| (42) Non-commercial fluid recycling pit--Pit used in
conjunction with one or more oil or gas leases or units that is constructed,
maintained, and operated by the operator of record of the lease or
unit and is located on an existing commission-designated lease or
drilling unit associated with a commission-issued drilling permit,
or upon land leased or owned by the operator for the purposes of operation
of a non-commercial disposal well operated pursuant to a permit issued
under §3.9 of this title or a non-commercial injection well operated
pursuant to a permit issued under §3.46 of this title, for the
storage of fluid for the purpose of non-commercial fluid recycling
or for the storage of treated fluid.
(43) Recycle--To process and/or use or re-use oil and
gas wastes as a product for which there is a legitimate commercial
use and the actual use of the recyclable product. 'Recycle,' as defined
in this subsection, does not include injection pursuant to a permit
issued under §3.46 of this title.
(44) Treated fluid-Fluid that has been treated using
water treatment technologies to remove impurities such that the treated
fluid can be reused or recycled. Treated fluid is not a waste but
may become a waste if it is abandoned or disposed of rather than reused
(45) Recyclable product--A reusable material as defined
in §4.204(12) of this title (relating to Definitions).
(46) 100-year flood plain--An area that is inundated
by a 100-year flood, which is a flood that has a one percent or greater
chance of occurring in any given year, as determined from maps or
other data from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA),
or, if not mapped by FEMA, from the United States Department of Agriculture
(47) Distilled water--Water that has been purified
by being heated to a vapor form and then condensed into another container
as liquid water that is essentially free of all solutes.
(b) No pollution. No person conducting activities subject
to regulation by the commission may cause or allow pollution of surface
or subsurface water in the state.
(c) Exploratory wells. Any oil, gas, or geothermal
resource well or well drilled for exploratory purposes shall be governed
by the provisions of statewide or field rules which are applicable
and pertain to the drilling, safety, casing, production, abandoning,
and plugging of wells.
(d) Pollution control.
(1) Prohibited disposal methods. Except for those disposal
methods authorized for certain wastes by paragraph (3) of this subsection,
subsection (e) of this section, or §3.98 of this title (relating
to Standards for Management of Hazardous Oil and Gas Waste), or disposal
methods required to be permitted pursuant to §3.9 of this title
(relating to Disposal Wells) (Rule 9) or §3.46 of this title
(relating to Fluid Injection into Productive Reservoirs) (Rule 46),
no person may dispose of any oil and gas wastes by any method without
obtaining a permit to dispose of such wastes. The disposal methods
prohibited by this paragraph include, but are not limited to, the
unpermitted discharge of oil field brines, geothermal resource waters,
or other mineralized waters, or drilling fluids into any watercourse
or drainageway, including any drainage ditch, dry creek, flowing creek,
river, or any other body of surface water.
(2) Prohibited pits. No person may maintain or use
any pit for storage of oil or oil products. Except as authorized by
this subsection, no person may maintain or use any pit for storage
of oil field fluids, or for storage or disposal of oil and gas wastes,
without obtaining a permit to maintain or use the pit. A person is
not required to have a permit to use a pit if a receiver has such
a permit, if the person complies with the terms of such permit while
using the pit, and if the person has permission of the receiver to
use the pit. The pits required by this paragraph to be permitted include,
but are not limited to, the following types of pits: saltwater disposal
pits; emergency saltwater storage pits; collecting pits; skimming
pits; brine pits; brine mining pits; drilling fluid storage pits (other
than mud circulation pits); drilling fluid disposal pits (other than
reserve pits or slush pits); washout pits; and gas plant evaporation/retention
pits. If a person maintains or uses a pit for storage of oil field
fluids, or for storage or disposal of oil and gas wastes, and the
use or maintenance of the pit is neither authorized by this subsection
nor permitted, then the person maintaining or using the pit shall
backfill and compact the pit in the time and manner required by the
director. Prior to backfilling the pit, the person maintaining or
using the pit shall, in a permitted manner or in a manner authorized
by paragraph (3) of this subsection, dispose of all oil and gas wastes
which are in the pit.
(3) Authorized disposal methods.
(A) Fresh water condensate. A person may, without a
permit, dispose of fresh water which has been condensed from natural
gas and collected at gas pipeline drips or gas compressor stations,
provided the disposal is by a method other than disposal into surface
water of the state.
(B) Inert wastes. A person may, without a permit, dispose
of inert and essentially insoluble oil and gas wastes including, but
not limited to, concrete, glass, wood, and wire, provided the disposal
is by a method other than disposal into surface water of the state.
(C) Low chloride drilling fluid. A person may, without
a permit, dispose of the following oil and gas wastes by landfarming,
provided the wastes are disposed of on the same lease where they are
generated, and provided the person has the written permission of the
surface owner of the tract where landfarming will occur: water base
drilling fluids with a chloride concentration of 3,000 milligrams
per liter (mg/liter) or less; drill cuttings, sands, and silts obtained
while using water base drilling fluids with a chloride concentration
of 3,000 mg/liter or less; and wash water used for cleaning drill
pipe and other equipment at the well site.
(D) Other drilling fluid. A person may, without a permit,
dispose of the following oil and gas wastes by burial, provided the
wastes are disposed of at the same well site where they are generated:
water base drilling fluid which had a chloride concentration in excess
of 3,000 mg/liter but which have been dewatered; drill cuttings, sands,
and silts obtained while using oil base drilling fluids or water base
drilling fluids with a chloride concentration in excess of 3,000 mg/liter;
and those drilling fluids and wastes allowed to be landfarmed without
(E) Completion/workover pit wastes. A person may, without
a permit, dispose of the following oil and gas wastes by burial in
a completion/workover pit, provided the wastes have been dewatered,
and provided the wastes are disposed of at the same well site where
they are generated: spent completion fluids, workover fluids, and
the materials cleaned out of the wellbore of a well being completed
or worked over.
(F) Contents of non-commercial fluid recycling pit.
A person may, without a permit, dispose of the solids from a non-commercial
fluid recycling pit by burial in the pit, provided the pit has been
(G) Effect on backfilling. A person's choice to dispose
of a waste by methods authorized by this paragraph shall not extend
the time allowed for backfilling any reserve pit, mud circulation
pit, or completion/workover pit whose use or maintenance is authorized
by paragraph (4) of this subsection.
(4) Authorized pits. A person may, without a permit,
maintain or use reserve pits, mud circulation pits, completion/workover
pits, basic sediment pits, flare pits, fresh makeup water pits, fresh
mining water pits, non-commercial fluid recycling pits, and water
condensate pits on the following conditions.
(A) Reserve pits and mud circulation pits. A person
shall not deposit or cause to be deposited into a reserve pit or mud
circulation pit any oil field fluids or oil and gas wastes, other
than the following:
(i) drilling fluids, whether fresh water base, saltwater
base, or oil base;
(ii) drill cuttings, sands, and silts separated from
the circulating drilling fluids;
(iii) wash water used for cleaning drill pipe and other
equipment at the well site;
(iv) drill stem test fluids; and
(v) blowout preventer test fluids.
(B) Completion/workover pits. A person shall not deposit
or cause to be deposited into a completion/workover pit any oil field
fluids or oil and gas wastes other than spent completion fluids, workover
fluid, and the materials cleaned out of the wellbore of a well being
completed or worked over.
(C) Basic sediment pits. A person shall not deposit
or cause to be deposited into a basic sediment pit any oil field fluids
or oil and gas wastes other than basic sediment removed from a production
vessel or from the bottom of an oil storage tank. Although a person
may store basic sediment in a basic sediment pit, a person may not
deposit oil or free saltwater in the pit. The total capacity of a
basic sediment pit shall not exceed a capacity of 50 barrels. The
area covered by a basic sediment pit shall not exceed 250 square feet.
(D) Flare pits. A person shall not deposit or cause
to be deposited into a flare pit any oil field fluids or oil and gas
wastes other than the hydrocarbons designed to go to the flare during
upset conditions at the well, tank battery, or gas plant where the
pit is located. A person shall not store liquid hydrocarbons in a
flare pit for more than 48 hours at a time.
(E) Fresh makeup water pits and fresh mining water
pits. A person shall not deposit or cause to be deposited into a fresh
makeup water pit any oil and gas wastes or any oil field fluids other
than fresh water used to make up drilling fluid or hydraulic fracturing
fluid. A person shall not deposit or cause to be deposited into a
fresh mining water pit any oil and gas wastes or any oil field fluids
other than water used for solution mining of brine.
(F) Water condensate pits. A person shall not deposit
or cause to be deposited into a water condensate pit any oil field
fluids or oil and gas wastes other than fresh water condensed from
natural gas and collected at gas pipeline drips or gas compressor
(G) Non-commercial fluid recycling pits.
(i) A person shall not deposit or cause to be deposited
into a non-commercial fluid recycling pit any oil field fluids or
oil and gas wastes other than those fluids described in subsection
(a)(42) of this section.
(ii) All pits shall be sufficiently large to ensure
adequate storage capacity and freeboard taking into account anticipated
(iii) All pits shall be designed to prevent stormwater
runoff from entering the pit. If a pit is constructed with a dike
or berm, the height, slope, and construction material of such dike
or berm shall be such that it is structurally sound and does not allow
(iv) A freeboard of at least two feet shall be maintained
at all times.
(v) All pits shall be lined. The liner shall be designed,
constructed, and installed to prevent any migration of materials from
the pit into adjacent subsurface soils, ground water, or surface water
at any time during the life of the pit. The liner shall be installed
according to standard industry practices, shall be constructed of
materials that have sufficient chemical and physical properties, including
thickness, to prevent failure during the expected life of the pit.
All liners shall have a hydraulic conductivity that is 1.0 x 10-7 cm/sec or less. A liner may be constructed
of either natural or synthetic materials.
(I) Procedures shall be in place to routinely monitor
the integrity of the liner of pit. If liner failure is discovered
at any time, the pit shall be emptied and the liner repaired prior
to placing the pit back in service. Acceptable monitoring procedures
include an annual visual inspection of the pit liner or the installation
of a double liner and leak detection system. Alternative monitoring
procedures may be approved by the director if the operator demonstrates
that the alternative is at least equivalent in the protection of surface
and subsurface water as the provisions of this section.
(II) The liner of a pit with a single liner shall be
inspected annually to ensure that the liner has not failed. This inspection
shall be completed by emptying the pit and visually inspecting the
(III) If the operator does not propose to empty the
pit and inspect the pit liner on at least an annual basis, the operator
shall install a double liner and leak detection system. A leak detection
system shall be installed between a primary and secondary liner. The
leak detection system must be monitored on a monthly basis to determine
if the primary liner has failed. The primary liner has failed if the
volume of water passing through the primary liner exceeds the action
leakage rate, as calculated using accepted procedures, or 1,000 gallons
per acre per day, whichever is larger.
(IV) The operator of the pit shall keep records to
demonstrate compliance with the pit liner integrity requirements and
shall make the records available to commission personnel upon request.
(vi) The operator of the pit shall provide written
notification to the district director prior to construction of the
pit, or prior to the use of an existing pit as a non-commercial fluid
recycling pit. Such notification shall include:
(I) the location of the pit including the lease name
and number or drilling permit number and the latitude and longitude;