The United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, Groundwater Protection Section, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 (EPA) is providing an opportunity for the public to comment on its proposal to issue a Class V Underground Injection Control (UIC) Permit (the Draft Permit) to Elk Hills Power (EHP or the Permittee). EHP owns and operates a power plant that includes three existing injection wells, known as Wells 25A-18G, 35A-18G, and 35-18G at 4026 Skyline Road in the Elk Hills Oil Field, City of Tupman, California (the Facility).
The Draft Permit, if issued, would authorize continued operation of Wells 25A-18G, 35A-18G, and 35-18G for a period of ten years and would re-classify the injection wells as Class V wells. Concurrent with this Draft Permit becoming effective, EHP would withdraw their Class I UIC permit renewal application.
EHP’s non-hazardous wastewater is disposed of in the three permitted injection wells that are located about four miles south of the Facility. The injection fluid consists of turbine wash wastewater, cooling tower blowdown wastewater, plant area wash wastewater, reverse osmosis regeneration wastewater, plant and equipment drains wastewater, filter backwash wastewater, and non-oil-contaminated storm runoff wastewater.
If the Draft Permit is issued, EHP would have continued authorization to inject into the Upper Tulare Formation at depths ranging between approximately 650 and 1,800 feet below ground surface. EHP’s injection volume averages from 72 to 212 gallons per minute or 2,480 to 7,269 barrels per day.
EPA has made a preliminary determination to issue the Draft Permit to EHP pending this public notice. This action is being taken as provided by Part C of the SDWA and pursuant to Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 124, 144, 146, and 147.
All data submitted by the applicant is available as part of the administrative record for the Draft Permit. This Notice, EPA’s Fact Sheet, the Draft Permit, EHP’s permit application, and other supporting documents are available for public review online at www.regulations.gov under docket number EPA-R09-OW-2020-0733.
These materials may also be accessed on the EPA website.
If you are unable to access these materials on the internet, please contact Ms. Dermer at the telephone number or email address listed above for assistance.
Final Permit Decision and Appeals Process
After the close of the public comment period, EPA will respond to comments and issue a final permit decision pursuant to 40 CFR §124.15(a) and will notify all commenters regarding the Agency’s decision. The final decision shall be to either issue or deny the permit. If comments are filed which request a change in the Draft Permit, the final decision shall become effective no sooner than 30 days after the service of the notice of decision. Within 30 days after the final permit decision has been issued, any person who filed comments on the Draft Permit, participated in any public hearing on this matter, or takes issue with any changes in the Draft Permit, may petition the Environmental Appeals Board to review any condition of the permit decision. Commenters are referred to 40 CFR §124.19 for procedural requirements of the permit appeal process. If no comments request a change in the Draft Permit, EPA’s final decision shall become effective immediately upon issuance unless a later date is specified in the notice of final decision.