NOTICE: There is a 150 percent surcharge in addition to the $100 fee normally associated with filling a WH-1. This means you should write your check or money order for $250 total.
Exploration and production of oil and gas produces many waste streams, the largest volume of which is RCRA-exempt waste (e.g., spent drilling muds and associated cuttings, and produced water). The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) regulates transport of these wastes to protect the general public and Texas natural resources.
A person who transports for hire oil and gas waste off a lease, unit, or other oil or gas property by any method other than by pipeline must have an Oil and Gas Waste Hauler Permit (WHP) issued by the Commission. To apply for a WHP a waste hauler must:
- have a current P-5 Organizational Report on file with the Commission;
- file a Form WH-1, which describes operational information, including the RRC Districts in which the waste hauler plans to operate;
- file a Form WH-2, which describes which vehicles will be used to haul; and
- file a Form WH-3, which describes to which facilities the waste hauler may transport waste for disposal.
A WHP may be issued without a WH-3, but the waste hauler would be limited to disposal facilities authorized by a minor permit from the Commission, or disposal facilities authorized by another state agency or by another state.
Please note that the Waste Hauler Permit must be renewed annually and the application and fee must be submitted in addition to any submittals required to maintain an active P-5 Organization Report.
Inert Waste and Hazardous Waste Hauling
A WHP is not required for hauling of inert waste. Transport of hazardous oil and gas waste is subject to regulation under Statewide Rule 98 (relating to Standards for Management of Hazardous Oil and Gas Waste).
Disposal at TCEQ or non-RRC Facilities
The disposal of oil and gas waste at a facility permitted by another state agency, another state, or the federal government is authorized if the waste generator submits to the Commission District Office in the district in which the waste was generated documentation regarding the shipment of waste to such facility within 30 days after shipment. Such documentation may be in the form of a run ticket, manifest, receipt, or summary that contains the following information: generator name, site of waste generation (lease name or other facility name as appropriate), county, waste hauler permit number if applicable, date of shipment, type and volume of waste, and name and location of disposal facility. This change eliminates the need for the generator to obtain a minor permit from the Commission for such management while still ensuring that RRC has the ability to track oil and gas wastes that are managed at facilities other than those permitted by the Commission.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has issued "Disposal of Special Wastes Associated with the Development of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources" (RG-003). This Regulatory Guidance lists oil and gas wastes commonly taken to a landfill for disposal, and, for each waste, indicates whether or not the waste is exempt from federal hazardous waste regulations under RCRA, what treatment or testing is required by TCEQ for the waste, and whether or not written approval is required from the TCEQ.