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 wash water, 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 safety data sheets for each chemical.
  6. Submit a complete analysis, representative of the effluent(s) you wish to discharge, that includes the parameters in Table 1 – Discharge Permit for Produced Water or Gas Plant Effluent Water. Analyses must be performed according to procedures approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. Analytical methods used must be reported. All parameters should be reported in mg/l unless otherwise specified. 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.
  8. Indicate on a county highway map, or topographic map:
    • 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 gas plant property 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. 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. The RRC will not approve a discharge permit until a NPDES permit has been approved or other correspondence is provided showing that the EPA has determined the discharge does not require a NPDES permit.
  14. 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.

Requirements for renewal of expiring permits:

An application to renew an existing discharge permit must consist of a written request to renew the permit and must include a complete copy of the above discharge permit application, including a new Water Analysis. 

Last Updated: 7/26/2019 11:16:25 AM