The Aquifer Injection Modeling (AIM) Toolbox software was developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide a collection of analytical solutions suitable for evaluating the potential extent of an area impacted by subsurface injection operations.
Subsurface injection operations are regulated under EPA’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) program and are typically related to oil/gas development, waste disposal, or subsurface mining or storage. Each of the analytical algorithms provided in the AIM Toolbox have different approaches, assumptions, and/or focus with respect to the nature and processes in the subsurface and the nature of the injection operations. Collectively, the set of analysis algorithms provides a broader evaluation of the area that can potentially be impacted by an injection operation. By providing estimates for the injectate plume extent, the software supports technical aspects of planning, evaluation, and overseeing injection activities. That is, the results help assess when further regulatory controls (e.g., monitoring, reporting) may be required and, in the case of proposed disposal activities into an underground source of drinking water, the extent of the impacted area that would require exemption from protection under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The AIM Toolbox software is available as a single-page web application, providing an interface for necessary inputs and visualization of results in both chart and map panes.
Chris Johnson, Senior Development Engineer
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Wendy Cheung, Engineer
U.S. EPA Region 8