The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is soliciting public comments on its proposal to issue a federal Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class I Non-hazardous Industrial Waste Disposal Well Permit to McKittrick Limited (McKittrick or Permittee) to continue operating one (1) injection well, known as McKittrick WD-1. The well is located in Section 13, Township 30 South, Range 21 East, in Kern County, California.
The UIC Class I Permit, if issued, would authorize injection of non-hazardous waste waters generated from the McKittrick power plant and from any of seven (7) additional power plants, all owned by Western Generation Partners – Redwood Holdings, LLC in the Central Valley of California, for a ten (10) year period. Injection in McKittrick WD-1 will be permitted into the Stevens Sand, at depths ranging between 3,455 and 3,573 feet below ground surface.
McKittrick WD-1 has been permitted as a Class II injection well by the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) since 1991 because McKittrick power plant provided a byproduct of steam to assist nearby oil producers in the recovery of heavy oil. However, steam sharing with oil recovery operations has decreased and is expected to cease in the future. Given this transition of operations, EPA and DOGGR agreed that McKittrick WD-1 should no longer be regulated as a UIC Class II injection well. EPA, as the permitting authority for the Class I UIC program in California, required McKittrick to seek authorization to reclassify McKittrick WD-1 as a Class I non-hazardous injection well. After completing a thorough technical review of all information submitted by McKittrick in their permit application, as well as the operational standards, monitoring requirements, and existing geologic setting, EPA believes the activities allowed under the Draft UIC Class I Permit (Draft Permit) are protective of underground sources of drinking water as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
EPA has made a preliminary determination to issue a UIC Class I Permit to McKittrick 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. DOGGR has indicated that once EPA makes a final determination to issue or deny the UIC Class I permit, DOGGR will revoke McKittrick’s existing Class II permit.
EPA's Draft Permit, Fact Sheet, and public notice are available at the following location:
Beale Memorial Library
701 Truxtun Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93301
EPA's Draft Permit, Fact Sheet, public notice, as well as the permit application prepared by McKittrick are available online and at the following location:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Information Center/Library
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105