Underground Injection Control

Underground Injection Control Class VI Primacy Update

In 2022, the Utah Legislature passed House Bill 244, creating a framework for the Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining (OGM) to begin obtaining primacy, or primary enforcement responsibilities, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish an Underground Injection Control (UIC) program. Primacy would give OGM regulatory oversight of the permitting, construction, operation, compliance and closure of class VI carbon sequestration wells on all lands except tribal, which the EPA currently regulates.

Carbon sequestration wells are engineered structures that inject carbon dioxide (CO2) underground for long-term storage. Once the CO2 is injected, it is securely trapped by impermeable rock layers.

The EPA developed the UIC program to protect underground drinking water sources as the Safe Drinking Water Act requires. There are six different classes of UIC wells. In 1982, OGM acquired primacy for Class II wells, which are used explicitly for injecting fluids associated with oil and natural gas production. It continues to maintain a successful program. UIC well classes I, III, and V are under the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) primacy.


OGM and its consultant are developing a primacy application package to submit to the EPA. The package includes state regulations, a quality assurance project plan, a detailed program description, and draft rules to demonstrate that Utah’s rules will be as stringent as the federal rules, a key requirement for receiving primacy.  

Once the application is complete, staff will present the proposed program rules and logistics to the Board of Oil, Gas and Mining for approval before applying to the EPA for final primacy approval. This time-intensive process is anticipated to take several years before approval is given. 

For additional information, contact UIC Program Manager Richard Powell at 435-790-6145 or richardpowell@utah.gov.