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RRC Proposes Changes to Oilfield Waste Rule

The Texas Railroad Commission has proposed significant changes to rules regarding water protection and oil and gas waste management, which haven’t seen major revisions since 1984.

Section 8 Rule pertains to the disposal of substantial volumes of waste generated by the thousands of wells drilled annually in Texas. During drilling, companies inject mud into the ground, leading to the extraction of rocky soil and a saline liquid known as “produced water” alongside oil and natural gas. Rule 8, established by the Railroad Commission, dictates how companies should manage this waste. Unlike most waste, this oilfield waste is exempt from federal regulations, making state regulations crucial in governing recycling or disposal, typically in pits near wells or commercial waste pits.

The proposed rule changes aim to introduce new environmental standards and limit the locations of waste pits. The public has until November 3 to provide feedback on these draft changes through an online form or by attending meetings on October 26 or 27. Another formal proposal and comment period will follow.

Energy Workforce will submit comments in response to the proposed updates through its Environmental Policy Committee. If you would like to engage in the process of drafting comments, contact Senior Director Energy Policy Maria Suarez-Simmons.

Maria Suarez-Simmons, Senior Director Energy Policy, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.


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