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Surface Waste Management Manual

Application for a Permit to Discharge Gas Plant Effluent

Application should be made by letter of request, there is no application form. You may number your responses to correspond to the requests for information outlined below. The application must contain this information before it can be processed:

    1. Identify the plant by operator name, plant name, county, mailing address, and telephone number. Also, provide the name, address, and telephone number of the person(s) authorized to act for the operator during consideration of this application. Note that unless otherwise specified in an application, the permit and correspondence will only be mailed to the operator’s P-5 address.
    2. Indicate the type of operation carried out at this plant (Ex. gasoline plant, pressure maintenance plant, cycling plant, etc.). Give a complete description of the process and the facility, including the type and average and maximum discharge rate (bbl/day) of each wastewater stream to be discharged (Ex. cooling tower blowdown, turbine washwater, etc.). Also, indicate how sewage is treated and disposed of at the plant.
    3. Include a drawing and description of the treatment the effluents will receive before being discharged. Indicate the size of tanks and/or pits and show any special piping, baffles, weirs, etc. inside tanks or pits to minimize turbulence, control oil carry over, control water level, etc. Include a copy of any technical data available from the manufacturer on any equipment used to treat the water. 
    4. Pits associated with oil and gas activities are required to be permitted unless they are authorized by Statewide Rule 8(d)(4). If any pits are used to treat or contain the water prior to discharge, please advise of the use and size of each pit. Include permit numbers for all permitted pits. 
    5. List any process and/or treatment chemicals used at the facility that may be present in the water to be discharged. Include estimates of the concentrations that may be found in the water to be discharged. Attach a copy of the manufacturer's brochure and the material safety data sheets for each chemical.
    6. Submit a complete analysis, representative of the effluent(s) you wish to discharge, that includes the parameters outlined in the attached document entitled "Gas Plant Wastewater Analysis". If you have any reason to believe any analyzed contaminant will increase or decrease in concentration during the time you wish to discharge, you must advise us of which contaminant, whether the concentration of the contaminant will increase or decrease, and the extent, if known, of the expected increase or decrease. In addition, after completing a review of your application, whole effluent toxicity (WET) testing may be required prior to the issuance of any discharge permit.
    7. Indicate the latitude/longitude coordinates to the nearest second for the plant and the discharge point. If the latitude/longitude coordinates are not readily available, a complete, original U. S. Geological Survey 7 1/2 minute quadrangle map of the area may be submitted with the exact location of the plant and discharge point clearly marked.
    8. Indicate on a county highway map, or include on the U.S.G.S. map above, the location of the gas plant, the proposed discharge point and the route the discharged water will take to the nearest watercourse (creek or river). Trace the flow of effluent with a word description (Ex. "From the plant site through a six-inch pipe to an unnamed tributary of Doe Creek, then to Doe Creek, then to the Brazos River"). 
    9. Provide a plat drawn to scale showing the approximate boundaries of the tract of land on which the plant is located and the point(s) of discharge. Include the routing and direction of flow for stormwater runoff. 
    10. If disposal is by discharge into a watercourse, Rule 8(d)(6)(C) requires an applicant for a discharge permit to give proper notice to the surface owner at the point of discharge and to the surface owner of each waterfront tract between the discharge point and 1/2 mile downstream of the discharge point. If any of these water front tracts are within an incorporated city, town or village, then notice must be given to the city clerk. Notice of the permit application shall consist of a copy of the application together with a statement that any protest to the application should be filed with the Commission within 15 days of the date the application is filed with the Commission. The applicant shall mail or deliver the required notice to the surface owners on or before the date the application is mailed or delivered to the Commission in Austin. After giving the required notice, include in the application a statement setting out the names and addresses of the persons notified and the dates they were notified, and stating that the listed persons are all of the persons required by Rule 8 to be notified. 
    11. In the event effluent is delivered to a flood control ditch or similar waterway, submit written permission from the authority having jurisdiction.
    12. There is a $300 nonrefundable application fee for a permit to discharge oil and gas waste to surface waters of the State. EFFCTIVE MAY 1, 2012, A SURCHARE OF 150% HAS BEEN IMPOSED ON THE APPLICATION FEE to implement the provisions of Senate Bill 1 (82nd Legislature, First Called Session, 2011), which mandated the Commission to impose reasonable surcharges on Commission fees. Accordingly, for applications received on or after May 1, 2012, the total application fee is now be $750. Checks or money orders should be made payable to "Railroad Commission of Texas". Please do not send cash through the mail. This fee is an application fee and is not refundable even if your application is returned, withdrawn, or denied. If effluent will not be discharged to surface waters, the fee is not required; however, a signed statement must be provided indicating that no effluent will reach surface waters of the state.
    13. Certify the application as follows:

"I certify that I am authorized to make this application, that this application was prepared by me or under my supervision and direction, and that the data and facts stated herein are true, correct, and complete to the best of my knowledge."

The application and any attachments should be mailed to:

Railroad Commission of Texas 
Oil and Gas Division 
Technical Permitting 
P. O. Box 12967 
Austin, TX 78711-2967

Send a copy of the application and any attachments to the appropriate District Office.

Before any permit may be issued, the operator must have an Organization Report (Form P-5) on file with the Austin Office of the Commission.

A permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required for a discharge to surface waters under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Contact EPA Region 6 ( ) in Dallas for more information.



An application for a permit to discharge gas plant wastewater must contain an analysis of the water to be discharged. The parameters listed below must be reported. Samples must be representative of the discharged water. Analysis must be performed according to procedures approved in 40 CFR Part 136 ( ) and, where applicable, samples must be preserved as specified by these procedures. The procedures used to preserve the samples and the analytical methods used must be reported. All parameters should be reported in milligrams/liter unless otherwise specified.

Temperature (oF) Parameter MAL(mg/l)
pH (std. units) Aluminum 0.03
Dissolved Oxygen Arsenic 0.01
Hardness (mg/l as CaCO3) Barium 0.01
Total Suspended Solids Benzene 0.01
Total Dissolved Solids Cadmium 0.001
Chlorides Chromium 0.01
Sulfates Hexavalent Chromium 0.01
Phosphorus Copper 0.01
Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen Cyanide 0.02
Ammonia Nitrogen Lead 0.005
Sulfides Mercury 0.0002
Iron Nickel 0.01
Manganese Selenium 0.01
Calcium Silver 0.002
Magnesium Zinc 0.005
Oil & Grease    
Chemical Oxygen Demand    
Total Organic Carbon    

*** These toxic pollutants have numerical criteria specified in the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards and may be present in some gas plant wastewater. Toxic pollutant concentrations above the specified minimum analytical limit (MAL) must be reported. If the laboratory, using acceptable analytical practices, cannot report concentrations down to the specified level due to reasons such as matrix interference, a statement to that effect from the laboratory must be submitted with the results. Also, the MAL achieved by the laboratory for each toxic pollutant must be reported.

Last Updated: 3/2/2016 4:15:15 PM