RRC Proposes Major Overhaul for Water Protection and Oil & Gas Waste Management Rules

October 02, 2023

AUSTIN- For the first time in nearly 40 years, the Railroad Commission’s Statewide Rule 8 will undergo a substantial overhaul to better reflect modern waste management practices and recent advancements in production methods. 

One of the highest priorities of the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is the protection of groundwater resources. Water protection is a major consideration in many of the Commission's Statewide Rules and is one of the primary purposes of Statewide Rule 8. The revisions proposed by the Commission under Chapter 4 and Statewide Rule 8 reflect the Commission’s mission to serve Texas through our stewardship of natural resources and the environment.

The proposed changes include streamlining of Statewide Rule 8 into the Commission’s existing Chapter 4 regulations concerning environmental protection, updating requirements on the design, construction, operation, monitoring, and closure of waste management units, and improving the Commission’s ability to track and collect data with respect to oilfield waste transported throughout Texas.

The changes being proposed will provide clear direction to operators and Commission staff that will help protect environmental resources and the public across Texas.

The new proposals are now posted on the RRC website for informal public comment. The Commission will be hosting both an informal and virtual hearing on the proposed changes where interested parties are encouraged to attend and provide oral or written comments regarding the proposed changes under consideration.

The link to the informal posting can be found here.

Staff will review and consider those informal comments prior to formally proposing the rule for public consideration in the Texas Register.

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 https://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.