Winter Storm 2021

Commercial Surface Waste Facilities

Commercial facilities may use pits to store or dispose of oil and gas wastes or they may landspread or landtreat oil and gas wastes or treat oil and gas wastes.  Statewide Rule 78 defines Commercial Facility as:

"A facility whose owner or operator receives compensation from others for the storage, reclamation, treatment, or disposal of oil field fluids or oil and gas wastes that are wholly or partially trucked or hauled to the facility and whose primary business purpose is to provide these services for compensation if:

  • the facility is permitted under §3.8 of this title (related to Water Protection);
  • the facility is permitted under §3.57 of this title (related to Reclaiming Tank Bottoms, Other Hydrocarbon Wastes, and Other Waste Materials);
  • the facility is permitted under §3.9 of this title (related to Disposal Wells) and a collecting pit permitted under §3.8 is located at the facility; or
  • the facility is permitted under §3.46 of this title (related to Fluid Injection into Productive Reservoirs) and a collecting pit permitted under §3.8 is located at the facility."

Commercial surface waste disposal and treatment facilities typically receive a variety of oil and gas wastes from a wide spectrum of sources. Commercial surface waste disposal and treatment facilities also typically process large volumes of oil and gas wastes. For these reasons, staff has applied more stringent monitoring requirements in the form of monitor wells and analytical testing than would otherwise be required for non-commercial facilities permitted under Statewide Rule 8. In addition, Statewide  Rule 78 requires commercial facilities provide financial security in the form of a bond (Form CF-1) or letter of credit (Form CF-2) to ensure proper closure of commercial disposal and treatment facilities. The applicant must submit a Closure Cost Estimate for closing the facility. Guidance is found in the document Financial Security Requirements for Commercial Oil Field Waste Storage, Processing and Disposal Facilities in Accordance with Statewide Rule 78 .

Permitting and monitoring requirements are tailored to the individual facility and site conditions. Permitting requirements might include geologic maps and cross sections, soil and rock permeability, and calculation of area and waste volume. Monitoring requirements might include monitoring wells, potentiometric maps of groundwater, and tables of ground water chemistry.

Adjacent Landowner Notice

Adjacent landowners must be notified of any commercial environmental permit application, excluding On-Lease Commercial Solid Oil and Gas Waste Recycling permits. Often, the proposed facility boundary is smaller than the surface owner’s tract of land. However, you may still need to notify landowners that are adjacent to the surface owner even if their land is not directly adjacent to the facility boundary.

The applicant is required to provide notification of the permit application to surface owners of tracts adjoining the tract on which the proposed facility will be located.

Notification of the permit application must include a complete copy of the application and instructions on how to protest the permit application.

This clarification does not supersede any RRC rules and does not apply to requirements for notice of a hearing, or notification of application for reclamation plants. However, if a Reclamation Plant is collocated with other facilities that would require adjacent landowners to be notified of a permit application, then those requirements supersede and adjacent landowners must be notified of those permit applications and the reclamation plant application.

Professional Engineers and Geoscientists

Engineering and geologic work products must be prepared under seal of a registered engineer or geologist, respectively, as required by the Occupations Code Chapters 1001 and1002.