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TITLE 16ECONOMIC REGULATION
PART 1RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS
CHAPTER 3OIL AND GAS DIVISION
RULE §3.8Water Protection

      (i) pollution of surface or subsurface water is occurring or is likely to occur as a result of the permitted operations;

      (ii) waste of oil, gas, or geothermal resources is occurring or is likely to occur as a result of the permitted operations;

      (iii) the permittee has violated the terms and conditions of the permit or commission rules;

      (iv) the permittee misrepresented any material fact during the permit issuance process;

      (v) the permittee failed to give the notice required by the commission during the permit issuance process;

      (vi) a material change of conditions has occurred in the permitted operations, or the information provided in the application has changed materially.

    (F) Emergency permits. If the director determines that expeditious issuance of the permit will prevent or is likely to prevent the waste of oil, gas, or geothermal resources or the pollution of surface or subsurface water, the director may issue an emergency permit. An application for an emergency permit to use or maintain a pit or to dispose of oil and gas wastes shall be filed with the commission in the appropriate district office. Notice of the application is not required. If warranted by the nature of the emergency, the director may issue an emergency permit based upon a verbal application, or the director may verbally authorize an activity before issuing a written permit authorizing that activity. An emergency permit is valid for up to 30 days, but may be modified, suspended, or terminated by the director at any time for good cause without notice and opportunity for hearing. Except when the provisions of this subparagraph are to the contrary, the issuance, denial, modification, suspension, or termination of an emergency permit shall be governed by the provisions of subparagraphs (A) - (E) of this paragraph.

    (G) Minor permits. If the director determines that an application is for a permit to store only a minor amount of oil field fluids or to store or dispose of only a minor amount of oil and gas waste, the director may issue a minor permit provided the permit does not authorize an activity which results in waste of oil, gas, or geothermal resources or pollution of surface or subsurface water. An application for a minor permit shall be filed with the commission in the appropriate district office. Notice of the application shall be given as required by the director. The director may determine that notice of the application is not required. A minor permit is valid for 60 days, but a minor permit which is issued without notice of the application may be modified, suspended, or terminated by the director at any time for good cause without notice and opportunity for hearing. Except when the provisions of this subparagraph are to the contrary, the issuance, denial, modification, suspension, or termination of a minor permit shall be governed by the provisions of subparagraphs (A) - (E) of this paragraph.

  (7) Recycling.

    (A) Prohibited recycling. Except for those recycling methods authorized for certain wastes by subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, no person may recycle any oil and gas wastes by any method without obtaining a permit.

    (B) Authorized recycling.

      (i) No permit is required if treated fluid is recycled for use as makeup water for a hydraulic fracturing fluid treatment(s), or as another type of oilfield fluid to be used in the wellbore of an oil, gas, geothermal, or service well.

      (ii) Treated fluid may be reused in any other manner, other than discharge to waters of the state, without a permit from the Commission, provided the reuse occurs pursuant to a permit issued by another state or federal agency.

      (iii) If treatment of the fluid results in distilled water, no permit is required to use the resulting distilled water in any manner other than discharge to waters of the state.

      (iv) Fluid that meets the requirements of clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of this subparagraph is a recyclable product.

    (C) Permitted recycling.

      (i) Treated fluid may be reused in any manner, other than the manner authorized by subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, pursuant to a permit issued by the director on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the source of the fluids, the anticipated constituents of concern, the volume of fluids, the location, and the proposed reuse of the treated fluids. Fluid that meets the requirements of a permit issued under this clause is a recyclable product.

      (ii) All commercial recycling requires the commercial recycler of the oil and gas waste to obtain a permit in accordance with Chapter 4, Subchapter B of this title (relating to Commercial Recycling).

  (8) Used oil. Used oil as defined in §3.98 of this title, shall be managed in accordance with the provisions of 40 CFR, Part 279.

(e) Pollution prevention (reference Order Number 20-59,200, effective May 1, 1969).

  (1) The operator shall not pollute the waters of the Texas offshore and adjacent estuarine zones (saltwater bearing bays, inlets, and estuaries) or damage the aquatic life therein.

  (2) All oil, gas, and geothermal resource well drilling and producing operations shall be conducted in such a manner to preclude the pollution of the waters of the Texas offshore and adjacent estuarine zones. Particularly, the following procedures shall be utilized to prevent pollution.

    (A) The disposal of liquid waste material into the Texas offshore and adjacent estuarine zones shall be limited to saltwater and other materials which have been treated, when necessary, for the removal of constituents which may be harmful to aquatic life or injurious to life or property.

    (B) No oil or other hydrocarbons in any form or combination with other materials or constituent shall be disposed of into the Texas offshore and adjacent estuarine zones.

    (C) All deck areas on drilling platforms, barges, workover unit, and associated equipment both floating and stationary subject to contamination shall be either curbed and connected by drain to a collecting tank, sump, or enclosed drilling slot in which the containment will be treated and disposed of without causing hazard or pollution; or else drip pans, or their equivalent, shall be placed under any equipment which might reasonably be considered a source from which pollutants may escape into surrounding water. These drip pans must be piped to collecting tanks, sumps, or enclosed drilling slots to prevent overflow or prevent pollution of the surrounding water.

    (D) Solid combustible waste may be burned and the ashes may be disposed of into Texas offshore and adjacent estuarine zones. Solid wastes such as cans, bottles, or any form of trash must be transported to shore in appropriate containers. Edible garbage, which may be consumed by aquatic life without harm, may be disposed of into Texas offshore and adjacent estuarine zones.

    (E) Drilling muds which contain oil shall be transported to shore or a designated area for disposal. Only oil-free cutting and fluids from mud systems may be disposed of into Texas offshore and adjacent estuarine zones at or near the surface.

    (F) Fluids produced from offshore wells shall be mechanically contained in adequately pressure-controlled piping or vessels from producing well to disposition point. Oil and water separation facilities at offshore and onshore locations shall contain safeguards to prevent emission of pollutants to the Texas offshore and adjacent estuarine zones prior to proper treatment.

    (G) All deck areas on producing platforms subject to contamination shall be either curbed and connected by drain to a collecting tank or sump in which the containment will be treated and disposed of without causing hazard or pollution, or else drip pans, or their equivalent, shall be placed under any equipment which might reasonably be considered a source from which pollutants may escape into surrounding water. These drip pans must be piped to collecting tanks or sumps designed to accommodate all reasonably expected drainage. Satisfactory means must be provided to empty the sumps to prevent overflow.

    (H) Any person observing water pollution shall report such sighting, noting size, material, location, and current conditions to the ranking operating personnel. Immediate action or notification shall be made to eliminate further pollution. The operator shall then transmit the report to the appropriate commission district office.

    (I) Immediate corrective action shall be taken in all cases where pollution has occurred. An operator responsible for the pollution shall remove immediately such oil, oil field waste, or other pollution materials from the waters and the shoreline where it is found. Such removal operations will be at the expense of the responsible operator.

  (3) The commission may suspend producing and/or drilling operations from any facility when it appears that the provisions of this rule are being violated.

  (4) (Reference Order Number 20-60,214, effective October 1, 1970.) The foregoing provisions of Rule 8(D) shall also be required and enforced as to all oil, gas, or geothermal resource operations conducted on the inland and fresh waters of the State of Texas, such as lakes, rivers, and streams.

(f) Oil and gas waste haulers.

  (1) A person who transports oil and gas waste for hire by any method other than by pipeline shall not haul or dispose of oil and gas waste off a lease, unit, or other oil or gas property where it is generated unless such transporter has qualified for and been issued an oil and gas waste hauler permit by the commission. Hauling of inert waste, asbestos-containing material regulated under the Clean Air Act (42 USC §§7401 et seq), polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) waste regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (15 USCA §§2601 et seq), or hazardous oil and gas waste subject to regulation under §3.98 of this title is excluded from this subsection. This subsection is not applicable to the non-commercial hauling of oil and gas wastes for non-commercial recycling. For purposes of this subsection, injection of salt water or other oil and gas waste into an oil and gas reservoir for purposes of enhanced recovery does not qualify as recycling.

    (A) Application for an oil and gas waste hauler permit will be made on the commission-prescribed form, and in accordance with the instructions thereon, and must be accompanied by:

      (i) the permit application fee required by §3.78 of this title (relating to Fees and Financial Security Requirements) (Statewide Rule 78);

      (ii) vehicle identification information to support commission issuance of an approved vehicle list;

      (iii) an affidavit from the operator of each commission-permitted disposal system the hauler intends to use stating that the hauler has permission to use the system; and

      (iv) a certification by the hauler that the vehicles listed on the application are designed so that they will not leak during transportation. The certification shall include a statement that vehicles used to haul non-solid oil and gas waste shall be designed to transport non-solid oil and gas wastes, and shall be operated and maintained to prevent the escape of oil and gas waste.

    (B) An oil and gas waste hauler permit may be issued for a term not to exceed one year, subject to renewal by the filing of an application for permit renewal and the required application fee for the next permit period. The term of an oil and gas waste hauler permit will be established in accordance with a schedule prescribed by the director to allow for the orderly and timely renewal of oil and gas waste hauler permits on a staggered basis.

    (C) Each oil and gas waste hauler shall operate in strict compliance with the instructions and conditions stated on the permit which provide:

      (i) This permit, unless suspended or revoked for cause shown, shall remain valid until the expiration date specified in this permit.

      (ii) Each vehicle used by a permittee shall be marked on both sides and the rear with the permittee's name and permit number in characters not less than three inches high. (For the purposes of this permit, "vehicle" means any truck tank, trailer tank, tank car, vacuum truck, dump truck, garbage truck, or other container in which oil and gas waste will be hauled by the permittee.)

      (iii) Each vehicle must carry a copy of the permit including those parts of the commission-issued attachments listing approved vehicles and commission-permitted disposal systems that are relevant to that vehicle's activities. This permit authority is limited to those vehicles shown on the commission-issued list of approved vehicles.

      (iv) This permit is issued pursuant to the information furnished on the application form, and any change in conditions must be reported to the commission on an amended application form. The permit authority will be revised as required by the amended application.

      (v) This permit authority is limited to hauling, handling, and disposal of oil and gas waste.

      (vi) This permit authorizes the permittee to use commission-permitted disposal systems for which the permittee has submitted affidavits from the disposal system operators stating that the permittee has permission to use the systems. These disposal systems are listed as an attachment to the permit. This permit also authorizes the permittee to use a disposal system operated under authority of a minor permit issued by the commission without submitting an affidavit from the disposal system operator. In addition, this permit authorizes the permittee to transport hazardous oil and gas waste to any facility in Cont'd...

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