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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

GCAGS Transactions


Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions
Vol. 44 (1994), Pages 515-520

Current and Proposed Regulations for Salt-Water Disposal Wells

Terry Moody


In recent years, all aspects of hydrocarbon exploration and production (E&P) activities have drawn closer scrutiny in terms of existing and potential impairment of the environment. In addition to drilling, production, and transportation activities, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has focused on the nature of E&P-generated wastes, and the subsequent management of both hazardous and nonhazardous E&P wastes. Approximately 98% of the volume of wastes generated by E&P activities is salt water associated with the recovery of hydrocarbons. By far the majority of this waste is reinjected in Class II wells as a nonhazardous waste. Due to the tremendous volume of salt water disposed of in Class II injection wells, the USEPA continues to reevaluate the Federal salt-water injection well program, offering comments, revising its interpretation of existing regulations, and promulgating new regulations. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of existing Federal Class II injection well regulations and to provide an overview of potential of newly promulgated regulations.

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