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Description of Underground Injection Wells Class I Underground Injection Wells

Class I underground injection wells, of which there are 523 in the United States, are exempt from any bans related to the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments to the RCRA if it can be demonstrated that the hazardous constituents of the waste will not migrate underground from the disposal site for 10,000 years or longer or until the wastewater becomes non-hazardous. The fluids for disposal are injected into brine-saturated formations thousands of feet below the surface. However, the Class I wells may range from 1700 to 10,000 feet beneath the surface of the Earth. The area must be geologically stable and free of fractures or faults which would allow the contaminated fluid to enter the groundwater supply. These wells have a multilayer construction with redundant features and are constructed of corrosion-resistant material. The wells are under constant pressure and continuously monitored to determine if the system is working. According to the EPA, the current Class I wells are protected adequately and will not cause health problems for the human population or damage the environment.

 
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