Railroad Commission Enhances Oil & Gas Enforcement Data

Updates Definition of Major Violation

February 16, 2017

AUSTIN – As part of its ongoing mission to increase transparency, the Railroad Commission of Texas is adding quarterly oil and gas enforcement data to the agency’s website. The additions are part of the RRC’s continued commitment to informing Texans about the agency’s actions to protect public safety and the environment. 

Beginning with the first quarter Fiscal Year 2017 report, new enforcement information posted includes:

  • Number of oil and gas facility inspections with no violation
  • Number of statewide oil and gas rule violations
  • Number of major statewide oil and gas rule violations
  • Number of district-initiated severance/seal orders

In addition to enhancing transparency by creating new reporting categories for quarterly enforcement reporting, the Commission is updating its definition of major oil and gas violations. Major violation now is defined as a safety or pollution-related violation that causes a significant impact to public safety or the environment, is accompanied by conditions that indicate a significant impact to public safety or the environment is imminent, or is the result of deliberate disregard of Commission rules and regulations related to public safety or environmental protection. Also, major violations are now reported at the time of discovery in the field rather than at the time of referral for penalty action, as recommended by the Sunset Commission. This updated definition helps the Commission more comprehensively, timely and uniformly categorize violations as major and will make these violations easier to track.  

The Commission’s Oil and Gas Field Operations and Enforcement Data can be found here.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit http://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.