information, Indians-lands, Intergovernmental 
relations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Water 
supply.

40 CFR Part 146

    Hazardous waste, Indians-lands, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Water supply.

    Dated: November 23, 1999.
Carol M. Browner,
Administrator.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, title 40, chapter I of the 
Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 9--AMENDED

    1. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 135 et seq., 136-136y; 15 U.S.C. 2001, 2003, 
2005, 2006, 2601-2671; 21 U.S.C. 331j, 346a, 348; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 33 
U.S.C. 1251 et seq., 1311, 1313d, 1314, 1318, 1321, 1326, 1330, 
1342, 1344, 1345 (d) and (e), 1361; E.O. 11735, 38 FR 21243, 3 CFR, 
1971-1975 Comp. p. 973; 42 U.S.C. 241, 242b, 243, 246, 300f, 300g, 
300g-1, 300g-2, 300g-3, 300g-4, 300g-5, 300g-6, 300j-1, 300j-2, 
300j-3, 300j-4, 300j-9, 1857 et seq., 6901-6992k, 7401-7671q, 7542, 
9601-9657, 11023, 11048.

    2. In Sec. 9.1 the table is amended under the indicated heading by 
adding new entries in numerical order to read as follows:


Sec. 9.1  OMB approvals under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

* * * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 OMB
                      40 CFR citation                        control No.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                  *        *        *        *        *
           Underground Injection Control Program
 
                  *        *        *        *        *
144.79-144.89..............................................    2040-0214
 
                  *        *        *        *        *
145.23.....................................................    2040-0214
 
                  *        *        *        *        *
------------------------------------------------------------------------

PART 144--UNDERGROUND INJECTION CONTROL PROGRAM

    3. The authority citation for part 144 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.; 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.

    4. Section 144.1 is amended by adding a new paragraph (f)(1)(vii), 
revising paragraphs (g)(1) introductory text, (g)(1)(iii), and 
(g)(2)(v) to read as follows:


Sec. 144.1  Purpose and scope of part 144.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (vii) Subpart G of this part sets forth requirements for owners and 
operators of Class V injection wells.
* * * * *
    (g) * * *
    (1) Specific inclusions. The following wells are included among 
those types of injection activities which are covered by the UIC 
regulations. (This list is not intended to be exclusive but is for 
clarification only.)
* * * * *
    (iii) Any well used by generators of hazardous waste, or by owners 
or operators of hazardous waste management facilities, to dispose of 
fluids containing hazardous waste. This includes the disposal of 
hazardous waste into what would otherwise be septic systems and 
cesspools, regardless of their capacity.
    (2) * * *
    (v) Any dug hole, drilled hole, or bored shaft which is not used 
for the subsurface emplacement of fluids.
* * * * *
    5. Section 144.3 is amended by adding new definitions in 
alphabetical order for ``Cesspool,'' ``Drywell,'' ``Improved 
sinkhole,'' ``Point of injection, `` ``Sanitary waste,'' ``Septic 
system,'' and ``Subsurface fluid distribution system,'' and by revising 
the definitions of ``Well'' and ``Well injection'' to read as follows:


Sec. 144.3  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Cesspool means a ``drywell'' that receives untreated sanitary waste 
containing human excreta, and which sometimes has an open bottom and/or 
perforated sides.
* * * * *
    Drywell means a well, other than an improved sinkhole or subsurface 
fluid distribution system, completed above the water table so that its 
bottom and sides are typically dry except when receiving fluids.
* * * * *
    Improved sinkhole means a naturally occurring karst depression or 
other natural crevice found in volcanic terrain and other geologic 
settings which have been modified by man for the purpose of directing 
and emplacing fluids into the subsurface.
* * * * *
    Point of injection means the last accessible sampling point prior 
to waste fluids being released into the subsurface environment through 
a Class V injection well. For example, the point of injection of a 
Class V septic system might be the distribution box--the last 
accessible sampling point before the waste fluids drain into the 
underlying soils. For a dry well, it is likely to be the well bore 
itself.
* * * * *
    Sanitary waste means liquid or solid wastes originating solely from 
humans and human activities, such as wastes collected from toilets, 
showers, wash basins, sinks used for cleaning domestic areas, sinks 
used for food preparation, clothes washing operations, and sinks or 
washing machines where food and beverage serving dishes, glasses, and 
utensils are cleaned. Sources of these wastes may include single or 
multiple residences, hotels and motels, restaurants, bunkhouses, 
schools, ranger stations, crew quarters, guard stations, campgrounds, 
picnic grounds, day-use recreation areas, other commercial facilities, 
and industrial facilities provided the waste is not mixed with 
industrial waste.
* * * * *
    Septic system means a ``well'' that is used to emplace sanitary 
waste below the surface and is typically comprised of a septic tank and 
subsurface fluid distribution system or disposal system.
* * * * *
    Subsurface fluid distribution system means an assemblage of 
perforated pipes, drain tiles, or other similar mechanisms intended to 
distribute fluids below the surface of the ground.
* * * * *
    Well means: A bored, drilled, or driven shaft whose depth is 
greater than the largest surface dimension; or, a dug hole whose depth 
is greater than the largest surface dimension; or, an improved 
sinkhole; or, a subsurface fluid distribution system.
    Well injection means the subsurface emplacement of fluids through a 
well.
    6. Section 144.6 is amended by adding a new paragraph (a)(3) and 
revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec. 144.6  Classification of wells.

    (a) * * *
    (3) Radioactive waste disposal wells which inject fluids below the 
lowermost formation containing an underground source of drinking water 
within one quarter mile of the well bore.
* * * * *
    (e) Class V. Injection wells not included in Class I, II, III, or 
IV. Specific types of Class V injection wells are described in 
Sec. 144.81.

[[Page 68566]]

    7. Section 144.23 is amended by adding a new paragraph (c) to read 
as follows:


Sec. 144.23  Class IV Wells

* * * * *
    (c) Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of 
this section, injection wells used to inject contaminated ground water 
that has been treated and is being injected into the same formation 
from which it was drawn are authorized by rule for the life of the well 
if such subsurface emplacement of fluids is approved by EPA, or a 
State, pursuant to provisions for cleanup of releases under the 
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act 
of 1980 (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. 9601-9675, or pursuant to requirements and 
provisions under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 42 
U.S.C. 6901-6992k.
    8. Section 144.24 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as 
follows:


Sec. 144.24  Class V wells.

    (a) A Class V injection well is authorized by rule, subject to the 
conditions in Sec. 144.84
* * * * *
    9. Section 144.26 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(1)(iii)(B) 
and removing paragraph (e).


Sec. 144.26  Inventory Requirements.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (iii) * * *
    (B) Radioactive waste disposal wells that are not Class I wells (40 
CFR 146.5 (e)(11))
* * * * *
    10. Subpart G is added to read as follows:

Subpart G--Requirements for Owners and Operators of Class V 
Injection Wells

Sec.
144.79  General.

Definition of Class V Injection Wells

144.80  What is a Class V injection well?
144.81  Does this subpart apply to me?

Requirements for All Class V Injection Wells

144.82  What must I do to protect underground sources of drinking 
water?
144.83  Do I need to notify anyone about my Class V injection well?
144.84  Do I need to get a permit?

Additional Requirements for Class V Large-Capacity Cesspools and Motor 
Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells

144.85  Do these additional requirements apply to me?
144.86  What are the definitions I need to know?
144.87  How does the identification of ground water protection areas 
and other sensitive areas affect me?
144.88  What are the additional requirements?
144.89  How do I close my Class V injection well?

Subpart G--Requirements for Owners and Operators of Class V 
Injection Wells


Sec. 144.79  General.

    This subpart tells you what requirements apply if you own or 
operate a Class V injection well. You may also be required to follow 
additional requirements listed in the rest of this part. Where they may 
apply, these other requirements are referenced rather than repeated. 
The requirements described in this subpart and elsewhere in this part 
are to protect underground sources of drinking water and are part of 
the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program established under the 
Safe Drinking Water Act. This subpart is written in a special format to 
make it easier to understand the regulatory requirements. Like other 
EPA regulations, it establishes enforceable legal requirements.

Definition of Class V Injection Wells


Sec. 144.80  What is a Class V injection well?

    As described in Sec. 144.6, injection wells are classified as 
follows:
    (a) Class I. (1) Wells used by generators of hazardous waste or 
owners or operators of hazardous waste management facilities to inject 
hazardous waste beneath the lowermost formation containing, within one-
quarter mile of the well bore, an underground source of drinking water.
    (2) Other industrial and municipal disposal wells which inject 
fluids beneath the lowermost formation containing, within one quarter 
mile of the well bore, an underground source of drinking water;
    (3) Radioactive waste disposal wells which inject fluids below the 
lowermost formation containing an underground source of drinking water 
within one quarter mile of the well bore.
    (b) Class II. Wells which inject fluids:
    (1) Which are brought to the surface in connection with natural gas 
storage operations, or conventional oil or natural gas production and 
may be commingled with waste waters from gas plants which are an 
integral part of production operations, unless those waters are 
classified as a hazardous waste at the time of injection.
    (2) For enhanced recovery of oil or natural gas; and
    (3) For storage of hydrocarbons which are liquid at standard 
temperature and pressure.
    (c) Class III. Wells which inject fluids for extraction of minerals 
including:
    (1) Mining of sulfur by the Frasch process;
    (2) In situ production of uranium or other metals; this category 
includes only in situ production from ore bodies which have not been 
conventionally mined. Solution mining of conventional mines such as 
stopes leaching is included in Class V.
    (3) Solution mining of salts or potash.
    (d) Class IV. (1) Wells used by generators of hazardous waste or of 
radioactive waste, by owners and operators of hazardous waste 
management facilities, or by owners or operators of radioactive waste 
disposal sites to dispose of hazardous waste or radioactive waste into 
a formation which within one quarter (\1/4\) mile of the well contains 
an underground source of drinking water.
    (2) Wells used by generators of hazardous waste or of radioactive 
waste, by owners and operators of hazardous waste management 
facilities, or by owners or operators of radioactive waste disposal 
sites to dispose of hazardous waste or radioactive waste above a 
formation which within one quarter (\1/4\) mile of the well contains an 
underground source of drinking water.
    (3) Wells used by generators of hazardous waste or owners or 
operators of hazardous waste management facilities to dispose of 
hazardous waste, which cannot be classified under paragraph (a)(1) or 
(d)(1) and (2) of this section (e.g., wells used to dispose of 
hazardous waste into or above a formation which contains an aquifer 
which has been exempted pursuant to 40 CFR 146.04).
    (e) Class V. Injection wells not included in Class I, II, III or 
IV. Typically, Class V wells are shallow wells used to place a variety 
of fluids directly below the land surface. However, if the fluids you 
place in the ground qualify as a hazardous waste under the Resource 
Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), your well is either a Class I or 
Class IV well, not a Class V well. Examples of Class V wells are 
described in Sec. 144.81.


Sec. 144.81  Does this subpart apply to me?

    This subpart applies to you if you own or operate a Class V well, 
for example:
    (1) Air conditioning return flow wells used to return to the supply 
aquifer the water used for heating or cooling in a heat pump;

[[Page 68567]]

    (2) Large capacity cesspools including multiple dwelling, community 
or regional cesspools, or other devices that receive sanitary wastes, 
containing human excreta, which have an open bottom and sometimes 
perforated sides. The UIC requirements do not apply to single family 
residential cesspools nor to non-residential cesspools which receive 
solely sanitary waste and have the capacity to serve fewer than 20 
persons a day.
    (3) Cooling water return flow wells used to inject water previously 
used for cooling;
    (4) Drainage wells used to drain surface fluids, primarily storm 
runoff, into a subsurface formation;
    (5) Dry wells used for the injection of wastes into a subsurface 
formation;
    (6) Recharge wells used to replenish the water in an aquifer;
    (7) Salt water intrusion barrier wells used to inject water into a 
fresh aquifer to prevent the intrusion of salt water into the fresh 
water;
    (8) Sand backfill and other backfill wells used to inject a mixture 
of water and sand, mill tailings or other solids into mined out 
portions of subsurface mines whether what is injected is a radioactive 
waste or not.
    (9) Septic system wells used to inject the waste or effluent from a 
multiple dwelling, business establishment, community or regional 
business establishment septic tank. The UIC requirements do not apply 
to single family residential septic system wells, nor to non-
residential septic system wells which are used solely for the disposal 
of sanitary waste and have the capacity to serve fewer than 20 persons 
a day.
    (10) Subsidence control wells (not used for the purpose of oil or 
natural gas production) used to inject fluids into a non-oil or gas 
producing zone to reduce or eliminate subsidence associated with the 
overdraft of fresh water;
    (11) Injection wells associated with the recovery of geothermal 
energy for heating, aquaculture and production of electric power;
    (12) Wells used for solution mining of conventional mines such as 
stopes leaching;
    (13) Wells used to inject spent brine into the same formation from 
which it was withdrawn after extraction of halogens or their salts;
    (14) Injection wells used in experimental technologies.
    (15) Injection wells used for in situ recovery of lignite, coal, 
tar sands, and oil shale.
    (16) Motor vehicle waste disposal wells that receive or have 
received fluids from vehicular repair or maintenance activities, such 
as an auto body repair shop, automotive repair shop, new and used car 
dealership, specialty repair shop (e.g., transmission and muffler 
repair shop), or any facility that does any vehicular repair work. 
Fluids disposed in these wells may contain organic and inorganic 
chemicals in concentrations that exceed the maximum contaminant levels 
(MCLs) established by the primary drinking water regulations (see 40 
CFR part 142). These fluids also may include waste petroleum products 
and may contain contaminants, such as heavy metals and volatile organic 
compounds, which pose risks to human health.

Requirements for All Class V Injection Wells


Sec. 144.82  What must I do to protect underground sources of drinking 
water?

    If you own or operate any type of Class V well, the regulations 
below require that you cannot allow movement of fluid into USDWs that 
might cause endangerment, you must comply with other Federal UIC 
requirements in 40 CFR parts 144 through 147, and you must comply with 
any other measures required by your State or EPA Regional Office UIC 
Program to protect USDWs, and you must properly close your well when 
you are through using it. You also must submit basic information about 
your well, as described in Sec. 144.83.
    (a) Prohibition of fluid movement. (1) As described in 
Sec. 144.12(a), your injection activity cannot allow the movement of 
fluid containing any contaminant into USDWs, if the presence of that 
contaminant may cause a violation of the primary drinking water 
standards under 40 CFR part 141, other health based standards, or may 
otherwise adversely affect the health of persons. This prohibition 
applies to your well construction, operation, maintenance, conversion, 
plugging, closure, or any other injection activity.
    (2) If the Director of the UIC Program in your State or EPA Region 
learns that your injection activity may endanger USDWs, he or she may 
require you to close your well, require you to get a permit, or require 
other actions listed in Sec. 144.12(c), (d), or (e).
    (b) Closure requirements. You must close the well in a manner that 
complies with the above prohibition of fluid movement. Also, you must 
dispose or otherwise manage any soil, gravel, sludge, liquids, or other 
materials removed from or adjacent to your well in accordance with all 
applicable Federal, State, and local regulations and requirements.
    (c) Other requirements in Parts 144 through 147. Beyond this 
subpart, you are subject to other UIC Program requirements in 40 CFR 
parts 144 through 147. While most of the relevant requirements are 
repeated or referenced in this subpart for convenience, you need to 
read these other parts to understand the entire UIC Program.
    (d) Other State or EPA requirements. 40 CFR parts 144 through 147 
define minimum Federal UIC requirements. EPA Regional Offices 
administering the UIC Program have the flexibility to establish 
additional or more stringent requirements based on the authorities in 
parts 144 through 147, if believed to be necessary to protect USDWs. 
States can have their own authorities to establish additional or more 
stringent requirements if needed to protect USDWs. You must comply with 
these additional requirements, if any exist in your area. Contact the 
UIC Program Director in your State or EPA Region to learn more.


Sec. 144.83  Do I need to notify anyone about my Class V injection 
well?

    Yes, you need to provide basic ``inventory information'' about your 
well to the UIC Director, if you haven't already. You also need to 
provide any additional information that your UIC Program Director 
requests in accordance with the provisions of the UIC regulations.
    (a) Inventory requirements. Unless you know you have already 
satisfied the inventory requirements in Sec. 144.26 that were in effect 
prior to the issuance of this Subpart G, you must give your UIC Program 
Director certain information about yourself and your injection 
operation.

    Note: This information is requested on national form ``Inventory 
of Injection Wells,'' OMB No. 2040-0042.

    (1) The requirements differ depending on your well status and 
location, as described in the following table:

[[Page 68568]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              And you're in one of
                                 these locations
                              (``Primacy'' States,
                              where the State runs
                                 the Class V UIC
                               Program): Alabama,
                                    Arkansas,        Or you're in one of
                                 Commonwealth of       these locations
                                Northern Mariana          (``Direct
                                    Islands,         Implementation'' or
                                  Connecticut,       DI Programs, where
                               Delaware, Florida,   EPA runs the Class V
                                 Georgia, Guam,         UIC Program):
                                Idaho, Illinois,      Alaska, American
                               Kansas, Louisiana,      Samoa, Arizona,
                                Maine, Maryland,         California,
    If your well is . . .        Massachusetts,       Colorado, Hawaii,
                                  Mississippi,         Indiana, Iowa,
                               Missouri, Nebraska,   Kentucky, Michigan,
                                   Nevada, New       Minnesota, Montana,
                                 Hampshire, New           New York,
                               Jersey, New Mexico,   Pennsylvania, South
                                 North Carolina,     Dakota, Tennessee,
                               North Dakota, Ohio,    Virginia, Virgin
                                Oklahoma, Oregon,   Islands, Washington,
                               Puerto Rico, Rhode     DC, or any Indian
                                  Island, South            Country
                                Carolina, Texas,
                                 Utah, Vermont,
                                Washington, West
                              Virginia, Wisconsin,
                                   or Wyoming
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(i) New (prior to             . . . then you must   . . . then you must
 construction of your well).   contact your State    submit the
                               UIC Program to        inventory
                               determine what you    information
                               must submit and by    described in (a)(2)
                               when..                of this section
                                                     prior to
                                                     constructing your
                                                     well.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(ii) Existing (construction   . . . then you must   . . . then you must
 underway or completed).       contact your State    cease injection and
                               UIC Program to        submit the
                               determine what you    inventory
                               must submit and by    information. You
                               when..                may resume
                                                     injection 90 days
                                                     after you submit
                                                     the information
                                                     unless the UIC
                                                     Program Director
                                                     notifies you that
                                                     injection may not
                                                     resume or may
                                                     resume sooner.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) If your well is in a Primacy State or a DI Program State, here 
is the information you must submit:
    (i) No matter what type of Class V well you own or operate, you 
must submit at least the following information for each Class V well: 
facility name and location; name and address of legal contact; 
ownership of facility; nature and type of injection well(s); and 
operating status of injection well(s).
    (ii) Additional information. If you are in a Direct Implementation 
State and you own or operate a well listed below you must also provide 
the information listed in paragraph (a) (2) (iii) as follows:
    (A) Sand or other backfill wells (40 CFR 144.81(8) and 146.5(e)(8) 
of this chapter);
    (B) Geothermal energy recovery wells (40 CFR 144.81(11) and 146.5 
(e)(12) of this chapter);
    (C) Brine return flow wells (40 CFR 144.81(13) and 146.5 (e)(14) of 
this chapter);
    (D) Wells used in experimental technology (40 CFR 144.81(14) and 
146.5 (e)(15) of this chapter);
    (E) Municipal and industrial disposal wells other than Class I; and
    (F) Any other Class V wells at the discretion of the Regional 
Administrator.
    (iii) You must provide a list of all wells owned or operated along 
with the following information for each well. (A single description of 
wells at a single facility with substantially the same characteristics 
is acceptable).
    (A) Location of each well or project given by Township, Range, 
Section, and Quarter-Section, or by latitude and longitude to the 
nearest second, according to the conventional practice in your State;
    (B) Date of completion of each well;
    (C) Identification and depth of the underground formation(s) into 
which each well is injecting;
    (D) Total depth of each well;
    (E) Construction narrative and schematic (both plan view and cross-
sectional drawings);
    (F) Nature of the injected fluids;
    (G) Average and maximum injection pressure at the wellhead;
    (H) Average and maximum injection rate; and
    (I) Date of the last inspection.
    (3) Regardless of whether your well is in a Primacy State or DI 
Program you are responsible for knowing about, understanding, and 
complying with these inventory requirements.
    (b) Information in response to requests. If you are in one of the 
DI Programs listed in the table above, the UIC Program Director may 
require you to submit other information believed necessary to protect 
underground sources of drinking water.
    (1) Such information requirements may include, but are not limited 
to:
    (i) Perform ground water monitoring and periodically submit your 
monitoring results;
    (ii) Analyze the fluids you inject and periodically submit the 
results of your analyses;
    (iii) Describe the geologic layers through which and into which you 
are injecting; and
    (iv) Conduct other analyses and submit other information, if needed 
to protect underground sources of drinking water.
    (2) If the Director requires this other information, he or she will 
request it from you in writing, along with a brief statement on why the 
information is required. This written notification also will tell you 
when to submit the information.
    (3) You are prohibited from using your injection well if you fail 
to comply with the written request within the time frame specified. You 
can start injecting again only if you receive a permit.


Sec. 144.84  Do I need to get a permit?

    No, unless you fall within an exception described below:
    (a) General authorization by rule. With certain exceptions listed 
in paragraph (b) of this section, your Class V injection activity is 
``authorized by rule,'' meaning you have to comply with all the 
requirements of this subpart and the rest of the UIC Program but you 
don't have to get an individual permit. Well authorization expires once 
you have properly closed your well, as described in Sec. 144.82(b).
    (b) Circumstances in Which Permits or other Actions are Required. 
If you fit into one of the categories listed below, your Class V well 
is no longer authorized by rule. This means that you have to either get 
a permit or close your injection well. You can find out by contacting 
the UIC Program Director in your State or EPA Region if this is the 
case. Subpart D of this Part tells you how to apply for a permit and 
describes other aspects of the permitting process. Subpart E of this 
Part outlines some of the requirements that apply to you if you get a 
permit.
    (1) You fail to comply with the prohibition of fluid movement 
standard in Sec. 144.12(a) and described in Sec. 144.82(a) (in which 
case, you have to get a permit, close your well, and/or comply with 
other conditions

[[Page 68569]]

determined by the UIC Program Director in your State or EPA Region);
    (2) You own or operate a Class V large-capacity cesspool (in which 
case, you must close your well as specified in the additional 
requirements below) or a Class V motor vehicle waste disposal well in a 
ground water protection area or sensitive ground water area (in which 
case, you must either close your well or get a permit as specified in 
the additional requirements in this subsection). New motor vehicle 
waste disposal wells and new cesspools are prohibited as of April 5, 
2000;
    (3) You are specifically required by the UIC Program Director in 
your State or EPA Region to get a permit (in which case, rule 
authorization expires upon the effective date of the permit issued, or 
you are prohibited from injecting into your well upon:
    (i) Failure to submit a permit application in a timely manner as 
specified in a notice from the Director; or
    (ii) Upon the effective date of permit denial);
    (4) You have failed to submit inventory information to your UIC 
Program Director, as described in Sec. 144.83(a) (in which case, you 
are prohibited from injecting into your well until you comply with the 
inventory requirements); or
    (5) If you are in a DI State and you received a request from your 
UIC Program Director for additional information under Sec. 144.83(b), 
and have failed to comply with the request in a timely manner (in which 
case, you are prohibited from injecting into your well until you get a 
permit).

Additional Requirements for Class V Large-Capacity Cesspools and 
Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells


Sec. 144.85  Do these additional requirements apply to me?

    (a) Large-Capacity Cesspools. The additional requirements apply to 
all new and existing large-capacity cesspools regardless of their 
location. If you are using a septic system for these type of wastes you 
are not subject to the additional requirements in this subpart.
    (b) Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells Existing on April 5, 2000. 
If you have a Class V motor vehicle waste disposal well these 
requirements apply to you if your well is located in a ground water 
protection area or other sensitive ground water area that is identified 
by your State or EPA Region. If your State or EPA Region fails to 
identify ground water protection areas and/or other sensitive ground 
water areas these requirements apply to all Class V motor vehicle wells 
in the State.
    (c) New Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells. The additional 
requirements apply to all new motor vehicle waste disposal wells as of 
April 5, 2000.


Sec. 144.86  What are the definitions I need to know?

    (a) State Drinking Water Source Assessment and Protection Program. 
This is a new approach to protecting drinking water sources, specified 
in the 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act at Section 1453. 
States must prepare and submit for EPA approval a program that sets out 
how States will conduct local assessments, including: delineating the 
boundaries of areas providing source waters for public water systems; 
identifying significant potential sources of contaminants in such 
areas; and determining the susceptibility of public water systems in 
the delineated areas to the inventoried sources of contamination.
    (b) Complete Local Source Water Assessment for Ground Water 
Protection Areas. When EPA has approved a State's Drinking Water Source 
Assessment and Protection Program, States will begin to conduct local 
assessments for each public water system in their State. For the 
purposes of this rule, local assessments for community water systems 
and non-transient non-community systems are complete when four 
requirements are met: First, a State must delineate the boundaries of 
the assessment area for community and non-transient non-community water 
systems. Second, the State must identify significant potential sources 
of contamination in these delineated areas. Third, the State must 
``determine the susceptibility of community and non-transient non-
community water systems in the delineated area to such contaminants.'' 
Lastly, each State will develop its own plan for making the completed 
assessments available to the public.
    (c) Ground Water Protection Area. A ground water protection area is 
a geographic area near and/or surrounding community and non-transient 
non-community water systems that use ground water as a source of 
drinking water. These areas receive priority for the protection of 
drinking water supplies and States are required to delineate and assess 
these areas under section 1453 of the Safe Drinking Water Act. The 
additional requirements in Sec. 144.88 apply to you if your Class V 
motor vehicle waste disposal well is in a ground water protection area 
for either a community water system or a non-transient non-community 
water system, in many States, these areas will be the same as Wellhead 
Protection Areas that have been or will be delineated as defined in 
section 1428 of the SDWA.
    (d) Community Water System. A community water system is a public 
water system that serves at least 15 service connections used by year-
round residents or regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents.
    (e) Non-transient Non-community Water System. A public water system 
that is not a community water system and that regularly serves at least 
25 of the same people over six months a year. These may include systems 
that provide water to schools, day care centers, government/military 
installations, manufacturers, hospitals or nursing homes, office 
buildings, and other facilities.
    (f) Delineation. Once a State's Drinking Water Source Assessment 
and Protection Program is approved, the States will begin delineating 
their local assessment areas. Delineation is the first step in the 
assessment process in which the boundaries of ground water protection 
areas are identified.
    (g) Other Sensitive Ground Water Areas. States may also identify 
other areas in the State in addition to ground water protection areas 
that are critical to protecting underground sources of drinking water 
from contamination. These other sensitive ground water areas may 
include areas such as areas overlying sole-source aquifers; highly 
productive aquifers supplying private wells; continuous and highly 
productive aquifers at points distant from public water supply wells; 
areas where water supply aquifers are recharged; karst aquifers that 
discharge to surface reservoirs serving as public water supplies; 
vulnerable or sensitive hydrogeologic settings, such as glacial outwash 
deposits, eolian sands, and fractured volcanic rock; and areas of 
special concern selected based on a combination of factors, such as 
hydrogeologic sensitivity, depth to ground water, significance as a 
drinking water source, and prevailing land-use practices.


Sec. 144.87  How does the identification of ground water protection 
areas and other sensitive ground water areas affect me?

    (a) You are subject to these new requirements if you own or operate 
an existing motor vehicle well and you are located in a ground water 
protection area or an other sensitive ground water area. If your State 
or EPA Region fails to identify these areas within the specified time 
frames these requirements apply to all existing motor vehicle waste 
disposal wells within your State.

[[Page 68570]]

    (b) Ground Water Protection Areas. (1) For the purpose of this 
subpart, States are required to complete all local source water 
assessments for ground water protection areas by January 1, 2004. Once 
a local assessment for a ground water protection area is complete every 
existing motor vehicle waste disposal well owner in that ground water 
protection area has one year to close the well or receive a permit. If 
a State fails to complete all local assessments for ground water 
protection areas by January 1, 2004, the following may occur:
    (i) The new requirements in this subpart will apply to all existing 
motor vehicle waste disposal wells in the State and owners and 
operators of motor vehicle waste disposal wells located outside of 
completed assessments for ground water protection areas must close 
their well or receive a permit by January 1, 2005.
    (ii) EPA may grant a State an extension for up to one year from the 
January 1, 2004 deadline if the State is making reasonable progress in 
completing the source water assessments for ground water protection 
areas. States must apply for the extension by June 1, 2003. If a State 
fails to complete the assessments for the remaining ground water 
protection areas by the extended date the rule requirements will apply 
to all motor vehicle waste disposal wells in the State and owners and 
operators of motor vehicle waste disposal wells located outside of 
ground water protection areas with completed assessments must close 
their well or receive a permit by January 1, 2006.
    (2) The UIC Program Director may extend the compliance deadline for 
specific motor vehicle waste disposal wells for up to one year if the 
most efficient compliance option for the well is connection to a 
sanitary sewer or installation of new treatment technology.
    (c) Other Sensitive Ground Water Areas. States may also delineate 
other sensitive ground water areas by January 1, 2004. Existing motor 
vehicle waste disposal well owners and operators within other sensitive 
ground water areas have until January 1, 2007 to receive a permit or 
close the well. If a State or EPA Region fails to identify these 
additional sensitive ground water areas by January 1, 2004, the new 
requirements of this rule will apply to all motor vehicle waste 
disposal wells in the State effective January 1, 2007 unless they are 
subject to a different compliance date pursuant to paragraph (b) of 
this section. Again, EPA may extend the January 1, 2004 deadline for up 
to one year for States to delineate other sensitive ground water areas 
if the State is making reasonable progress in identifying the sensitive 
areas. States must apply for this extension by June 1, 2003. If a State 
has been granted an extension, existing motor vehicle waste disposal 
well owners and operators within the sensitive ground water areas have 
until January 1, 2008 to close the well or receive a permit, unless 
they are subject to a different compliance date pursuant to paragraph 
(b) of this section. If a State has been granted an extension and fails 
to delineate sensitive areas by the extended date, the rule 
requirements will apply to all motor vehicle waste disposal wells in 
the State and owners and operators have until January 1, 2008 to close 
the well or receive a permit, unless they are subject to a different 
compliance date pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section.
    (d) How to Find Out if Your Well is in a Ground Water Protection 
Area or Sensitive Ground Water Area. States are required to make their 
local source water assessments widely available to the public through a 
variety of methods after the assessments are complete. You can find out 
if your Class V well is in a ground water protection area by contacting 
the State agency responsible for the State Drinking Water Source 
Assessment and Protection Program in your area. You may call the Safe 
Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 to find out who to call in 
your State for this information. The State office responsible for 
implementing the Drinking Water Source Assessment and Protection 
Program makes the final and official determination of boundaries for 
ground water protection areas. Because States that choose to delineate 
other sensitive ground water areas are also required to make the 
information on these areas accessible to the public, they may do so in 
a manner similar to the process used by the States in publicizing the 
EPA approved Drinking Water Source Assessment and Protection Program. 
You can find out if your Class V well is in an other sensitive ground 
water area by contacting the State or Federal agency responsible for 
the Underground Injection Control Program. You may call the Safe 
Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 to find out who to call for 
information.
    (e) Changes in the Status of the EPA Approved State Drinking Water 
Source Assessment and Protection Program. After January 1, 2004 your 
State may assess a ground water protection area for ground water 
supplying a new community water system or a new non-transient non-
community water system that includes your Class V injection well. Also, 
your State may officially re-delineate the boundaries of a previously 
delineated ground water protection area to include additional areas 
that includes your motor vehicle waste disposal well. This would make 
the additional regulations apply to you if your motor vehicle waste 
disposal well is in such an area. The additional regulations start 
applying to you one year after the State completes the local assessment 
for the ground water protection area for the new drinking water system 
or the new re-delineated area. The UIC Program Director responsible for 
your area may extend this deadline for up to one year if the most 
efficient compliance option for the well is connection to a sanitary 
sewer or installation of new treatment technology.
    (f) What Happens if My State Doesn't Designate Other Sensitive 
Ground Water Areas? If your State or EPA Region elects not to delineate 
the additional sensitive ground water areas, the additional regulations 
apply to you regardless of the location of your well by January 1, 
2007, or January 2008 if an extension has been granted as explained in 
paragraph (c) of this section, except for wells in ground water 
protection areas which are subject to different compliance deadlines 
explained in paragraph (b) of this section.
    (h) Application of Requirements Outside of Ground Water Protection 
Areas and Sensitive Ground Water Areas. EPA expects and strongly 
encourages States to use existing authorities in the UIC program to 
take whatever measures are needed to ensure Class V wells are not 
endangering USDWs in any other areas outside of delineated ground water 
protection areas and sensitive ground water areas. Such measures could 
include, if believed to be necessary by a UIC Program Director, 
applying the additional requirements below to other areas and/or other 
types of Class V wells. Therefore, the Director may apply the 
additional requirements to you, even if you are not located in the 
areas listed in paragraph (a) of this section.


Sec. 144.88  What are the additional requirements?

    The additional requirements are specified in the following tables:

[[Page 68571]]



                  (a) Table 1.--Additional Requirements for Large-Capacity Cesspools Statewide
                  [See Sec.  144.85 to determine if these additional requirements apply to you]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Well Status                    Requirement                              Deadline
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If your cesspool is. . .           Then you. . .............  By. . .
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) Existing (operational or       (i) Must close the well..  April 5, 2000.
 under construction by April 5,
 2000).
                                   (ii) Must notify the UIC   At least 30 days prior to closure.
                                    Program Director (both
                                    Primacy States and
                                    Direct Implementation
                                    States) of your intent
                                    to close the well..
                                   Note: This information is
                                    requested on national
                                    form ``Preclosure
                                    Notification for Closure
                                    of Injection Wells,''.
(2) New or converted               Are prohibited...........  April 5, 2000.
 (construction not started before
 April 5, 2000).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


 (b) Table 2.--Additional Requirements for Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal
                                  Wells
[See Sec.  144.85 to determine if these additional requirements apply to
                                  you]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Well status               Requirement            Deadline
------------------------------------------------------------------------
If your motor vehicle waste   Then. . ............  By. . .
 disposal well is
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) Existing (operational or  (i) If your well is   Within 1 year of the
 under construction by April   in a ground water     completion of your
 5, 2000).                     protection area,      local source water
                               you must close the    assessment; your
                               well or obtain a      UIC Program
                               permit.               Director may extend
                                                     the closure
                                                     deadline, but not
                                                     the permit
                                                     application
                                                     deadline, for up to
                                                     one year if the
                                                     most efficient
                                                     compliance option
                                                     is connection to a
                                                     sanitary sewer or
                                                     installation of new
                                                     treatment
                                                     technology.
                             -------------------------------------------
                              (ii) If your well is  By January 1, 2007;
                               in an other           your UIC Program
                               sensitive ground      Director may extend
                               water area, you       the closure
                               must close the well   deadline, but not
                               or obtain a permit.   the permit
                                                     application
                                                     deadline, for up to
                                                     one year if the
                                                     most efficient
                                                     compliance option
                                                     is connection to a
                                                     sanitary sewer or
                                                     installation of new
                                                     treatment
                                                     technology.
                             -------------------------------------------
                              (iii) If you plan to  The date you submit
                               seek a waiver from    your permit
                               the ban and apply     application.
                               for a permit, you
                               must meet MCLs at
                               the point of
                               injection while
                               your permit
                               application is
                               under review, if
                               you choose to keep
                               operating your well.
                             -------------------------------------------
                              (iv) If you receive   The date(s)
                               a permit, you must    specified in your
                               comply with all       permit.
                               permit conditions,
                               if you choose to
                               keep operating your
                               well, including
                               requirements to
                               meet MCLs and other
                               health based
                               standards at the
                               point of injection,
                               follow best
                               management
                               practices, and
                               monitor your
                               injectate and
                               sludge quality.
                             -------------------------------------------
                              (v) If your well is   January 1, 2005
                               in a State which      unless your State
                               has not completed     obtains an
                               all their local       extension as
                               assessments by        described in 144.87
                               January 1, 2004 or    (b) in which case
                               by the extended       your deadline is
                               date if your State    January 1, 2006;
                               has obtained an       your UIC Program
                               extension as          Director may extend
                               described in          the closure
                               144.87, and you are   deadline, but not
                               outside an area       the permit
                               with a completed      application
                               assessment you must   deadline, for up to
                               close the well or     one year if the
                               obtain a permit.      most efficient
                                                     compliance option
                                                     is connection to a
                                                     sanitary sewer or
                                                     installation of new
                                                     treatment
                                                     technology.
                             -------------------------------------------
                              (vi) If your well is  January 1, 2007
                               in a State that has   unless your State
                               not delineated        obtains an
                               other sensitive       extension as
                               ground water areas    described in
                               by January 1, 2004    144.87(c) in which
                               and you are outside   case your deadline
                               of an area with a     is January 2008.
                               completed
                               assessment you must
                               close the well or
                               obtain a permit
                               regardless of your
                               location.
                             -------------------------------------------

[[Page 68572]]

 
                              (vii) If you plan to  At least 30 days
                               close your well,      prior to closure.
                               you must notify the
                               UIC Program
                               Director of your
                               intent to close the
                               well (this includes
                               closing your well
                               prior to
                               conversion).
                              Note: This
                               information is
                               requested on
                               national form
                               ``Preclosure
                               Notification for
                               Closure of
                               Injection Wells''.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(2) New or converted          Are prohibited......  April 5, 2000.
 (construction not started
 before April 5, 2000).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec. 144.89  How do I close my Class V injection well?

    The following describes the requirements for closing your Class V 
injection well.
    (a) Closure.  Prior to closing a Class V large-capacity cesspool or 
motor vehicle waste disposal well, you must plug or otherwise close the 
well in a manner that complies with the prohibition of fluid movement 
standard in Sec. 144.12 and summarized in Sec. 144.82(a). If the UIC 
Program Director in your State or EPA Region has any additional or more 
specific closure standards, you have to meet those standards too. You 
also must dispose or otherwise manage any soil, gravel, sludge, 
liquids, or other materials removed from or adjacent to your well in 
accordance with all applicable Federal, State, and local regulations 
and requirements, as in Sec. 144.82(b).
    (2) Closure does not mean that you need to cease operations at your 
facility, only that you need to close your well. A number of 
alternatives are available for disposing of waste fluids. Examples of 
alternatives that may be available to motor vehicle stations include: 
recycling and reusing wastewater as much as possible; collecting and 
recycling petroleum-based fluids, coolants, and battery acids drained 
from vehicles; washing parts in a self-contained, recirculating solvent 
sink, with spent solvents being recovered and replaced by the supplier; 
using absorbents to clean up minor leaks and spills, and placing the 
used materials in approved waste containers and disposing of them 
properly; using a wet vacuum or mop to pick up accumulated rain or snow 
melt, and if allowed, connecting floor drains to a municipal sewer 
system or holding tank, and if allowed, disposing of the holding tank 
contents through a publicly owned treatment works. You should check 
with the publicly owned treatment works you might use to see if they 
would accept your wastes. Alternatives that may be available to owners 
and operators of a large-capacity cesspool include: conversion to a 
septic system; connection to sewer; and installation of an on-site 
treatment unit.
    (b) Conversions. In limited cases, the UIC Director may authorize 
the conversion (reclassification) of a motor vehicle waste disposal 
well to another type of Class V well. Motor vehicle wells may only be 
converted if: all motor vehicle fluids are segregated by physical 
barriers and are not allowed to enter the well; and, injection of motor 
vehicle waste is unlikely based on a facility's compliance history and 
records showing proper waste disposal. The use of a semi-permanent plug 
as the means to segregate waste is not sufficient to convert a motor 
vehicle waste disposal well to another type of Class V well.

PART 145--STATE UIC PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

    11. The authority citation for part 145 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.

Subpart B--[Amended]

    12. Section 145.11 is amended by adding paragraph (a)(32) and by 
revising the first sentence of paragraph (b)(1) to read as follows:


Sec. 145.11  Requirements for permitting.

    (a) * * *
    (32) Section 144.88--(What are the additional requirements?);
* * * * *
    (b)(1) States need not implement provisions identical to the 
provisions listed in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(32) of this section. 
* * *
* * * * *

Subpart C--[Amended]

    13. Section 145.23, is revised by adding paragraph (f)(12) to read 
as follows:


Sec. 145.23  Program description.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (12) For Class V programs only. A description of and a schedule for 
the State's plan to identify and delineate other sensitive ground water 
areas. States should consider geologic and hydrogeologic settings, 
ground water flow and occurrence, topographic and geographic features, 
depth to ground water, significance as a drinking water source, 
prevailing land use practices and any other existing information 
relating to the susceptibility of ground water to contamination from 
Class V injection wells when developing their plan. Within the schedule 
for the plan, States must commit to: completing all delineations of 
other sensitive ground water areas by no later than Jan. 1, 2004; 
making these delineation available to the public; implementing the 
Class V regulations, effective April 5, 2000, in these delineated areas 
by no later than January 1, 2007. Alternately, if a State chooses not 
to identify other sensitive ground water areas, the requirements for 
motor vehicle waste disposal wells would apply statewide by January 1, 
2007.

PART 146--UNDERGROUND INJECTION CONTROL PROGRAM: CRITERIA AND 
STANDARDS

    14. The authority citation for part 146 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.; 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.

    15. Section 146.3 is amended by adding the following new 
definitions in alphabetical order: ``Cesspool,'' ``Drywell,'' 
``Improved sinkhole,'' ``Point

[[Page 68573]]

of injection,'' ``Sanitary waste,'' ``Septic system,'' and ``Subsurface 
fluid distribution system,'' and by revising the definitions of 
``Well'' and ``Well injection'' to read as follows:


Sec. 146.3  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Cesspool means a ``drywell'' that receives untreated sanitary waste 
containing human excreta, and which sometimes has an open bottom and/or 
perforated sides.
* * * * *
    Drywell means a well, other than an improved sinkhole or subsurface 
fluid distribution system, completed above the water table so that its 
bottom and sides are typically dry except when receiving fluids.
* * * * *
    Improved sinkhole means a naturally occurring karst depression or 
other natural crevice found in volcanic terrain and other geologic 
settings which have been modified by man for the purpose of directing 
and emplacing fluids into the subsurface.
* * * * *
    Point of injection for Class V wells means the last accessible 
sampling point prior to waste fluids being released into the subsurface 
environment through a Class V injection well. For example, the point of 
injection of a Class V septic system might be the distribution box--the 
last accessible sampling point before the waste fluids drain into the 
underlying soils. For a dry well, it is likely to be the well bore 
itself.
* * * * *
    Sanitary waste means liquid or solid wastes originating solely from 
humans and human activities, such as wastes collected from toilets, 
showers, wash basins, sinks used for cleaning domestic areas, sinks 
used for food preparation, clothes washing operations, and sinks or 
washing machines where food and beverage serving dishes, glasses, and 
utensils are cleaned. Sources of these wastes may include single or 
multiple residences, hotels and motels, restaurants, bunkhouses, 
schools, ranger stations, crew quarters, guard stations, campgrounds, 
picnic grounds, day-use recreation areas, other commercial facilities, 
and industrial facilities provided the waste is not mixed with 
industrial waste.
* * * * *
    Septic system means a ``well'' that is used to emplace sanitary 
waste below the surface and is typically comprised of a septic tank and 
subsurface fluid distribution system or disposal system.
* * * * *
    Subsurface fluid distribution system means an assemblage of 
perforated pipes, drain tiles, or other similar mechanisms intended to 
distribute fluids below the surface of the ground.
* * * * *
    Well means: A bored, drilled, or driven shaft whose depth is 
greater than the largest surface dimension; or, a dug hole whose depth 
is greater than the largest surface dimension; or, an improved 
sinkhole; or, a subsurface fluid distribution system.
    Well injection means the subsurface emplacement of fluids through a 
well.
* * * * *
    16. Section 146.5 is amended by adding a new paragraph (a)(3) and 
revising the first sentence of paragraph (e) introductory text to read 
as follows:


Sec. 146.5  Classification of injection wells.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (3) Radioactive waste disposal wells which inject fluids below the 
lowermost formation containing an underground source of drinking water 
within one quarter mile of the well bore.
* * * * *
    (e) Class V. Injection wells not included in Class I, II, III, or 
IV. Specific types of Class V injection wells are also described in 40 
CFR 144.81. * * *
* * * * *
    17. Section 146.10 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 146.10  Plugging and abandoning Class I, II, III, IV, and V wells.

    (a) Requirements for Class I, II and III wells. (1) Prior to 
abandoning Class I, II and III wells, the well shall be plugged with 
cement in a manner which will not allow the movement of fluids either 
into or between underground sources of drinking water. The Director may 
allow Class III wells to use other plugging materials if the Director 
is satisfied that such materials will prevent movement of fluids into 
or between underground sources of drinking water.
    (2) Placement of the cement plugs shall be accomplished by one of 
the following:
    (i) The Balance method;
    (ii) The Dump Bailer method;
    (iii) The Two-Plug method; or
    (iv) An alternative method approved by the Director, which will 
reliably provide a comparable level of protection to underground 
sources of drinking water.
    (3) The well to be abandoned shall be in a state of static 
equilibrium with the mud weight equalized top to bottom, either by 
circulating the mud in the well at least once or by a comparable method 
prescribed by the Director, prior to the placement of the cement 
plug(s).
    (4) The plugging and abandonment plan required in 40 CFR 144.51(o) 
and 144.52(a)(6) shall, in the case of a Class III project which 
underlies or is in an aquifer which has been exempted under 
Sec. 146.04, also demonstrate adequate protection of USDWs. The 
Director shall prescribe aquifer cleanup and monitoring where he deems 
it necessary and feasible to insure adequate protection of USDWs.
    (b) Requirements for Class IV wells. Prior to abandoning a Class IV 
well, the owner or operator shall close the well in accordance with 40 
CFR 144.23(b).
    (c) Requirements for Class V wells. (1) Prior to abandoning a Class 
V well, the owner or operator shall close the well in a manner that 
prevents the movement of fluid containing any contaminant into an 
underground source of drinking water, if the presence of that 
contaminant may cause a violation of any primary drinking water 
regulation under 40 CFR part 141 or may otherwise adversely affect the 
health of persons. Closure requirements for motor vehicle waste 
disposal wells and large-capacity cesspools are reiterated at 
Sec. 144.89.
    (2) The owner or operator shall dispose of or otherwise manage any 
soil, gravel, sludge, liquids, or other materials removed from or 
adjacent to the well in accordance with all applicable Federal, State, 
and local regulations and requirements.

[FR Doc. 99-31048 Filed 12-6-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P