Minor Permits, Hydrostatic Test Discharges, Domestic Wastewater, and Other Permits

Minor Permits

Rule 8 minor permits are authorities that are issued by the appropriate District Office for a duration of no longer than 60 days and are limited in scope. Typically, these permits authorize a "one time" disposal of oil and gas waste. Minor permits are commonly issued for:

  • One time, off-lease landfarming of water-based drilling fluid.
  • One time, on-lease landtreatment of oily waste.
  • Disposal of basic sediment by burial, or for reuse.
  • Disposal of drilling fluid in casing or annulus.
  • Hydrostatic Test Water Discharge
  • Recycling of Domestic Wastewater

See the Guidelines for Minor Permits for more information.

Hydrostatic Test Water Discharge

Permits to discharge hydrostatic test water (HT) are a minor permit processed by Environmental Permits & Support in Austin. Pipelines must be tested to ensure safety. One method to ensure safety is to fill the pipe with water to see if it can handle the hydrostatic load. Once the water enters the pipe, it is considered oil and gas waste and so it cannot be discharged without a permit. Apply here for a HT permit.

NOTICE: There is a 150 percent surcharge in addition to the $300 fee normally associated with applying for a permit to discharge hydrostatic test water to surface waters. Total charge for a permit to discharge hydrostatic test water is $750. 

Recycling of Domestic Wastewater

A Notice to Operators has been issued on April 3, 2016, that allows the operator of a lease to beneficially recycle treated domestic wastewater and waste streams generated from mobile drinking water treatment systems on oil an gas drill sites.  Application requirements and conditions for a permit to recycle treated domestic wastewater and mobile drinking water treatment system wastewater are contained in the document titled “Application Requirements and Permit Conditions for Beneficial Recycling of Treated Domestic Wastewater and Mobile Drinking Water Treatment System Wastewater at Drill Sites.”  

Applicants may use the Domestic Wastewater Application Worksheet as an example of a permit application for recycling domestic wastewater. 
The Application Worksheet must be completed and include the unique identifiers (mobile unit number) for the domestic wastewater treatment trailer and the mobile drinking water treatment trailer. To assist in the process, the application should include a copy of the drilling permit for each treatment location.

Effective February 1, 2020 the minor permits for the Recycling of Domestic Wastewater will processed and issued by Environmental Permits & Support in Austin. Applications may be submitted via email to Domestic.Wastewater@rrc.texas.gov, or by hard copy to:
Railroad Commission of Texas
Oil and Gas Division
Technical Permitting
P. O. Box 12967
Austin, TX 78711-2967

Other Permits

Oil and gas waste disposal methods that are not authorized by Commission rules and do not have a permit application form or permit application outlined in the Surface Waste Management Manual (SWMM) may be applied for by submitting a letter of request. It is recommended that the applicant review the SWMM to find an application that most closely resembles the disposal method that they want permitted and use that application as a template. A general outline of permit applications can be found on the Permit Types and Information page.

Last Updated: 12/31/2019 11:39:21 AM