Proposed plans to re-issue an Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class I (non-hazardous) Permit for Milne Point Facility, North Slope, Ak | Region 10 | US EPA

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Proposed plans to re-issue an Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class I (non-hazardous) Permit for Milne Point Facility, North Slope, Ak

Public Notice Summary

Public Notice Issued:
August 13, 2014
Comments Due:
September 12, 2014
Technical Contacts:
Thor Cutler
(206) 553-0060 or
1-800-424-4372, ext. 0060

Applicant
Permit No.: AK-1I005-B
BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. (BPXA)
900 East Benson Boulevard
Post Office Box 196612
Anchorage, Alaska 99519-6612
Background

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has direct implementation responsibility in Alaska for the regulation of Class I injection wells through the UIC program, which is authorized by Part C of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Class I injection wells are used for the deep disposal of industrial waste into naturally saline ground water, beneath any aquifers which could serve as current or future underground sources of drinking water (USDWs).

The facility and associated well was initially permitted with the EPA in November, 2004 under permit AK1I005-A. The current ten year EPA Class I Underground Injection Control (UIC) permit at Milne Point Facility will expire on November 2, 2014. BPXA has requested EPA to re-issue its Class I UIC permit that includes two Class I wells (or replacement wells if a well fails) including the existing well (MPB-50) that would continue to be utilized for the disposal of Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) Exploration and Production (E&P) exempt and non-exempt non-hazardous waste fluids including produced fluids in the oilfields that support the oil industry on the North Slope, Alaska.

EPA is proposing to re-issue BPXA’s Class I UIC permit, which will allow for the continuing operation of up to two Class I non-hazardous waste injection wells at Milne Point Facility. The existing active Class I well is located onshore at B-pad, Milne Point Facility, North Slope, Alaska.

EPA has considered available waste disposal options and determined that underground injection is an appropriate disposal method for RCRA E&P exempt and non-exempt non-hazardous waste fluids that includes oilfield produced water. Class I UIC well injection is an environmentally sound method for the RCRA E&P exempt and non-exempt waste fluid disposal that includes, but is not limited to treated sewage effluent, and this practice will eliminate or substantially reduce risk of discharge of oilfield production and domestic wastes to the surface waters of the North Slope. Class I wells increase safety and reduce environmental risks by reducing handling and transportation activities and provide safe subsurface disposal in a controlled manner. Re-issuance of BPXA’s Class I UIC Permit Number AK-1I005-B will allow EPA to maintain oversight and inspection of the wells. During the past nine years, EPA has inspected the facility on an annual basis during which mechanical integrity tests (MIT) were performed each year on the active well (MPB-50). The most recent MIT performed on the well and witnessed by EPA were in July, 2014.

The geologic setting at the Milne Point Unit (MPU) location is very compatible with the proposed deep disposal process. The naturally saline intervals of the Schrader Bluff (West Sak) and Ugnu (Prince Creek) Formations have been successfully used to dispose over 79.8 million barrels of waste fluids below the surface at MPU over the past approximately 9 years. The proposed EPA Class I permit limits injection to the existing and naturally saline injection intervals in the Schrader Bluff (West Sak) and Ugnu (Prince Creek) Formations that are located deeper than approximately 4200 feet below land surface. An aquifer exemption for Class I injection was granted by EPA on September 29, 2004. There are no underground sources of drinking water below the permafrost in the MPU area. The existing well (MPB-50) has successfully demonstrated mechanical integrity on an annual basis, and the MIT were witnessed by an EPA representative.

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Tentative Determination

We have tentatively determined to reissue a ten year UIC permit to the above listed applicant

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Public Comments and Hearing Requests
Persons wishing to comment or request a public hearing on the draft UIC permit for the Milne Point facility may do so in writing by the expiration date of the public comment period: September 12, 2014 at 5 pm Pacific Standard Time (PST). All comments should include the name, address, telephone number of the person commenting, a concise statement of the exact basis of any comment, and the relevant facts upon which it is based. Any request for a public hearing must be in writing, contain the requester’s name, address and telephone number, and must state the nature of the issues proposed to be discussed in the hearing. A public hearing will be scheduled if EPA determines that there is a significant degree of public interest in the proposed permit. All written comments and hearing requests should be submitted to Thor Cutler of the UIC program at the above address or via e-mail to cutler.thor@epa.gov .

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Document Availability

Documents available for download:

The documents may be requested by e-mail from Thor Cutler (cutler.thor@epa.gov) at 206-553-1673

The draft permits and fact sheets are also available for review at the following locations:
EPA Region 10 Office
1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900, OWW-130,
Seattle, Washington 98101
EPA Alaska Operations Office
Federal Building/Room 537
222 West 7th Avenue, #19
Anchorage, Alaska
(907) 271-5083
Disability Reasonable Accommodation Notice:
If you need a reasonable accommodation for a disability, please contact Audrey Washington at (206) 553-0523 (voice). TTY/TDD users please dial Washington Relay Service at 1-800-833-6388. Please provide one-week advance notice for special requests not related to ongoing programs and services.


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URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/water.nsf/Public+Notices/milne_point_unit_uic_2014

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