California's Underground Injection Program is a Mess, See For Yourself...

California has a big problem with their underground injection control (UIC) program. For brevity purposes, I'm not going to dive into too much background information as my friend and colleague at NRDC, Briana Mordick, has posted details about issues with the program history, the lack of information available, lack of communication between State and Federal regulators, the types of potential chemicals being injected, and well shutdowns: here, here, and here.

This blog post is intended to show the public where these injection wells are located and provide information about these individual wells. The interactive map below is intended to allow the public, elected officials, and other concerned stakeholders to identify the locations of these wells and locations where shutdowns are occurring.

About the map: It's fully interactive: I encourage readers to scroll, zoom-in and out, and click on various wells to find out more information. I've also added an option to toggle to imagery (bottom left) and a legend (the two right 'carrots' in the top left of the map). Also note: When wells are in close proximity, the 'pop-up' window will grab adjacent well information. This will be identified by, for example, with (1 of #) shown in the top left of the 'pop-up' window. Click the right facing arrow in the top-right of the 'pop-up' window to scroll through nearby well's information. Note: A lot of data was absent from the database, and in some instances 'no-data' has been represented with 0 value.

Data Disclaimer: The data is based on database information provided by the California Department of Conservation. About the database, they state "The database information may change without notice. The Department of Conservation makes no warranties, whether expressed or implied, as to the suitability of the product for any particular purpose. Any use of this information is at the user's own risk." This publically available data was taken from "List of Permitted Wells Sent to EPA" joined with the "All Well" database. Please visit the Department of Conservations website for information about further limitations with data and accuracy.

The State, in coordination with the EPA, is currently reviewing detailed information about these wells and potentially notifying any local or county water control boards about threats to private water wells. The situation in California is dynamic, and when more/better information becomes available, I'll update the map accordingly. Stay tuned.



About the Authors

Lance Larson

Science Center Fellow, Water, Nuclear, and Lands & Wildlife programs

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