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EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

Underground Injection Control

National and Regional Contacts


Frequently Asked Questions

The Underground Injection Control (UIC) program is authorized by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Act requires the EPA Administrator to develop and implement a national regulatory program to protect underground sources of drinking water (USDW) from contamination by injection. Further, the Act offers the states and tribes primary responsibility (primacy) for implementing the program upon approval by EPA. Initial regulatory development, which divided all injection into five well classes, was accomplished in the early 80's. The majority of state program approvals were granted shortly thereafter. No Tribes have formally applied for primacy in this Region.

State UIC Programs

In Region 6, which includes Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, each State has received EPA's approval and directly implements the program in their respective jurisdictions. In each State except Louisiana, implementation of the UIC program is split between two state agencies. To see the contact information for any of these state agencies and the portion of the program it administers, click on the state link above. Region 6 retains an oversight capacity on these state programs.

Underground Injection Control (UIC) Direct Implementation (Tribes) (Class II Wells)

In Region 6, all of the states retain the authority to implement the UIC program; however, EPA retains the authority to implement the UIC program on tribal lands within these states with the exception of the Five Civilized Tribes Exit EPA Disclaimer in Oklahoma. Currently EPA is actively issuing UIC permits in Oklahoma and New Mexico with the main permitting activity principally in the Osage Mineral Reserve in Oklahoma. In New Mexico, the EPA issues the permits for activities on the Ute Mountain Ute and Jicarilla Apache Reservations in Rio Arriba and San Juan counties. For tribal jurisdictions in Texas, Louisiana, or Arkansas, EPA retains the authority to issue these UIC permits.

Underground Injection Control (UIC) Land Ban

This program operates under the authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In 1984 the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA) to RCRA added significant new restrictions on the disposal of hazardous waste. Under these amendments, land disposal of hazardous wastes, which includes Class I hazardous waste injection wells, is prohibited unless:

a) the waste has been treated to become nonhazardous or;

b) the disposer can demonstrate that the waste will remain where it has been placed for as long as it remains hazardous, which has been defined as 10,000 years by regulation.

Restrictions on specific hazardous wastes have been phased in over time: for some wastes they became effective as early as August 8, 1988; other hazardous wastes are still being added to the list.

Region 6 Underground Injection Control (UIC) Enforcement

Public Notices

Drinking Water    Ground Water

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