|(a) General operating requirements.
(1) A maximum allowable operating pressure and test
pressure shall not exceed 0.8 pounds per square inch per foot of depth
measured at the higher elevation of either the long string casing
seat or the highest interior elevation of the cavern roof, but in
no case shall it disrupt the bond between the salt, cement, and the
casing seat, initiate new fractures or propagate existing fractures
in the cavern or the confining zone, or cause movement of fluid or
waste out of the injection zone.
(2) A minimum operating pressure that is protective
of bedded salt cavern integrity shall be maintained.
(3) Injection between the outermost casing protecting
underground sources of drinking water (USDWs), and fresh or surface
water and the wellbore is prohibited.
(4) Unless an alternative to a packer has been approved
under §331.243(e) of this title (relating to Bedded Salt Cavern
Disposal Well Construction Standards), the annulus between the tubing
and long string casing shall be filled with a noncorrosive fluid approved
by the commission. The annulus pressure, at all times that the well
is in service, shall be at least 100 pounds per square inch greater
than the injection tubing pressure, to detect well malfunctions, unless
the executive director determines that such a requirement might harm
the integrity of the well.
(5) Chemical and physical characteristics of all injected
materials and cavern contents shall protect and be compatible with
the disposal well, associated facilities, and injection zone, and
shall ensure proper operation of the facility to meet the performance
standard of §331.242 of this title (relating to Bedded Salt Cavern
Disposal Well Performance Standard and Siting Requirements).
(6) All injection of waste into a bedded salt cavern
shall be performed through removable tubing(s) with a packer or fluid
seal to seal the annulus between the outer tubing and long string
casing, near the bottom of the long string casing.
(7) Unauthorized releases of cavern contents to the
atmosphere are prohibited.
(8) Before beginning waste disposal operations, a blanket
(A) be placed into the salt cavern to prevent unwanted
leaching of the cavern roof;
(B) consist of crude oil, mineral oil, or other fluid
possessing similar noncorrosive, nonsoluble, low-density properties;
(C) be sufficient to protect the integrity of the cement
and formation bond at the long string casing seat; and
(D) be of sufficient volume to contact the entire cavern
(9) The cavern roof and level of the blanket material
shall be monitored at least once every five years by running a density
interface survey or using an alternative method.
(10) If an automatic alarm or shutdown is triggered,
the owner or operator shall immediately investigate and identify as
expeditiously as possible the cause of the alarm or shutoff. If, upon
such investigation, the well or cavern appears to be lacking integrity,
or if monitoring required under §331.246(c) of this title (relating
to Bedded Salt Cavern and Well Monitoring and Testing Requirements)
otherwise indicates that the well or cavern lacks integrity, the owner
or operator shall:
(A) immediately cease injection of waste unless authorized
by the executive director to continue or resume injection;
(B) take all necessary steps to determine the presence
or absence of a leak; and
(C) notify the executive director within 24 hours after
the alarm or shutdown.
(11) If the loss of integrity is discovered under paragraph
(4) of this subsection or during periodic integrity testing, or if
unauthorized communication is established between bedded salt caverns,
the owner or operator shall:
(A) immediately cease injection of waste;
(B) take all steps required to determine whether there
may have been a release of wastes into any unauthorized zone;
(C) notify the executive director within 24 hours after
loss of mechanical integrity is discovered;
(D) notify the executive director when injection can
be expected to resume; and
(E) restore and demonstrate well mechanical integrity
and/or cavern integrity before resuming injection of waste.
(12) Whenever the owner or operator obtains evidence
that there may have been a release of injected wastes or brine into
an unauthorized zone:
(A) the owner or operator shall immediately cease injection
of waste, and:
(i) notify the executive director within 24 hours of
obtaining such evidence;
(ii) take all necessary steps to identify and characterize
the extent of any release;
(iii) propose a remediation plan for executive director
review and approval;
(iv) comply with any remediation plan specified by
the executive director;
(v) implement any remediation plan approved by the
executive director; and
(vi) where such release is into a USDW or freshwater
aquifer currently serving as a water supply, within 24 hours notify
the local health department, place a notice in a newspaper of general
circulation and notify by mail the adjacent landowners.
(B) The executive director may allow the operator to
resume injection before completing cleanup action if the owner or
operator demonstrates that the injection operation will not endanger
USDWs or freshwater aquifers.
(13) All fluids displaced from the cavern after injection
of any waste shall be managed under applicable state and federal regulations.
(1) The permittee shall notify the executive director
before commencing any workover operation or corrective maintenance
which involves taking the disposal well out of service. The notification
shall be in writing and shall include plans for the proposed work.
The executive director may grant an exception of the prior written
notification when immediate action is required. Approval by the executive
director shall be obtained before the permittee may begin any workover
operation or corrective maintenance that involves taking the well
out of service. Pressure control equipment shall be installed and
maintained during workovers which involve the removal of tubing.
(2) Mechanical integrity of the well shall be demonstrated
following any major operations which involve removal of the injection
tubing, recompletions, or unseating of the packer.