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Summary of the SB 1493 UIC Report for 2022-2023 (SB1493)

Overview

The SB 1493 UIC (Underground Injection Control) Report for 2022-2023, prepared by the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM), covers the period from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023. It provides insights into the UIC program's operations, including project approvals, enforcement actions, staffing, and state and federal regulations compliance. 


Key Points from the Report


  1. UIC Project Approvals 

  • Total Approvals: 8 Class II UIC projects were approved.

  • Review Time: The average project review time decreased to 764 days from 971 days in the previous period.

  • District Breakdown: 6 projects were approved in the Southern District (Los Angeles and Orange counties), and 2 in the Central District (Kern County).

  1. Pending Applications 

  • Monthly Average: 102 UIC project applications were pending on average each month.

  • Over One Year: 95 out of 102 pending applications were pending for over one year as of March 31, 2023.

  1. Aquifer Exemptions (AE) 

  • Pending AE Packages: 15 pending AE packages, with no approvals from the US EPA during the reporting period.

  • Notable Submissions: Two AE proposals were submitted to the US EPA – Holser and Lompoc.

  1. Enforcement Actions 

  • Total Violations: 42 UIC-related violations were identified.

  • Enforcement Actions: 16 enforcement actions were taken to address these violations.

  • Well Shut-ins: 156 wells were shut in, including one voluntary relinquishment and 155 due to regulatory circumstances.

  1. Staffing 

  • CalGEM UIC Staffing: Approximately 74 full-time equivalent (FTE) UIC staff with 11 vacancies.

  • Water Boards Staffing: 28 FTE staff positions with 4 vacancies.

  1. Program Administration and Compliance

  • Compliance Reviews: 50 UIC projects completed internal reviews and await input from the Water Boards.

  • Unreviewed Projects: 573 projects have not yet been reviewed for compliance with current statutes and regulations.

  1. Regulatory and Legislative Updates

  • The report includes updates on any state or federal legislation, administrative, or rulemaking changes affecting the UIC program.

  1. Additional Information 

  • Average Review Time by CalGEM and Water Boards: CalGEM took an average of 685 days to review, while the Water Boards took an average of 79 days.

  • Contact Information: The report directs readers to the CalGEM website and the Public Transparency Office for more details and inquiries.


Conclusion

The report highlights a significant reduction in the average review time for UIC project approvals and ongoing efforts to address compliance with updated regulations. It also underscores the challenges of managing many pending applications and ensuring timely enforcement actions to maintain the integrity of California's UIC program.


For more information, contact Sean Wallentine.



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