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NEW REQUIREMENTS ADDED FOR SOME CLASS V INJECTION WELLS

Release Date: 12/03/99
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          FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DEC. 3, 1999
NEW REQUIREMENTS ADDED FOR
SOME CLASS V INJECTION WELLS


EPA is adding new requirements that eliminate or reduce the injection of wastes through motor vehicle waste disposal wells and large capacity cesspools, regulated by EPA as class V underground injection wells. Under a final rule signed Nov. 23, new motor vehicle waste disposal wells and new large cesspools now are prohibited nationwide as of next April. Existing motor vehicle waste disposal wells, which typically receive waste fluids from vehicle maintenance and repair will be phased out through January 2007. Permits for motor vehicle waste wells may be obtained in some cases. Existing cesspools will be phased out nationwide by April 2005. Injection wells are regulated by EPA and the states through the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program under the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect underground sources of drinking water from contamination. Eighty-nine percent of public water systems in the United States use ground water as a drinking water source. Injection wells are divided into five classes for regulatory purposes. Class V injection wells are typically shallow disposal systems that are used to place a variety of fluids below the land surface. Some class V wells are technologically advanced wastewater disposal systems used by industry, but most are "low-tech" shallow wells, providing little or no protection against possible ground water contamination. EPA estimates that there are altogether more than 600,000 class V injection wells currently in the United States. They are located in every state, especially in unsewered areas where the population is also likely to depend on ground water for its drinking water. There are many types of class V wells, including: motor vehicle waste disposal wells; large capacity cesspools; storm water drainage wells; aquifer remediation wells; and large capacity septic systems. For additional information on the rule and on underground injection wells, the public can consult EPA’s drinking water web site at: http://www.epa.gov/safewater or call EPA’s drinking water hotline at 1-800-426-4791.


R-145 ###