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State Regulations: Utah

State of Utah

The Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining in the Utah Department of Natural Resources administers oil and gas regulation in Utah. Otherwise, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) safeguards human health and quality of life by protecting and enhancing the environment.


Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining
1594 West North Temple, Suite 1210
P.O. Box 145801
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-5801
(801) 538-5277 (phone)
(801) 359-3940 (fax)

Utah Department of Environmental Quality
168 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
(801) 536-4400 (phone)

Disposal Practices and Applicable Regulations

Title R649 of the Utah Administrative Code contains the rules administered by the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Minerals: R649-3 (Drilling and Operating Practices), R649-5 (Underground Injection Control of Recovery Operations and Class II Injection Wells), and R649-9 (Waste Management and Disposal). The DEQ administers Utah's environmental rules.

  • Underground Disposal of Drilling Fluids (R649-3-25). The regulation allows injection of reserve pit drilling fluids generally by annular disposal upon completion of drilling. The Division of Oil, Gas and Mining is required to apply the same technical evaluative standards governing approval of an underground injection control disposal well. This would likely include a requirement to limit injection pressures. All approvals are considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • Underground Disposal Wells ( R649-5-2). Class II injection wells must be approved by the Division of Oil, Gas and Minerals. They must be completed, equipped, operated, and maintained in a manner that will prevent pollution and damage to any underground source of drinking water, or other resources, and will confine injected fluids to the interval approved.

  • Disposal Pits ( R649-9-3). Pits must conform to all applicable requirements governing approval, location, design, construction, operation, and maintenance. Commercial disposal pits and pits located off an existing lease must be bonded.

  • Other Disposal Facilities ( R649-9-4). Such facilities for treatment and disposal include landfarming, composting, solidification, and bioremediation. They must be permitted by the Division of Oil, Gas and Mining. All commercial facilities must be bonded. Application requirements include the following:
    • Complete description of proposed facility, processes involved, all waste to be accepted, and products generated.
    • Maps and drawing of suitable scale.
    • Materials or products to be applied to the land surface or subsurface shall meet the Division's cleanup levels for contaminated soil and other wastes.
    • The submission of an application to the DEQ's Division of Water Quality for a discharge permit may be required if it is determined that the facility and associated activity will not have a de minimis actual or potential effect on ground water quality. If the Division determines there is potential for discharge, or if the proposal involves a commercial disposal operation, it will be forwarded to the Division of Water Quality for their review.