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EPA Underground Injection Control (UIC) Technical Workgroup


SUBJECT: EPA Underground Injection Control (UIC) Technical Workgroup
FROM: William R. Diamond, Director
Drinking Water Protection Division (4606)
Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water
TO: UIC Program Managers
EPA Regions I-X

At the Underground Injection Control (UIC) National Program Managers Meeting held in Seattle on April 4-6, 2000, several decisions were reached regarding changes to the structure and functioning of the EPA UIC Technical Workgroup. Both at the Workgroup meeting, and the Managers meeting which followed, we analyzed the process for including up to four (4) representatives from Primacy State UIC Programs to serve on the workgroup. We also discussed the manner by which the workgroup would raise key technical issues to management, and how specific issues would be addressed if it were decided that there were national policy implications. We are requesting those EPA Regional UIC managers wishing to formally submit nominations for individual(s) from their Primacy States to serve on EPA's UIC Technical Workgroup, do so at this time. As a first step, you should make a determination if a State, and the individual from that State's UIC program, has an interest in participating on this workgroup. After you have had these discussions, please forward your nomination(s) to Brian Graves, EPA Region 6, the Workgroup Chair, by November 30, 2000. The EPA Technical Workgroup members will compile all of the Regional nominations, as well as any nomination(s) from the Ground Water Protection Council. They will then forward these nominations and any recommendations to a UIC manager's team that we will be forming for final selection of the four State representatives. EPA's final selections will be based on geographic diversity, overall technical background, and expertise with shallow and/or deep injection well classes (i.e., Class I, II, III or V background).

It is important that you relate to interested individuals from the States, that their responsibilities will generally mirror their EPA counterparts. However, since this is an EPA-led workgroup, we do not expect State members to assume chair or co-chair responsibilities. But duties will include a commitment to participate in monthly conference calls, and other calls as need arises. On a rotating basis, each participating Region, EPA Headquarters, and the States will host the monthly call, coordinate the agenda, take minutes, and distribute the minutes to workgroup members. At times, UIC Technical Workgroup members must also commit to reviewing and commenting on draft workgroup products in an expeditious manner, typically within a two-week period. The Workgroup usually holds one annual, face-to-face working meeting. As each participating Region, Headquarters, and State will be expected to participate in that meeting, we will investigate all means available to enable the States to travel to this meeting. Workgroup representatives will serve a two-year term, with the possibility of their term being renewed in order to keep work efforts flowing as smoothly and uninterrupted as possible.

Another issue which was discussed at the Seattle meeting concerned the need for a consolidated voice on each particular issue from each EPA Regional Office. We are therefore requesting that each participating Region name a lead workgroup representative. After consultation with their management, this person will be accountable for their Region's responsibilities in workgroup activities and will express their Region's position on issues that need resolution. Each participating Region, Headquarters, and State will have an equal voice on critical issues. Please forward your Region's lead designee to Brian Graves by November 30, 2000.

Finally, stemming from an earlier Technical Workgroup draft product pertaining to Class II fluids, several EPA managers expressed concern at the February 2000, Branch Chiefs Meeting in Washington, D.C., that substantive policy issues were being deliberated by a purely technical body. We believe that there is a potential that any miscommunication of recommendations voiced by the Workgroup on certain issues could trigger disruptive signals to the Primacy States and the regulated community. In addition to the incorporation of State membership, it was decided that a procedure was necessary to determine how potential national policy issues would be handled by the Workgroup and raised to an appropriate EPA management level. Therefore, attached is a copy of the revised UIC Technical Workgroup Charter reflecting changes related to State participation, the procedure on dealing with potential policy issues, and the procedure for resolving key decision-making within the Workgroup itself.

If you have any further questions concerning this issue, or comments on the Charter, please contact Joan Harrigan-Farrelly, at (202) 260-6672, as soon as possible.

cc: (w/attachment) Michel Paque, Executive Director - GWPC

Note: This memorandum was signed November 17, 2000. A revised draft charter was attached to the memorandum. This attachment is obsolete and is only available upon request by contacting the EPA Region 5 Office. Also, see a copy of the most recent charter)


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