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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 25. Department Of Mines, Minerals And Energy
Chapter 150. Virginia Gas and Oil Regulation
9/22/2021

4VAC25-150-420. Disposal of pit and produced fluids.

A. Applicability. All fluids from a well, pipeline or corehole shall be handled in a properly constructed pit, tank or other type of container approved by the director.

A permittee shall not dispose of fluids from a well, pipeline or corehole until the director has approved the permittee's plan for permanent disposal of the fluids. Temporary storage of pit or produced fluids is allowed with the approval of the director. Other fluids shall be disposed of in accordance with the operations plan approved by the director.

B. Application and plan. The permittee shall submit an application for either on-site or off-site permanent disposal of fluids on a form prescribed by the director. Maps and a narrative describing the method to be used for permanent disposal of fluids must accompany the application if the permittee proposes to land apply any fluids on the permitted site. The application, maps, and narrative shall become part of the permittee's operations plan.

C. Removal of free fluids. Fluids shall be removed from the pit to the extent practical so as to leave no free fluids. In the event that there are no free fluids for removal, the permittee shall report this on the form provided by the director.

D. On-site disposal. The following standards for on-site land application of fluids shall be met:

1. Fluids to be land-applied shall meet the parameters listed in the Department of Environmental Quality's "Ground water criteria," (9VAC25-280-70), following criteria:

Acidity: <alkalinity

Alkalinity: >acidity

Chlorides: <5,000 mg/l

Iron: <7 mg/l

Manganese: <4 mg/l

Oil and Grease: < 15 mg/l

pH: 6-9 Standard Units

Sodium Balance: SAR of 8-12

2. Land application of fluids shall be confined to the permitted area.

3. Fluids shall be applied in a manner which will not cause erosion or runoff. The permittee shall take into account site conditions such as slope, soils and vegetation when determining the rate and volume of land application on each site. As part of the application narrative, the permittee shall show the calculations used to determine the maximum rate of application for each site.

4. Fluid application shall not be conducted when the ground is saturated, snow-covered or frozen.

5. The following buffer zones shall be maintained unless a variance has been granted by the director:

a. Fluid shall not be applied closer than 25 feet from highways or property lines not included in the acreage shown in the permit.

b. Fluid shall not be applied closer than 50 feet from surface watercourses, wetlands, natural rock outcrops, or sinkholes.

c. Fluid shall not be applied closer than 100 feet from water supply wells or springs.

6. The permittee shall monitor vegetation for two years after the last fluid has been applied to a site. If any adverse effects are found, the permittee shall report the adverse effects in writing to the division.

7. The director may require monitoring of groundwater quality on sites used for land application of fluids to determine if the groundwater has been degraded.

E. Off-site disposal of fluids.

1. Each permittee using an off-site facility for disposal of fluids shall submit:

a. A copy of a valid permit for the disposal facility to be used; and

b. Documentation that the facility will accept the fluids.

2. Each permittee using an off-site facility for disposal of fluids shall use a waste-tracking system to document the movement of fluids off of a permitted site to their final disposition. Records compiled by this system shall be reported to the division annually and available for inspection on request. Such records shall be retained until such time the injection well is reclaimed and has passed bond release.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-361.27 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-05-22.1 § 1.42, eff. September 25, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 2, eff. November 11, 1998; Volume 29, Issue 3, eff. November 8, 2012; Volume 30, Issue 1, eff. October 10, 2013.

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