The chemical industry uses salt (sodium chloride) as a basic raw material in many of their manufacturing processes. In addition, brine is used in drilling fluids in some parts of Texas.
Salt saturated brine is produced by solution mining rock salt from inside an underground salt formation. Significant geomechanical design work is incorporated into the creation of brine mining caverns to ensure long term safety and stability. Once a cavern is mined to its desired size and shape, it can be converted to an underground storage cavern under Statewide Rule 95 or 97.
Statewide Rule 81 governs these wells. This rule addresses: the procedures for the filing of an application; notice and opportunity for hearing; transfer of permits; and technical and safety requirements pertinent to brine mining facilities. It also describes requirements for records maintenance, monitoring and reporting, testing, and plugging of underground mining wells.