<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

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

(a) The following words and terms when used in this section shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Basic sediment pit--Pit used in conjunction with a tank battery for storage of basic sediment removed from a production vessel or from the bottom of an oil storage tank. Basic sediment pits were formerly referred to as burn pits.

  (2) Brine pit--Pit used for storage of brine which is used to displace hydrocarbons from an underground hydrocarbon storage facility.

  (3) Collecting pit--Pit used for storage of saltwater or other oil and gas wastes prior to disposal at a disposal well or fluid injection well. In some cases, one pit is both a collecting pit and a skimming pit.

  (4) Completion/workover pit--Pit used for storage or disposal of spent completion fluids, workover fluids and drilling fluid, silt, debris, water, brine, oil scum, paraffin, or other materials which have been cleaned out of the wellbore of a well being completed or worked over.

  (5) Drilling fluid disposal pit--Pit, other than a reserve pit, used for disposal of spent drilling fluid.

  (6) Drilling fluid storage pit--Pit used for storage of drilling fluid which is not currently being used but which will be used in future drilling operations. Drilling fluid storage pits are often centrally located among several leases.

  (7) Emergency saltwater storage pit--Pit used for storage of produced saltwater for limited period of time. Use of the pit is necessitated by a temporary shutdown of disposal well or fluid injection well and/or associated equipment, by temporary overflow of saltwater storage tanks on a producing lease or by a producing well loading up with formation fluids such that the well may die. Emergency saltwater storage pits may sometimes be referred to as emergency pits or blowdown pits.

  (8) Flare pit--Pit which contains a flare and which is used for temporary storage of liquid hydrocarbons which are sent to the flare during equipment malfunction but which are not burned. A flare pit is used in conjunction with a gasoline plant, natural gas processing plant, pressure maintenance or repressurizing plant, tank battery, or a well.

  (9) Fresh makeup water pit--Pit used in conjunction with a drilling rig for storage of fresh water used to make up drilling fluid or hydraulic fracturing fluid.

  (10) Gas plant evaporation/retention pit--Pit used for storage or disposal of cooling tower blowdown, water condensed from natural gas, and other wastewater generated at gasoline plants, natural gas processing plants, or pressure maintenance or repressurizing plants.

  (11) Mud circulation pit--Pit used in conjunction with drilling rig for storage of drilling fluid currently being used in drilling operations.

  (12) Reserve pit--Pit used in conjunction with drilling rig for collecting spent drilling fluids; cuttings, sands, and silts; and wash water used for cleaning drill pipe and other equipment at the well site. Reserve pits are sometimes referred to as slush pits or mud pits.

  (13) Saltwater disposal pit--Pit used for disposal of produced saltwater.

  (14) Skimming pit--Pit used for skimming oil off saltwater prior to disposal of saltwater at a disposal well or fluid injection well.

  (15) Washout pit--Pit located at a truck yard, tank yard, or disposal facility for storage or disposal of oil and gas waste residue washed out of trucks, mobile tanks, or skid-mounted tanks.

  (16) Water condensate pit--Pit used in conjunction with a gas pipeline drip or gas compressor station for storage or disposal of fresh water condensed from natural gas.

  (17) Generator--Person who generates oil and gas wastes.

  (18) Carrier--Person who transports oil and gas wastes generated by a generator. A carrier of another person's oil and gas wastes may be a generator of his own oil and gas wastes.

  (19) Receiver--Person who stores, handles, treats, reclaims, or disposes of oil and gas wastes generated by a generator. A receiver of another person's oil and gas wastes may be a generator of his own oil and gas wastes.

  (20) Director--Director of the Oil and Gas Division or his staff delegate designated in writing by the director of the Oil and Gas Division or the commission.

  (21) Person--Natural person, corporation, organization, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, or any other legal entity.

  (22) Affected person--Person who, as a result of the activity sought to be permitted, has suffered or may suffer actual injury or economic damage other than as a member of the general public.

  (23) To dewater--To remove the free water.

  (24) To dispose--To engage in any act of disposal subject to regulation by the commission including, but not limited to, conducting, draining, discharging, emitting, throwing, releasing, depositing, burying, landfarming, or allowing to seep, or to cause or allow any such act of disposal.

  (25) Landfarming--A waste management practice in which oil and gas wastes are mixed with or applied to the land surface in such a manner that the waste will not migrate off the landfarmed area.

  (26) Oil and gas wastes--Materials to be disposed of or reclaimed which have been generated in connection with activities associated with the exploration, development, and production of oil or gas or geothermal resources, as those activities are defined in paragraph (30) of this subsection, and materials to be disposed of or reclaimed which have been generated in connection with activities associated with the solution mining of brine. The term "oil and gas wastes" includes, but is not limited to, saltwater, other mineralized water, sludge, spent drilling fluids, cuttings, waste oil, spent completion fluids, and other liquid, semiliquid, or solid waste material. The term "oil and gas wastes" includes waste generated in connection with activities associated with gasoline plants, natural gas or natural gas liquids processing plants, pressure maintenance plants, or repressurizing plants unless that waste is a hazardous waste as defined by the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to the federal Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended (42 United States Code §6901 et seq.).

  (27) Oil field fluids--Fluids to be used or reused in connection with activities associated with the exploration, development, and production of oil or gas or geothermal resources, fluids to be used or reused in connection with activities associated with the solution mining of brine, and mined brine. The term "oil field fluids" includes, but is not limited to, drilling fluids, completion fluids, surfactants, and chemicals used to detoxify oil and gas wastes.

  (28) Pollution of surface or subsurface water--The alteration of the physical, thermal, chemical, or biological quality of, or the contamination of, any surface or subsurface water in the state that renders the water harmful, detrimental, or injurious to humans, animal life, vegetation, or property, or to public health, safety, or welfare, or impairs the usefulness or the public enjoyment of the water for any lawful or reasonable purpose.

  (29) Surface or subsurface water--Groundwater, percolating or otherwise, and lakes, bays, ponds, impounding reservoirs, springs, rivers, streams, creeks, estuaries, marshes, inlets, canals, the Gulf of Mexico inside the territorial limits of the state, and all other bodies of surface water, natural or artificial, inland or coastal, fresh or salt, navigable or nonnavigable, and including the beds and banks of all watercourses and bodies of surface water, that are wholly or partially inside or bordering the state or inside the jurisdiction of the state.

  (30) Activities associated with the exploration, development, and production of oil or gas or geothermal resources--Activities associated with:

    (A) the drilling of exploratory wells, oil wells, gas wells, or geothermal resource wells;

    (B) the production of oil or gas or geothermal resources, including:

      (i) activities associated with the drilling of injection water source wells that penetrate the base of usable quality water;

      (ii) activities associated with the drilling of cathodic protection holes associated with the cathodic protection of wells and pipelines subject to the jurisdiction of the commission to regulate the production of oil or gas or geothermal resources;

      (iii) activities associated with gasoline plants, natural gas or natural gas liquids processing plants, pressure maintenance plants, or repressurizing plants;

      (iv) activities associated with any underground natural gas storage facility, provided the terms "natural gas" and "storage facility" shall have the meanings set out in the Texas Natural Resources Code, §91.173;

      (v) activities associated with any underground hydrocarbon storage facility, provided the terms "hydrocarbons" and "underground hydrocarbon storage facility" shall have the meanings set out in the Texas Natural Resources Code, §91.201; and

      (vi) activities associated with the storage, handling, reclamation, gathering, transportation, or distribution of oil or gas prior to the refining of such oil or prior to the use of such gas in any manufacturing process or as a residential or industrial fuel;

    (C) the operation, abandonment, and proper plugging of wells subject to the jurisdiction of the commission to regulate the exploration, development, and production of oil or gas or geothermal resources; and

    (D) the discharge, storage, handling, transportation, reclamation, or disposal of waste or any other substance or material associated with any activity listed in subparagraphs (A) - (C) of this paragraph, except for waste generated in connection with activities associated with gasoline plants, natural gas or natural gas liquids processing plants, pressure maintenance plants, or repressurizing plants if that waste is a hazardous waste as defined by the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to the federal Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended (42 United States Code §6901, et seq.).

  (31) Mined brine--Brine produced from a brine mining injection well by solution of subsurface salt formations. The term "mined brine" does not include saltwater produced incidentally to the exploration, development, and production of oil or gas or geothermal resources.

  (32) Brine mining pit--Pit, other than a fresh mining water pit, used in connection with activities associated with the solution mining of brine. Most brine mining pits are used to store mined brine.

  (33) Fresh mining water pit--Pit used in conjunction with a brine mining injection well for storage of water used for solution mining of brine.

  (34) Inert wastes--Nonreactive, nontoxic, and essentially insoluble oil and gas wastes, including, but not limited to, concrete, glass, wood, metal, wire, plastic, fiberglass, and trash.

  (35) Coastal zone--The area within the boundary established in Title 31, Texas Administrative Code, §503.1 (Coastal Management Program Boundary).

  (36) Coastal management program (CMP) rules--The enforceable rules of the Texas Coastal Management Program codified at Title 31, Texas Administrative Code, Chapters 501, 505, and 506.

  (37) Coastal natural resource area (CNRA)--One of the following areas defined in Texas Natural Resources Code, §33.203: coastal barriers, coastal historic areas, coastal preserves, coastal shore areas, coastal wetlands, critical dune areas, critical erosion areas, gulf beaches, hard substrate reefs, oyster reefs, submerged land, special hazard areas, submerged aquatic vegetation, tidal sand or mud flats, water in the open Gulf of Mexico, and water under tidal influence.

  (38) Coastal waters--Waters under tidal influence and waters of the open Gulf of Mexico.

  (39) Critical area--A coastal wetland, an oyster reef, a hard substrate reef, submerged aquatic vegetation, or a tidal sand or mud flat as defined in Texas Natural Resources Code, §33.203.

  (40) Practicable--Available and capable of being done after taking into consideration existing technology, cost, and logistics in light of the overall purpose of the activity.

  (41) Non-commercial fluid recycling--The recycling of fluid produced from an oil or gas well, including produced formation fluid, workover fluid, and completion fluid, including fluids produced from the hydraulic fracturing process 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 (relating to Disposal Wells) or a non-commercial injection well operated pursuant to a permit issued under §3.46 of this title (relating to Fluid Injection into Productive Reservoirs), where the operator of the lease, or drilling unit, or non-commercial disposal or injection well treats or contracts with a person for the treatment of the fluid, and may accept such fluid from other leases and or operators.

Cont'd...

Next Page Previous Page



Home TxReg TAC OM NewTac Public Footer Bar