Environmental Permits Handbook
Underground Injection Control Permit
Anyone who discharges industrial/commercial wastes into a subsurface system other than city sewers or who discharges stormwater to an improved sinkhole is required to submit an underground injection control (UIC) application to the Tennessee Division of Water Supply (DWS), Ground Water Management Section.
The operation of a single family domestic waste disposal system requires a construction permit from the Divison of Groundwater Protection and does not require a UIC permit. The operation of facilities injecting natural gas for the purpose of storage requires an EPA Class II injection well permit. EPA and the State classify well injections as I (deep well industrial), II (oilfield brine), III (mineral extraction), IV (hazardous waste) and V (shallow, non-hazardous). Tennesee permits Class I and V wells. Class IV wells are illegal. Class II wells are handled by EPA, and there are no Class III wells in Tennessee.
Anyone interested in a Class I well should contact the Division of Water Supply for application information. Class V applicants must submit the following items before commencement of construction or modification of an injection well:
When a Class V application is received, the Division will review it for completeness and notify the applicant of any deficiencies. Class V wells generally are authorized by reference in the Tennessee "Rules for Underground Injection Control." In this case, the applications are reviewed within two (2) to four (4) weeks. If the proposed project is complex, the Division will issue a permit rather than an authorization. A permit may take up to six (6) months to process.
There are fees for Class V injection wells. (.pdf format)
The applicant may proceed with the approved activities as stated in the permit and the rules. The permit/authorization is not transferable, but modifications can be made. In the case of a denial, the applicant has 30 days to file a petition with the Water Quality Control Board.
Applicants are responsible for meeting the operational requirements and conditions stated in the permit and in the rules. These include, but are not limited to, construction standards, operating requirements, monitoring, submittal of quarterly monitoring reports and other requirements as stated in the rule.
The Division has the right to inspect a facility annually or as deemed necessary. The Division has the right to revoke or suspend a permit for noncompliance of any standards, limitations or other requirements. Violators are subject to civil penalties up to $10,000 per day.
Applicants may obtain applications and information from the Tennessee Division of Water Supply, Ground Water Management Section, Underground Injection Control Program. New applicants who need more than one permit can contact their regional Environmental Coordinator for further assistance.
Applicants may refer to the following publications for further information:
TDEC Rule Chapter 1200- 4-6: Underground Injection Control
TCA § 69-3-101 et seq.: The Water Quality Control Act of 1977, as amended