Surface Waste Management Manual

Application Information for a Permit to Land Apply Produced Water or Gas Plant Effluent

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

During the application review process, the potential for the disposal to cause pollution of surface or subsurface waters is considered. Factors such as wastewater quality, soil characteristics, topography, and depth to and quality of groundwater will be considered.

 The following actions must be completed, and the requested information submitted before the application can be considered. The responses must be numbered to correspond to the requests for information outlined below.

  1. Operator name, address, telephone 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 the surface owner(s) of the permit application. Submit a copy of the notification letter and indicate date of notification. Refer to the notice requirements provided at the bottom of this page.
  3. Submit a signed copy of the surface lease agreement OR a written statement from the surface owner stating that there are no objections to the disposal
  4. 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. Refer to the notice requirements provided at the bottom of this page.
  5. A description of the proposed land application area 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 latitude and longitude
    • A general description of the contour of the land application site, including any water course 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 plains. Sites located in the 100-year floodplain will not be approved
    • Whether or not the site is located in a wetland. If yes, submit a copy of your Army Corps of Engineer (http://www.usace.army.mil/) Wetlands Permit or Permit Application
    • 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
    • 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. Plans to control stormwater runoff and to retain incoming wastes during wet weather. Indicate the 25-year maximum 24-hour rainfall event. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration can provide information. Include construction details for any berms or dikes, such as dimensions and location.
  8. 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).
  9. Submit the following plats and maps:
    • Plat drawn to scale with the proposed land application area outlined clearly and all offset surface owners and their properties indicated
    • Two perpendicular, sectional views of any cells to be constructed, showing the bottom, sides, and dikes, with dimensions indicated
    • 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)
    • A copy of a county highway map showing the location of the proposed site
    • A 7 ½ minute USGS topographic map with the land application area outlined clearly
  10. Plans to control access to the facility (e.g., fencing, inaccessible terrain, 24-hour attendant, etc.)
  11. Indicate source of waste and if waste will be accepted from sources other than your own. (If yes, see below for additional requirements for commercial facilities). Include lease or facility name, lease number(s), well number(s), API number(s) and county.
  12. Describe any treatment that the water will receive prior to land application:
    • Describe any processes used to treat water e.g. reverse osmosis.
    • Include a copy of any technical data available from the manufacturer on any equipment used to treat the water. If the water is treated by reverse osmosis, include the method of disposal for the reject water.
    • Include a schematic of treatment process.
    • List any process and/or treatment chemicals used at the facility that may be present in the water to be land applied. Include an estimate of the concentrations that may occur in the water to be land applied. Include material safety data sheets for each chemical.
  13. The waste application method. Provide full description of system, including drawings, on the proposed method for spreading the effluent evenly over the land-spreading area. For example, if planning to use a sprinkler system, include a diagram showing the layout of the system and the number and type of sprinkler heads.
  14. The waste loading rate. Include the average and estimated maximum water application rates (bbl/day). Any permit issued will contain a maximum land application rate (bbl/acre/day).
  15. Estimated duration of land application operation.
  16. A representative sample of the wastewater must be collected and analyzed for the parameters in Table 2 – Land Application 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.
  17. The operator must submit a signed statement indicating that the water will not reach surface waters of the state.
  18. 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."
  19. If a pit will be used in conjunction with the land application operation, you must file Form H-11 (pdf). (Application for a Permit to Maintain and Use a Pit).

Additional requirements for centralized and commercial facilities:

  1. * Notify offset surface owners of the 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. Refer to the notice requirements provided at the bottom of this page. 
  2. Financial security is required by Rule 78 if the permit application is for a centralized or commercial facility. The following documents will assist in the preparation of the estimate and the financial security: Closure Cost Estimate Requirements, Guidance for Filing Forms CF-1 and CF-2, Forms CF-1 (pdf) and CF-2 (pdf).
  3. If the permit application is for a centralized or commercial facility, submit a plan for the installation of monitor wells. Should a permit be issued, the installation of groundwater wells will be a permit condition: the only exception would be if an on-site boring taken to one hundred (100) feet recovers no water in a 24-hour test.
    1. The wells must be completed in accordance with 16 TAC Part 4, Chapter 76 Water Well Drillers and Water Well Pump Installers. 
    2. The wells must be completed in the shallowest groundwater zone and the completion must isolate that zone from any deeper groundwater zone.
    3. The screened interval of the wells must be designed to intercept the top of the groundwater.
    4. Provision must be made to protect the well heads from damage by vehicles and heavy equipment.
    5. 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.
  4. Plans for testing incoming wastes and for recordkeeping.
  5. Plans for routine inspection, maintenance, and monitoring.
  6. Contact the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (http://www.tceq.state.tx.us) to determine air permitting requirements.

Additional Published Notice required for Commercial facilities:

Notice shall be published in accordance with HB 480 as outlined below:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. You must furnish a complete tear sheet 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 renewal of expiring permits:

  1. A request for renewal should be submitted at least 60 days prior to the expiration date of the permit.
  2. The renewal application should include any information that may have been updated since the previous application or renewal. Additional information may be requested by Technical Permitting, if deemed necessary.
  3. Submit a plat drawn to scale with the proposed land application area outlined clearly, and all offset surface owners and their properties indicated.
  4. * Notify surface owner of the permit application and submit a signed copy of your lease agreement or a statement from surface owner stating there are no objections to the disposal. Submit a copy of the notification letter and indicate date of notification. Refer to the notice requirements provided at the bottom of this page. 
  5. * 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. Refer to the notice requirements provided at the bottom of this page. 
  6. * 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. Refer to the notice requirements provided at the bottom of this page. 
  7. Publish notice if the permit application is for a commercial operation. Published notice must meet all requirements as outlined above but should clarify that the notice is for renewal of an existing facility.

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.
  2.     An updated Closure Cost Estimate will be required if the proposed changes alter the amount for the financial security.

 

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.” Protests must be sent to: Technical Permitting Section, Oil and Gas Division, Railroad Commission of Texas, P.O. Box 12967, Austin, Texas 78711 (Telephone 512-463-3840).

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: 7/26/2019 11:22:45 AM