What Differentiates Safe and Unsafe Injection Wells? USEPA

November 29, 2023

SCS Engineers Environmental Outreach and Education USEPA
Outreach with all stakeholders, including community organizations, regulatory agencies, the public, and local environmental advocacy groups, about well-installation plans and the science behind them leads to smoother-running projects.


Since the 1980s, the USEPA and state regulatory agencies have made great strides to regulate wells and have a robust list of requirements that industrial, municipal, commercial, and manufacturing applicants must adhere to for installing and operating a deep injection well.

Despite the regulations, many communities fear injection wells, and who can blame them? Cutting through the misinformation and online “studies” makes understanding the facts and science difficult. The myriad of groundwater concerns making headlines can become overwhelming. This video, by our team of environmental and injection well experts, takes you through the critical elements and regulations when considering injection wells. And how they help create a safe well site acceptable to regulatory authorities, communities, and industry.

Kokil BansalOur presenter is Kokil Bansal, a licensed professional engineer with experience in landfill redevelopment site assessments, geologic sequestration, wastewater permitting, and advising her clients on proven sustainability practices. She holds a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s in Environmental Engineering. Ms. Bansal works on the SCS Engineers’ team of licensed engineers, geologists, hydrogeologists, and scientists dedicated to safe and sustainable environmental solutions for industry.

Ms. Bansal reviews the significance of the following factors for a USEPA “safe” deep injection well:

  1. Federal, State, and Local Regulations.
  2. The makeup of the potential sites’ rock formation (geology) and the relationship with the local and regional aquifers (hydrology). How geologists and hydrogeologists determine if there is a risk of induced seismicity from the injection well or any potential for groundwater pollution.
  3. Economic considerations and financial assurance for the design, implementation, and long-term operations and monitoring.
  4. Community engagement – explain and support with science every step taken to protect drinking water sources and cover any other potential environmental issues of concern. While Ms. Bansal covers engagement last, this should be a priority for everyone’s benefit. As she notes below:

Number one is proactive engagement; it is critical to talk to all stakeholders, including community organizations, the public, and local environmental advocacy groups, about the well installation plan covering the ‘how and where.’ Early involvement in the process leads to a better understanding of the benefits and factors you, as an applicant and local business, are implementing for the public. ~ Kokil Bansal


Watch the short video What Differentiates Safe and Unsafe Injection Wells? USEPA


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Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am