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TITLE 25HEALTH SERVICES
PART 1DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES
CHAPTER 289RADIATION CONTROL
SUBCHAPTER FLICENSE REGULATIONS
RULE §289.259Licensing of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM)

(a) Purpose. This section establishes radiation protection standards for the possession, use, transfer, transport, and/or storage of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) or the recycling of NORM-contaminated materials not subject to regulation under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (AEA). This section is not intended to regulate the disposal of radioactive substances. The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) has the jurisdiction to regulate disposal of NORM, other than oil and gas NORM, which is under the jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission of Texas (RCT).

(b) Scope.

  (1) This section applies to any person who engages in the extraction, mining, beneficiating, processing, use, transfer, transport, or storage of NORM or the recycling of NORM-contaminated materials.

  (2) This section addresses the introduction of NORM into products in which neither the NORM nor the radiation emitted from the NORM is considered to be beneficial to the products. The manufacture and commercial distribution of products containing NORM in which the NORM or its associated radiation(s) are considered to be a beneficial attribute are licensed in accordance with the provisions of §289.252 of this title (relating to Licensing of Radioactive Material).

  (3) The requirements of this section are in addition to and not in substitution for other applicable requirements of §289.201 of this title (relating to General Provisions), §289.202 of this title (relating to Standards for Protection Against Radiation), §289.203 of this title (relating to Notices, Instructions and Reports to Workers; Inspections), §289.204 of this title (relating to Fees for Certificates of Registration, Radioactive Material(s) Licenses, Emergency Planning and Implementation, and Other Regulatory Services), §289.205 of this title (relating to Hearing and Enforcement Procedures), §289.251 of this title (relating to Exemptions, General Licenses, and General License Acknowledgments), §289.252 of this title, and §289.257 of this title (relating to Packaging and Transportation of Radioactive Material).

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

  (1) Beneficial attribute or beneficial to the product--The radioactivity of the product is necessary to the use of the product.

  (2) Beneficiating--The processing of materials for the purpose of altering chemical or physical properties to improve the quality, purity, or assay grade.

  (3) Decontamination--The cleaning process of removing or reducing residual radioactivity from equipment, buildings, structures, and land owned, possessed, or controlled by other persons to a level that permits release of equipment, buildings, structures and land for unrestricted use or termination of license.

  (4) Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM)--Naturally occurring materials not regulated under the AEA whose radionuclide concentrations have been increased by or as a result of human practices. NORM does not include the natural radioactivity of rocks or soils, or background radiation, but instead refers to materials whose radioactivity is concentrated by controllable practices (or by past human practices). NORM does not include source, byproduct, or special nuclear material.

  (5) Other media--Any volumetric material other than soils or liquids (for example: sludge, scale, slag, etcetera).

  (6) Person--As defined in §289.201(b)(68) of this title.

  (7) Product--Something produced, made, manufactured, refined, or beneficiated.

  (8) Recycling--A process by which materials that have served their intended use are collected, separated, or processed and returned to use in the form of raw materials in the production of new products. Recycling shall not include the use of a material in a manner that constitutes disposal.

(d) Exemptions.

  (1) Persons who receive, possess, use, process, transfer, transport, store, or commercially distribute:

    (A) Oil and gas NORM waste are exempt from the requirements of this chapter if the material contains, or is contaminated at, concentrations of:

      (i) 30 picocuries per gram (pCi/gm) or less of radium-226 or radium-228 in:

        (I) soil, averaged over any 100 square meters (m 2 ) and averaged over the first 15 centimeters (cm) of soil below the surface; or

        (II) other media; or

      (ii) 150 pCi or less per gram of any other NORM radionuclide in:

        (I) soil, averaged over any 100 m2 and averaged over the first 15 cm of soil below the surface, provided that these concentrations are not exceeded; or

        (II) other media, provided that these concentrations are not exceeded.

    (B) Other than oil and gas NORM waste, NORM is exempt from the requirements of this chapter if the materials contain, or are contaminated at, concentrations of:

      (i) 30 pCi/gm or less of radium-226 or radium-228 in:

        (I) soil, averaged over any 100 m2 and averaged over the first 15 cm of soil below the surface, provided the radon emanation rate is less than 20 picocuries per square meter per second (pCi/m2 /sec); or

        (II) other media, provided the radon emanation rate is less than 20 pCi/m2 /sec;

      (ii) 5 pCi/gm or less of radium-226 or radium-228 in:

        (I) soil, averaged over any 100 m2 and averaged over the first 15 cm of soil below the surface, in which the radon emanation rate is equal to or greater than 20 pCi/m 2 /sec; or

        (II) other media, in which the radon emanation rate is equal to or greater than 20 pCi/m2 /sec; or

      (iii) 150 pCi or less per gram of any other NORM radionuclide in:

        (I) soil, averaged over any 100 m2 and averaged over the first 15 cm of soil below the surface, provided that the radon emanation rate is less than 20 pCi/m2 /sec; or

        (II) other media, provided that these concentrations are not exceeded.

  (2) Materials and equipment in the recycling process contaminated with NORM scale or residue not otherwise exempted are exempt from the requirements of this section if the maximum radiation exposure level does not exceed 50 microroentgens per hour (µR/hr) including the background radiation level at any accessible point.

  (3) Pipe (tubulars) and other downhole or surface equipment used in oil production contaminated with NORM scale or residue not otherwise exempted is exempt from the requirements of this section if the maximum radiation exposure level does not exceed 50 µR/hr including the background radiation level at any accessible point.

  (4) Products or materials containing NORM distributed in accordance with a specific license issued by the agency in accordance with subsection (k)(4) of this section or an equivalent license issued by another licensing state are exempt from the requirements of this section.

  (5) The manufacture, commercial distribution, use, or storage of the following products/materials or the recycling of equipment or containers used to produce, contain, or transport these products are exempt from the requirements of this section:

    (A) potassium and potassium compounds that have not been isotopically enriched in the radionuclide K-40;

    (B) byproducts from fossil fuel combustion (bottom ash, fly ash, and flue-gas emission control byproducts); and

    (C) material used for building construction, industrial processing, sand blasting, metal casings, or other NORM in which the radionuclide content has not been concentrated to higher levels than found in its natural state.

  (6) The wholesale and retail commercial distribution (including custom blending), possession, and use of the following products/materials or the recycling of equipment or containers used to produce, contain, or transport these products, are exempt from the requirements of this section. The manufacture of phosphate and potash fertilizer is subject to the general license requirements in subsections (f)-(h) of this section:

    (A) phosphate and potash fertilizer;

    (B) phosphogypsum for agricultural uses if such commercial distribution and uses meet the requirements of 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 61.204; and

    (C) materials used for building construction if the materials contain NORM that has not been concentrated to higher levels than found in its natural state.

  (7) The possession, storage, use, transportation, and commercial distribution of natural gas and natural gas products and of crude oil and crude oil products containing NORM are exempt from the requirements of this section. The processing of natural gas and crude oil and the manufacture of natural gas products and crude oil products containing NORM are subject to the general license requirements in subsections (f)-(h) of this section.

  (8) Possession of produced waters from crude oil and natural gas production is exempt from the requirements of this section if the produced waters are reinjected in a well approved by the agency having jurisdiction to regulate such reinjection or if the produced waters are discharged under the authority of the agency having jurisdiction to regulate such discharge.

(e) Radiation survey instruments.

  (1) Radiation survey instruments used to determine exemptions in accordance with subsection (d)(2) and (3) of this section and radiation survey instruments used to make surveys in accordance with subsection (f) of this section shall be able to measure from 1 µR/hr through at least 500 µR/hr.

  (2) Radiation survey instruments used to make surveys required by this section and §289.202(p)(1) of this title shall be calibrated, appropriate, and operable.

  (3) Each radiation survey instrument shall be calibrated:

    (A) by a person licensed or registered by the agency, another agreement state or licensing state, or the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to perform such service;

    (B) at energies appropriate for the licensee's use;

    (C) at intervals not to exceed 12 months, and after each instrument servicing other than battery replacement; and

    (D) to demonstrate an accuracy within plus or minus 20% using a reference source provided by a person authorized in accordance with subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.

  (4) Records of these calibrations shall be maintained for agency inspection for five years after the calibration date.

(f) General license.

  (1) A general license is hereby issued to mine, extract, receive, possess, own, use, process, transport, store, and transfer for disposal NORM or to recycle NORM-contaminated materials not exempted in subsection (d) of this section without regard to quantity. This general license does not authorize the manufacture or commercial distribution of products containing NORM in concentrations greater than those specified in subsection (d)(1)(B) of this section, or of NORM in any food, beverage, cosmetic, drug, or other commodity designed for ingestion or inhalation by, or application to, a human being. The melting of scrap metal is authorized by the general license if the dilution of the NORM in the end-products or melt byproducts is sufficient to reduce any expected average concentration of NORM to levels not to exceed the concentration specified in subsection (d)(1)(B) of this section.

  (2) Equipment, buildings, and structures contaminated with NORM in excess of the levels set forth in subsection (w) of this section and equipment not otherwise exempted under the provisions of subsection (d)(2) and (3) of this section shall not be released for unrestricted use. The decontamination of equipment, buildings, and structures as described in subsection (i)(2) of this section shall be performed only by persons specifically licensed by the agency or another licensing state to conduct such work, including contractors of a general licensee, except that a general licensee or a contractor under the control and supervision of a general licensee can perform routine maintenance on equipment, buildings, and structures owned or controlled by the general licensee. (Maintenance that provides a different pathway for exposure than is found in daily operations and that increases the potential for additional exposure is not considered routine.) Persons conducting activities specified in subsection (i)(2) of this section and working as a contractor under the control and supervision of a general licensee must possess a specific license issued by the agency in accordance with subsection (k) of this section.

  (3) The handling or processing by a general licensee of NORM-contaminated materials not otherwise exempted from the requirements of this section for the purpose of recycling is authorized by the agency if the radiation level 18 inches from the NORM-contaminated material does not exceed 2 millirem per hour (mrem/hr).

  (4) The transfer of NORM not exempt from the requirements of this section from one general licensee to another general licensee is authorized by the agency if the:

    (A) equipment, buildings, and structures contaminated with NORM are to be used by the recipient for the same purpose or at the same site;

    (B) materials being transferred are ores or raw materials for processing or refinement; or

Cont'd...

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