Surface Waste Management Manual

Application Information for Landtreatment Permit

(Oil & Gas Waste: See Landfarm Permit Application Information if only waste to be landfarmed is water base drilling fluid & associated cuttings)

The Commission encourages recycling and waste minimization. To the extent practicable, waste management choices should be based upon the following preferences, beginning with the most preferred: source reduction, recycling, treatment, and disposal.

Mail the original application to:

Railroad Commission of Texas 
Technical Permitting 
P.O. Box 12967 
Austin, Texas 78711-2967

File one copy of the application with the appropriate District Office.

The specific site for landtreatment should have natural features (such as isolation from or considerable depths to ground water, protection against flooding, presence of soils with a low permeability, and topography conducive to protection against erosion) that prevent or minimize release of pollutants to off-site waters, lands, and air.

The following actions must be completed and the information submitted in the order requested before a landtreatment application can be considered:

  1. Operator name, address, phone number, and contact person. Note that unless otherwise specified in an application, the permit and correspondence will only be mailed to the operator’s P-5 address.
  2. * Notify surface owner of the permit application and submit a signed copy of your lease agreement. Submit a copy of the notification letter and indicate the date of notification.
  3. *If the proposed site is within corporate limits notify the city clerk or other appropriate city official. Submit a copy of this notification letter and indicate the date of notification.
  4. Is this area in a wetland? If yes, submit a copy of your Army Corps of Engineer
    (http://www.usace.army.mil/) Wetlands Permit or Permit Application.
  5. A description of the proposed landtreatment site and surrounding area by the following:
    • landowner; 
    • tract size in square feet or acres;
    • survey name and abstract number; 
    • site coordinates in degrees, minutes, and seconds of longitude and latitude;
    • a general description of the contour of the landtreatment site, including any water courses or drainage ways; 
    • whether or not site is located in a flood prone area. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (http://www.fema.gov/) can provide information on flood planes. Sites located in the 100-year floodplain will not be approved;
    • depth to shallowest fresh water (include source of this information) and distance to and depth of nearest actively producing domestic water well within one mile;
    • direction of groundwater flow - indicate how this was determined; and
    • distance to any residences, schools, churches, or hospitals within 500 feet of the proposed site.
  6. Attach an identification and description of the soil or subsoil. The information shall describe the soil by typical name, appropriate proportion of grain sizes, texture, consistency, moisture condition, and other pertinent characteristics. Identify the source of soil information. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (http://soils.usda.gov) can provide information on soils and subsoils.
  7. Thickness of tillable soil.
  8. Submit the following plats and maps:
    • a plat drawn to scale with the proposed landtreatment area outlined clearly and all offset surface owners and their properties indicated; 
    • a copy of a county highway map showing the location of the proposed site; and
    • a complete original 7 1/2 minute USGS topographic quadrangle map with the landtreatment area outlined clearly. Delineate location of any pipelines that underlay the facility but are not included on the topographic map.
  9. Submit the following drawings (indicate scale):
    • two perpendicular, sectional views of any cells to be constructed, showing the bottom, sides, and dikes, with dimensions indicated (provision should be made to maintain a freeboard in all cells); 
      a top view of any cells to be constructed showing dimensions and dike widths-- dikes should be constructed to a height of at least two feet, and all dikes should have a minimum slope on each side of three to one (horizontal to vertical); and
      a plan view of the site showing the locations of cells, dikes, access roads, etc.
  10. Plans to control stormwater runoff and to retain incoming wastes during wet weather. Indicate the 25 year maximum 24 hour rainfall event. Include specifics for any dike construction, such as dimensions and location. Also, include plans for disposing of any rainwater collected within the facility and/or landtreatment area (e.g., irrigation for cell(s), disposal in an authorized injection well). The National Atmospheric and Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration can provide information.
  11. Average annual precipitation and evaporation at the proposed site. This information can be found in the publication, Climatological Data and Annual Summary, located at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality library or at the Texas Water Development Board (http://www.twdb.texas.gov/surfacewater/conditions/evaporation/index.asp).
  12. Submit the following information if liners are to be used:
    • type of liner (e.g., polyvinyl chloride, chlorosulfonated polyethylene-reinforced, high density polyethylene, recompacted clay.)
    • thickness of liner. (Generally, man-made liners must have a thickness of at least 30 mils and recompacted clay liners must have a thickness of at least 3 feet.)
    • installation procedures. For recompacted clay liners indicate degree of compaction and hydraulic conductivity to be attained.
      procedures used to protect liner, such as soil cover.
  13. Plans to control access to the facility (e.g., fencing, inaccessible terrain, 24 hour attendant, etc.)
  14. Indicate if wastes will be accepted from sources other than your own. (If yes, see below for additional requirements for commercial facilities.)
  15. List of anticipated types and volumes of wastes to be landtreated. Please specify types of waste (e.g., RCRA exempt), crude oil contaminated soil or saltwater contaminated soil from production operations, production tank bottoms, accumulated solids from separators and treating vessels, pit bottoms, oil base drilling fluid and cuttings, etc; RCRA non-exempt crude oil contaminated soil from transportation related activities, lube oil contaminated soil, etc.
  16. See Chapter 4, Subchapter F for standards regarding surface disposal of oil and gas NORM waste.
  17. Anticipated origin of wastes. Include lease or facility name, lease number(s), well number(s) and API number(s), and county.
  18. The following waste analyses must be submitted for non-commercial, non-centralized on-site bioremediation of RCRA exempt crude oil contaminated soil: electrical conductivity (EC), soluble salts, and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH).
  19. Indicate the laboratory method used to determine TPH and provide a copy of the method.
  20. If the waste includes hydrocarbon condensate contaminated soil, you must also include benzene (TCLP).
  21. If the waste includes RCRA non-exempt contaminated soil, you must also include RCRA metals (total and TCLP) and Benzene (TCLP).
  22. In addition, if waste is contaminated with lube oil from a compressor station or gas plant, submit analyses for PCB's or a statement indicating that it is known through process knowledge that PCB's are not present.

Additional analyses may be required. 

  1. The waste application method and loading rate:
    • if the waste will be mixed into the soil, indicate procedure to be used;
    • maximum thickness of waste to be applied in a single application as well as the total thickness to be applied over the life of the operation;
    • frequency of tilling; and
    • maximum depth to which waste will be tilled.
  2. Provide information on any soil amendments or microbes you anticipate using. Include Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
  3. Target remediation levels for waste constituents: Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH), pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR), Exchangeable Sodium Percentage (ESP), and Total Metals for the 8 RCRA heavy metals (As, Ba, Cd, Cr, Pb, Hg, Se, Ag). Although applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, remediation levels should generally not exceed the following:
    • pH 6 - 10 standard units 
    • EC 4 mmhos/cm (saturated paste method) 
    • SAR 12 
    • ESP 15% 
    • Lower levels or analyses for additional parameters may be required.
  4. Estimated duration of landtreatment operation. (Generally, private facility permits are issued for one- to two-year terms and commercial or centralized facility permits are issued for five-year terms. An expiring permit may be considered for renewal. See below for requirements for renewal of expiring permits.)
  5. Detailed plans for closing the site when landtreatment operations cease, include plans for closing any boreholes used for vadose zone or groundwater monitoring, removing dikes, contouring, and reseeding. Also include plans for sampling and analyses of areas other than remediated waste in treatment cells (e.g., temporary holding cells, treatment cells from which the waste has been removed, leachate collection sumps, etc.) Provide an estimate for time required to close site.
  6. The operator must sign, date, and submit the following certification statement: "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."
  7. If your plans include on-site or off-site reuse of the bioremediated material, you must obtain a permit from the Commission. Each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  8. If a pit will be used in conjunction with the landtreatment operation, you must file Form H-11 (pdf)(Application for a Permit to Maintain and Use a Pit).

Additional requirements for commercial or centralized facilities:

  1. *Notify offset surface owners if the permit application is for a commercial or centralized operation. Submit a copy of each notification letter sent to the offset surface owners, along with a statement indicating their names and addresses and the date that they were notified of this application.
  2. *Publish notice if the permit application is for a commercial operation. Notice shall be published in accordance with HB 480 as outlined below:
    • The notice must include:
      • the date the application was filed; 
      • a description of the location of the site for which the application was made, including the county in which the site is located, the name of the original survey and abstract number, and the direction and distance from the nearest municipality;
      • the name of the owner of the site;
      • the name of the applicant;
      • the type of fluid or waste to be disposed of at the facility;
      • the disposal method proposed; and
      • the procedure for protesting the application.
    • The notice must be published:
      • at least once each week for two consecutive weeks with the first publication occurring not earlier than the date the application is filed and not later than the 30th day after the date on which the application is filed; and
      • in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the proposed disposal would occur.

You must furnish a clipping of the published notice. It is recommended that the form for published notice (pdf) be used. You must also submit a sworn affidavit from the newspaper giving the date on which the notice was published and stating that the newspaper is of general circulation in the pertinent county. It is recommended that the form for affidavit of publication (pdf) be used.

  1. Provide financial security as required by Rule 78 if the permit application is for a commercial facility. The following documents will assist in the preparation of the estimate and the financial security: Closure Cost Estimate RequirementsGuidance for Filing Forms CF-1 and CF-2, Forms CF-1 (pdf) and CF-2 (pdf).
  2. Submit a plan for the installation of groundwater monitor wells. Should a permit be issued, the installation of monitor wells will be a permit condition unless on-site borings taken to 100 feet demonstrate no shallow groundwater underlies the proposed location. Borings should be left open for a minimum of 24 hours to determine the presence of groundwater. A sufficient number of borings must be drilled at the location to accurately characterize the subsurface, and determine the lateral extent and direction of flow of any shallow groundwater.
    • The wells must be completed in accordance with 16 TAC Part 4, Chapter 76 (http://www.sos.state.tx.us/tac/) Water Well Drillers and Water Well Pump Installers.
    • The wells must be completed in the shallowest groundwater zone and the completion must isolate that zone from any deeper groundwater zone.
    • The screened interval of the wells must be designed to intercept the top of the groundwater.
    • Provision must be made to protect the well heads from damage by vehicles and heavy equipment.
    • The following information must be submitted after the wells are completed:
      • a soil boring log for each well, with the soils described using the Unified Soil Classification System (equivalent to ASTM D 2487 and 2488). The log must also include the method of drilling, total depth, and the top of the first encountered water or saturated soils.
      • a well installation diagram for each well.
      • a survey elevation for each well head reference point.
      • a potentiometric map showing static water levels and the calculated direction of groundwater flow.
  3. Submit plans for testing incoming wastes and for record keeping. The following waste analyses should be considered: pH, Hydrogen Sulfide, Ignitability, EC, TPH, metals (total and TCLP), total organic halides, and benzene. Additional analyses may be required.
  4. Submit plans for the prevention and control of spills at the facility.
  5. Submit plans for routine inspection, maintenance, and monitoring.
  6. Submit plans for post closure monitoring.
  7. May be required to provide a more detailed assessment of site including soil borings.
  8. Contact the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (http://www.tceq.state.tx.us) to determine air permitting requirements.

Requirements for renewal of expiring permits:

  1. Submit a plat drawn to scale with the landtreatment area outlined clearly and all offset surface owners and their properties indicated;
  2. *Notify surface owner of the permit application and submit a signed copy of your lease agreement. Submit a copy of the notification letter and indicate the date of notification.
  3. *If the site is within corporate limits notify the city clerk or other appropriate city official. Submit a copy of this notification letter and indicate the date of notification.
  4. *Notify offset surface owners if the permit application is for a commercial or centralized operation. Submit a copy of each notification letter sent to the offset surface owners, along with a statement indicating their names and addresses and the date that they were notified of this application.
  5. *Publish notice if the permit application is for a commercial operation. Notice shall be published in accordance with HB 480 as outlined below:
    • The notice must include:
      • the date the application was filed; 
      • a description of the location of the site for which the application was made, including the county in which the site is located, the name of the original survey and abstract number, and the direction and distance from the nearest municipality;
      • the name of the owner of the site;
      • the name of the applicant;
      • the type of fluid or waste to be disposed of at the facility;
      • the disposal method proposed; and
      • the procedure for protesting the application.
    • The notice must be published:
      • at least once each week for two consecutive weeks with the first publication occurring not earlier than the date the application is filed and not later than the 30th day after the date on which the application is filed; and
      • in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the proposed disposal would occur.

You must submit a clipping of the published notice. It is recommended that the Form for Published Notice(pdf) be used. You must also submit a sworn affidavit from the newspaper giving the date on which the notice was published and stating that the newspaper is of general circulation in the pertinent county. It is recommended that the Form for Affidavit of Publication (pdf) be used.

Requirements for amending permits:

  1. Notification as outlined above may be required for permit amendment applications where the amendment would significantly alter the permitted operation.

* Rule 8 (d)(6)(C) states that a notice of the permit application shall consist of a copy of the complete 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.

Each organization performing activities subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission must maintain a current Organization Report (Form P-5) on file with the Commission's Austin Office. 

For additional information please call (512) 463-3840.

Last Updated: 5/18/2016 1:51:16 PM