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In re West Bay Exploration Co.

Case Number:UIC Appeal No. 15-03
ELR Citation:47 ELR 41391

Mr. Peter Bormuth petitions for review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5’s decision to issue a permit for the underground injection of waste in Jackson County, Michigan. Region 5 granted the permit to the West Bay Exploration Company under the Underground Injection Control Program, Part C of the Safe Drinking Water Act (“SWDA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 300h - 300h-8. Mr. Bormuth argues that Region 5 is mistaken in its claim that several geological formations will confine the injected waste. He also claims that the record compiled by the Region does not support its decision to grant the permit and that the Region did not address his comments.

HELD: The Board concludes that it is unclear from the administrative record whether Region 5 exercised its considered judgment in evaluating the potential confining layers at the proposed wellsite. The record also does not show that Region 5 duly considered and meaningfully responded to Mr. Bormuth’s comments on the potential confining layers. Accordingly, the Board remands the permit.