Railroad Commissioners Testify Before Joint Meeting of House Energy and Natural Resources Committees-Commissioners Discussed Railroad Commission’s Water Protection and Recycling Efforts

02/23/2015

AUSTIN –The three Railroad Commissioners today outlined advances the Commission has made in water protection and water recycling during a joint meeting of the House Energy and Natural Resources committees.

Chairman Christi Craddick said, “Since the Railroad Commission revised its recycling rules in 2013 to make it easier for oil and gas operators to recycle water, industry has reported significant advancements in their water recycling efforts with some operators reporting they no longer need to use fresh water in their operations.”

Commissioner David Porter said, “The only thing more important to the economic future of Texas than oil and gas is water. One of the Commission’s most important roles is our regulation of well construction to ensure the protection of groundwater. Last year, after extensive modifications at the Commission, Statewide Rule 13 went into effect, adding even more protection for our state’s precious water.”

Commissioner Ryan Sitton said, “Instilling confidence in how our energy is produced includes providing information to the public on how our operators are producing Texas’  oil and gas in a way that conserves and protects our water resources by complying with the Commission’s recycling and well construction rules.”

In 2013, the Railroad Commission adopted rules to encourage Texas oil and gas operators to continue at their efforts in conserving water used in the hydraulic fracturing process by removing regulatory hurdles that required recycling permits for operators recycling fluid on their own leases or transferring fluids to another operator’s lease for recycling. Also, in 2013, the Commission amended its well construction rule requirements effective for wells constructed on or after Jan. 1, 2014. These actions are among numerous Commission measures that have helped to enhance the agency’s long-standing public safety and environmental protection legacy.

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About the Railroad Commission

Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit http://www.rrc.texas.gov.