Underground Injection Control Program National Technical Workgroup Charter
UNDERGROUND INJECTION CONTROL PROGRAM TECHNICAL WORKGROUP
The Underground Injection Control (UIC) Technical Workgroup provides a forum, whereby technical issues, relating specifically to the UIC Program, can be discussed, reviewed and resolved by UIC program experts. The workgroup provides an avenue for open dialogue, communication and coordination, both internally within EPA and externally with states, industry, environmental organizations and the public concerning technical matters related to underground injection. The workgroup will at times be engaged in the development of technical and program guidance but it is not a formal policy or rule-making body.
The workgroup will strive to promote consistent implementation of the UIC program by providing for open communication in the exchange of technical and programmatic information and ideas. The workgroup envisions a process where both existing and potential technical problems are identified and solutions for those problems are developed. These solutions will be developed in a sound scientific manner through the involvement of the workgroup and any interested or affected parties. This process will foster the continued education of and by the workgroup members through open communication and the exchange of technical and programmatic information. This should result in more consistency in the implementation of the UIC program.
Goals and Objectives
It is the intent of the workgroup to foster the following UIC program goals and objectives:
- Promote UIC program consistency.
- Respond to directives from management on programmatic issues as well as communicate to management important issues and technical concerns.
- Provide a forum for the exchange and sharing of technical information and ideas.
- Promote sound scientific decision making and assist in providing a mechanism to enhance its development.
- The workgroup will be available to offer peer review to others and workgroup products will be peer reviewed in accordance with Agency peer review procedures.
- Demonstrate and promote the importance and value of the UIC program to the public.
- Produce and ensure the high quality of work products.
- Continue to foster the development of State, EPA Regional and EPA Headquarters technical expertise.
- Provide an avenue for open dialogue, education, communication and coordination, both internally within EPA and externally with states, industry, environmental organizations and the public.
- Communicate events and issues which develop in the Regions and States and, when requested, provide information and assistance to the Regions and States in matters regarding UIC technical and programmatic issues.
- Assist in the development of future regulatory revisions, clarifications and technical guidances.
- Review, develop and recommend effective mechanical integrity testing (MIT) alternatives.
- Develop an awareness of, and educate one another about, global UIC programmatic issues.
- Be proactive, anticipate issues, and help resolve them before they become a problem.
General Operating Procedures
Workgroup membership will consist of EPA Regional and Headquarters UIC experts who have been selected by their respective branch or section chief to participate. Each Region will designate a lead workgroup representative. After consultation with their Regional management, this person will be accountable for their Region's responsibilities in workgroup activities and will express their Region's position on issues that need resolution. In addition, up to four Primacy State representatives will be selected by EPA UIC management to participate on the workgroup. Each participating Region, and the Ground Water Protection Council, may nominate individuals from UIC Primacy States for membership and existing EPA workgroup members will evaluate the Regions' nominations and make recommendations to EPA UIC management, who will make the final selection of the Primacy State representatives.
The final selections will be based on both geographic diversity and diversity in expertise with shallow and/or deep wells. All workgroup representatives, both EPA and State, will serve a two-year term with the possibility of their term being renewed. As necessary, the workgroup will invite EPA Laboratory, industry, environmental consultants, other state and environmental organization experts to participate with and advise the workgroup on UIC issues of concern.
The workgroup will elect from its EPA membership a Chair and Co-chair. The Co-chair will assume the position of Chair each succeeding year, therefore, a two-year commitment is required. A Co-chair will be elected each year. The Chair and Co-chair will act as spokespersons for the workgroup and communicate to interested customers the ongoing activities of the workgroup. The Chair and Co-chair will also be responsible for gathering relevant issues from each of the workgroup members as they develop, summarizing as well as disseminating information to the workgroup and act as facilitators for group meetings.
The workgroup will conduct as much of its business as is practical through monthly conference calls therefore each workgroup member must be committed to participating in these calls. The calls will generally be scheduled for the third Wednesday of each month. The responsibility for arranging these calls will be rotated between participating Regions, Headquarters, and States. Any State that is hosting a call can coordinate with their Region to arrange a conference call setup through the EPA teleconferencing system. The workgroup member responsible for arranging the monthly call will also develop an agenda for that call and summarize and distribute the minutes at the conclusion of the call. It is also anticipated that up to two national workgroup meetings per year will be necessary and each participating Region, Headquarters or State will be expected to participate. When possible, these meetings will be coordinated with other previously scheduled national meetings that workgroup members are likely to attend. This will permit the workgroup to meet and communicate, as necessary, with other groups involved in underground injection control practices and issues.
To the extent that the workload before the workgroup allows, information provided to the workgroup for review will be reviewed and comments provided within a two-week time frame. Workgroup comments on all issues will be sent to the workgroup Chair or Co-chair for summary and disseminated back to the workgroup for final review and approval. The workgroup will try to come to conclusion on an issue as soon as possible, however, this will largely be dependent upon the issue before the group. Each State, EPA Regional and Headquarters member will be responsible for bringing any pertinent issue(s) generated within their respective State, Region or Headquarters to the attention of the workgroup Chair. It will also be the responsibility of each workgroup member to act as champion for any issue they bring before the workgroup. All final work products, however, will be the responsibility of the workgroup as a whole. The workgroup will be responsible for disseminating the final product or recommendation involving non-policy issues to States and others as necessary. Prior to general release of the work product, it will be sent to EPA Headquarters and EPA Regional program managers. However, any work products involving policy issues, which the workgroup completes at the request of EPA management, will be submitted for final EPA management review before official dissemination.
EPA management will provide direction on products or issues the workgroup plans to discuss. In order for this to proceed as expeditiously as possible, the workgroup will prepare a list for review and discussion at the annual EPA Branch Chief's meeting. Management will then provide direction to the workgroup regarding these products or issues, and also indicate management's future level of involvement with these products or issues as they are developed or discussed. During the year, should the workgroup be presented with additional issues, they will raise them to EPA management for their input.
It is anticipated that the business of the Workgroup will be conducted as much as possible through "general consensus." Issues which can not be resolved internally will be raised through EPA management. The Workgroup will provide options for resolution with pros and cons for management's consideration.