ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

Cancel

State-by-State: Underground Injection Wells

The data below is from annual state regulatory summaries for underground injection wells that were submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency between late 2007 and late 2010. In all, the reports reflect 220,000 inspections and give well violations and enforcement actions for more than 680,000 wells. The EPA data represents the only national picture of the U.S. injection program. | Related: The Trillion-Gallon Loophole: Lax Rules for Drillers that Inject Pollutants Into the Earth

Number class 2 wells, 2010

0 1,000 5,000 10,000 25,00055,000

Hover over each category for more information.

Alabama

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

240

Class 3

3

Class 4

0

Class 5

386

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'0814
'0916
'1015

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'0814
'098
'107

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

8

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

248

 

Alaska

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

29

Class 2

1,347

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

1,792

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

0

Note: The EPA had not received injection reporting statistics from Alaska for 2010 by the time it provided materials through FOIA to ProPublica in late 2011. The EPA did not respond to a our questions on whether they had since received the reports, or whether the agency had followed up with the state.

Arizona

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

15

Class 4

0

Class 5

49,035

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

305

 

Arkansas

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

4

Class 1
Other

9

Class 2

1,093

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

281

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'081
'094
'101

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'085
'0917
'1012

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

55

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

46

 

California

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

45

Class 2

29,505

Class 3

212

Class 4

0

Class 5

18,047

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'081
'090
'1042

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'0828
'090
'1043

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 12
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

12

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

63

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

663

Note: California's detailed 2009 injection well compliance report was not included in the Environmental Protection Agency's FOIA response.

Colorado

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

13

Class 2

874

Class 3

34

Class 4

0

Class 5

1,759

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'0819
'0921
'103

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'0814
'095
'104

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 1

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

13

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

56

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

143

 

Connecticut

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

710

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

5

 

Delaware

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

1,563

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

66

 

District of Columbia

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

125

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

0

Note: The Environmental Protection Agency did not include 2008 data for the District of Columbia in its FOIA response.

Florida

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

1

Class 1
Other

211

Class 2

58

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

55,072

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'096
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 56

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

12

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

6

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

232

 

Georgia

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

10,459

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

0

 

Hawaii

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

5,547

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

757

 

Idaho

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

16,235

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

0

 

Illinois

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

3

Class 1
Other

2

Class 2

7,843

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

16,644

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'08303
'09296
'1088

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'0867
'0963
'1019

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

9

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

26

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

95

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

2,751

 

Indiana

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

4

Class 1
Other

24

Class 2

2,091

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

8,729

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'091
'101

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'0847
'0926
'1026

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'086
'094
'101

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

4

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

12

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

19

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

458

 

Iowa

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

3

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

1,362

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

0

Note: The Environmental Protection Agency did not include any of Iowa's reporting forms for its injection program in its FOIA response.

Kansas

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

5

Class 1
Other

48

Class 2

16,658

Class 3

145

Class 4

0

Class 5

6,067

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'103

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'08137
'09151
'10149

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'08144
'09118
'10109

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

29

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

673

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

1,763

 

Kentucky

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

2

Class 2

3,403

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

14,175

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'0913
'1014

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

3

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

37

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

31

Note: The EPA is directly responsible for regulating Kentucky's disposal wells. The EPA's Region 4 office tells ProPublica that only half of the wells in its own inventory for Kentucky are actively used, and says it prioritizes its inspections for wells which have have a difficulty complying with the regulations in the past. The Environmental Protection Agency did not include 2008 data for Kentucky in its FOIA response.

Louisiana

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

15

Class 1
Other

22

Class 2

3,731

Class 3

89

Class 4

0

Class 5

213

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'081
'090
'104

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'0815
'090
'1014

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'08174
'090
'10191

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 2
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

7

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

1

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

290

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

820

Note: Louisiana did not provide its injection program reports to the EPA in 2009, EPA records state. The EPA did not respond to questions about whether they have followed up with the state.

Maine

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

1,927

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

98

 

Maryland

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

13,701

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

125

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

125

 

Massachusetts

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

5,413

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

141

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

435

 

Michigan

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

9

Class 1
Other

21

Class 2

1,460

Class 3

46

Class 4

0

Class 5

8,934

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'081
'091
'101

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'0849
'0989
'1079

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'0853
'0955
'1051

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

6

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

40

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

1,607

 

Minnesota

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

2,744

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

194

 

Mississippi

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

4

Class 1
Other

1

Class 2

1,110

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

7,546

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

57

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

5

Note: The Annual reports submitted by Mississippi to the Environmental Protection Agency are incomplete. They note, for example, mechanical integrity failures for significant leaks, but list no corresponding overall failures for mechanical integrity or corresponding violations. The EPA did not respond to questions about Mississippi's data.

Missouri

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

282

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

3,851

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'082
'090
'101

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'091
'101

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

71

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

45

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

5

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

34

 

Montana

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

1,062

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

903

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'1041

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'1012

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

1

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

18

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

94

 

Nebraska

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

3

Class 2

661

Class 3

3,913

Class 4

0

Class 5

675

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'095
'1011

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'094
'105

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

1

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

18

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

212

Note: The Environmental Protection Agency did not yet provide Nebraska's 2008 injection program data in its FOIA response.

Nevada

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

18

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

961

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

1

 

New Hampshire

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

7,623

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

9

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

136

 

New Jersey

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

968

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

68

 

New Mexico

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

5

Class 2

4,585

Class 3

10

Class 4

0

Class 5

1,414

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'091
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'08134
'09203
'10261

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'0825
'0945
'1036

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 13

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

33

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

429

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

1,943

Note: New Mexico regulators tell ProPublica that they incorrectly filled out the EPA reporting forms to show total inspections, not unique wells inspected, meaning that their inspection figures contain some overlap. The error makes it appear as though New Mexico has inspected more wells than exist. In fact, the state says that it would likely have inspected every well in 2010, but that it cannot provide data on exactly how many wells it inspected.

New York

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

1

Class 2

532

Class 3

174

Class 4

0

Class 5

30,843

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'082
'093
'102

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

186

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

6

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

703

 

North Carolina

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

3

Class 5

26,658

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 1

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

3

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

87

 

North Dakota

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

4

Class 2

1,023

Class 3

1

Class 4

0

Class 5

571

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'101

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'094
'105

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'099
'106

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

43

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

26

Note: While it appears that North Dakota inspected more wells than exist in 2010, the state tells ProPublica that the difference reflects a change in the total number of injection wells between the time that their reports were submitted to the EPA (based ona fiscal year ending Sept. 30), and the time the EPA calculated its total well inventory figures (based on the calendar year). North Dakota says that it inspected 100% of its class 2 wells in 2010.

Ohio

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

10

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

2,455

Class 3

54

Class 4

0

Class 5

22,461

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'0810
'0912
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'094
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'083
'099
'104

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 3

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

108

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

6

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

299

Note: Ohio's Department of Natural Resources tells ProPublica that only about 380 active disposal wells in the state and that the rest of the wells counted in the EPA inventory reflect "annular disposal" wells -- a different type of disposal well -- which are not currently in use. The state says that it inspects all of its active disposal well once ever 12 weeks, with periodic inspections for the others.

Oklahoma

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

6

Class 2

10,629

Class 3

2

Class 4

2

Class 5

1,928

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'081
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'0869
'0973
'1059

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'0848
'0950
'1040

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 7
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

9

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

1

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

312

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

7,879

 

Oregon

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

9

Class 3

0

Class 4

7

Class 5

37,015

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

0

Note: The Environmental Protection Agency did not include any of Oregon's reporting forms in its FOIA response.

Pennsylvania

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

1,861

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

14,353

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'0834
'0933
'1028

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

3

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

198

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

234

 

Rhode Island

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

1,470

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

22

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

61

 

South Carolina

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

10,739

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

0

 

South Dakota

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

87

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

271

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'093
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

2

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

23

Note: 2010 reporting information for South Dakota's Class 2 injection well program was not included in FOIA response materials provided by the Environmental Protection Agency

Tennessee

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

18

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

1,735

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

1

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

0

Note: The Environmental Protection Agency did not include 2008 injection program information for Tennessee. Reporting forms for 2009 and 2010 were not complete and reflected only a handful of inspections conducted.

Texas

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

58

Class 1
Other

50

Class 2

52,016

Class 3

6,075

Class 4

4

Class 5

32,594

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'083,151
'093,640
'106,105

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 1
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

51

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

1,101

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

4,024

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

36,653

Note: Texas' Railroad Commission, the state oil and gas regulatory agency, did not break down which of its Class 2 wells are used for disposal and which are used to help produce oil and gas, as is required by the Environmental Protection Agency. Instead, the state combined all of its 52,016 class 2 wells into the single category of "enhanced production."

Utah

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

428

Class 3

16

Class 4

8

Class 5

5,346

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'083
'090
'102

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'081
'091
'103

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 1

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

1

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

10

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

5

Note: TThe statistics show that Utah inspected more wells than existed in the state in 2010 according to the EPA's inventory. Utah's Division of Oil, Gas and Mining tells ProPublica that it counted inspections performed on wells on tribal lands in the state, even though those wells are not technically in the state's regulatory jurisdiction and were likely also inspected by the EPA. Utah also says that it may have mis-reported total inspections, as opposed to the total number of wells inspected, to the EPA. The state was unable to clarify exactly how many unique wells it inspected in 2010.

Vermont

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

1,823

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

41

 

Virginia

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

11

Class 3

6

Class 4

0

Class 5

12,320

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'091
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

1

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

8

 

Washington

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

1

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

34,649

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

0

Note: The Environmental Protection Agency did not include any of Washington's reporting forms in its FOIA response

West Virginia

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

779

Class 3

21

Class 4

0

Class 5

4,015

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'0840
'092
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'0819
'0922
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

1

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

1

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

7

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

620

Note: The Environmental Protection Agency did not provide 2010 reporting information for West Virginia's injection program in its FOIA response.

Wisconsin

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

0

Class 2

0

Class 3

0

Class 4

0

Class 5

1,662

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'100

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'100

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 0

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

0

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

0

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

66

 

Wyoming

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

0

Class 1
Other

41

Class 2

4,978

Class 3

10,552

Class 4

0

Class 5

1,961

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'080
'091
'101

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'080
'090
'1012

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'080
'090
'102

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 0
Other wells: 2

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

2

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

0

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

253

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

522

Note: The Environmental Protection Agency did not received 2008 or 2009 Class 2 Regulatory information from the State of Wyoming. The Agency did not clarify whether it had followed up with the state for the information.

All States

Number of Underground Injection Wells, 2010

Well Class Types

Class 1 HW: Handles the most dangerous liquid waste in the U.S., is the most stringently regulated and is among the deepest injection wells, often placing waste more than 1 to 2 miles underground.

Class 1 Other: Stringently regulated and receives waste from industries besides oil and gas, as well as some municipal waste. Its contents are generally less dangerous and are defined by law as "non-hazardous" compared to wells labeled as "HW."

Class 2: Includes wells where fluid is injected to "enhance" recovery of oil and gas and wells used exclusively for the disposal of oil and gas-related waste. Enhanced recovery wells make up roughly 80 percent of class 2 wells.

Class 3: Handles solution mining, where water or other fluid is injected underground to dissolve salt, for example, or to help mine uranium, and then harvested again as a liquid containing the resource in solution.

Class 4: Banned in 1984. Originally handled the hazardous wastes that were injected into shallow rock formations near to, or containing, drinking water aquifers. Some class 4 wells still exist as parts of government-run groundwater clean-up plans.

Class 5: The catch-all category for almost everything else that is injected underground. Viewed by the EPA as a substantial risk to water supplies.

Class 1
HW

113

Class 1
Other

537

Class 2

150,851

Class 3

21,368

Class 4

24

Class 5

507,275

Mechanical Integrity Violations

Mechanical Integrity Violation

Mechanical Integrity testing, or MIT, is the primary way of checking the condition of injection wells. All Class 1 and Class 2 deep injection wells are required to be tested regularly, often by pressurizing the well and waiting to see if any of the pressure escapes, indicating a crack in one of the well's layers. Regulators say most violations indicate a small problem that, caught early, prevents a larger failure in the future. But some failures noted in federal records do describe "significant"leaks and migration of waste.

Class 1

'0813
'0922
'1011

Class 2 Enhanced Recovery

'084,021
'094,586
'106,958

Class 2 Salt Water Disposal

'08601
'09412
'10546

Cases of Water Contamination, 2008-2010

Water Contamination

In the reports each state submits to the EPA annually, they list the number of cases where an underground source of drinking water was believed to have been polluted as a result of leaking injection wells.

Class 2 Wells: 22
Other wells: 77

Cases of Unauthorized Injection, 2008-2010

Unauthorized Injection

Basically illegal dumping, EPA officials describe this as the most serious of all violations. It means waste was dumped into a well without a permit or without being legally approved for a certain location. State regulators say most violations are for bad paperwork, but in some cases, oil and gas companies have dumped dangerous waste meant for Class 1 wells into Class 2 wells to avoid fees and tighter regulations.

859

Cases of Over Pressurized Injection, 2008-2010

Over Pressurized Injection

When waste is injected at higher pressure than is allowed on an injection well permit, it can either break out of the well or fracture the rock underground, creating new pathways for that waste to migrate into, and pollute, water supplies. A violation means that the pressure caused waste to move outside of its intended zone and endanger drinking water.

1,199

Test Failures for Significant Leaks, 2008-2010

Test Failures for Significant Leaks

This means that a well failed a mechanical integrity test and "caused the movement of fluids outside of the authorized zone," because either its cement or steel structure, or the tubing that lines the inside of the well, had a crack.

6,723

Total Wells With Violations, 2008-2010

Total Wells With Violations

There are lots of rules, big and small, and this represents the total number of times an injection well operator was cited by regulators for breaking them. It includes major issues such as leaks and dumping, as well as minor issues, such as poor recordkeeping.

60,467

 

Note: These numbers may vary slightly from data kept by state agencies, in part because each state may define well types or active status differently. The EPA requires that state agencies submit this information to comply with federal injection law, but there were some inconsistencies in the data from state to state. A few states, for example, told the EPA the total number of inspections they conducted instead of the total number of wells they inspected. Some states left sections blank or provided less detail than they were asked to supply.