Occidental Chemical Corporation Facility, Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas – Information Sheet, October 2021
EPA Proposes Approval of No Migration Petition Reissuance Request
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 is proposing the approval of a request by the Occidental Chemical Corporation (OxyChem) to reissue their existing No Migration Petition (petition), which allows for the disposal of certain restricted hazardous wastes into injection wells located at the company’s facility at 6200 South Ridge Road, Wichita, Kansas (per 40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] section 148.20).
If approved, the reissuance would allow the continued use of Wells #3, 8, 9, 10, 11, and proposed Well #14 as Class I hazardous waste injection wells, which inject hazardous fluids into geologic formations below the lowermost underground source of drinking water and require additional approvals to operate. EPA’s proposed approval of this request is now subject to a public comment period (per 40 CFR section 124.10).
OxyChem operates a chemical manufacturing and processing facility at the Wichita location. Since 1957, OxyChem and the previous owner of the facility, Vulcan Chemicals, have used a system of deep underground wells to safely inject and dispose of certain types of hazardous and non-hazardous liquid wastes from their manufacturing operations.
Changes to the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which went into effect in 1988, prohibited the injection of hazardous waste unless a petitioner demonstrates to EPA that there will be no migration of hazardous constituents from the injection zone for as long as the waste remains hazardous, which is defined as 10,000 years (per 40 CFR section 148.20[a]). The original EPA petition approval at the facility was granted on Aug. 7, 1990. This approval was renewed by EPA in 2007.
In March 2012, OxyChem completed the construction of Well #11 at the facility. OxyChem submitted a petition modification request to EPA to allow the use of Well #11 as a hazardous waste injection well that would serve as a replacement for Well #4 (which was plugged in 2008) at the facility. This petition modification request was approved by EPA in 2017.
The approved 2007 petition modeled projected injection operations through December 2020. Due to those modeling projections having reached their end date, OxyChem is required to submit a No Migration Petition Reissuance request in order to continue injection operations. In 2020, EPA received this reissuance request for the five existing wells and one proposed well. OxyChem is not requesting an increase to injection volumes or additional wastes as part of this reissuance request, which has been modeled through 2040.
EPA Review of Petition Request
The federal RCRA and Underground Injection Control (UIC) program prohibit the injection of hazardous waste unless a petitioner demonstrates to EPA that there will be no migration of hazardous constituents from the injection zone for as long as the waste remains hazardous (per 40 CFR section 268.6). These demonstrations are made through the submission of what is known as a No Migration Petition to EPA for review (per 40 CFR section 148.20).
Conclusion of EPA Review
EPA has concluded that the application and supplemental materials submitted for OxyChem’s petition reissuance request demonstrate that OxyChem’s continued injection operations, geologic siting, and waste stream characteristics are in compliance with the requirements of RCRA and the UIC program.
Following a detailed and thorough review, EPA is proposing that OxyChem has sufficiently demonstrated, to a reasonable degree of certainty, there will be no migration of hazardous constituents from the injection zone for as long as the waste remains hazardous, which is defined as 10,000 years (per 40 CFR section 148.20[a])
Proposed Approval of Wastes
EPA’s proposed approval of wastes that could be injected into wells at the facility is limited to a list of 57 specific hazardous wastes. This list includes volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, and inorganic compounds. For more in-depth information about EPA’s proposed petition reissuance decision, including a full listing of the wastes that would be approved for injection disposal, see EPA’s Fact Sheet.
In addition, the Administrative Record can be reviewed online at www.regulations.gov under docket number EPA-R07-OW-2021-0690. A physical copy of the Administrative Record is available for public review at the EPA Region 7 Records Center, 11201 Renner Blvd., Lenexa, KS 66219; Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please note: COVID-19 restrictions may be in place at this location. Contact Ben Meissner for more information. All data submitted by the applicant, and all documents used by EPA in making the proposed decision, are available as part of the Administrative Record.
Public Comment Period
EPA’s proposed approval of OxyChem’s petition reissuance request is subject to a public comment period, which begins Oct. 15, 2021, and ends Dec. 3, 2021. During this period, all written comments on the proposed approval should be submitted to Ben Meissner at the address listed below. All persons who wish to comment on, or object to, the petition reissuance request or EPA’s proposed decision must do so by the close of the comment period.
Public Availability Session and Public Hearing
The public is invited to a virtual Public Availability Session where EPA will provide information and answer questions about the petition reissuance request, in conjunction with a Public Hearing to receive public comments (per 40 CFR section 124.12). This combined event will be held:
Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021
Information and Comments
If you wish to submit written comments about EPA’s proposed approval of the petition reissuance request, have questions, or need additional information about the Public Availability Session or Public Hearing, please contact:
U.S. EPA Region 7 (WD/GAD)
11201 Renner Blvd.
Lenexa, KS 66219