TITLE 16. ECONOMIC REGULATION

PART 1. RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS

CHAPTER 3. OIL AND GAS DIVISION

16 TAC §3.30

The Railroad Commission of Texas adopts amendments to §3.30, relating to Memorandum of Understanding between the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), with changes to the proposed text as published in the February 28, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 1290). The rule will be republished. The amendments are adopted to implement changes made by House Bill 2230 and House Bill 2771 from the 84th and 86th Texas Legislative Sessions, respectively. The adopted amendments also update the definition of underground source of drinking water. The Commission received no comments on the proposed amendments.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the TCEQ and the RRC was last amended in May 2012. Amendments in subsection (a)(4) and subsection (g) update the applicable dates of MOU amendments. The proposed effective date of May 11, 2020, in subsection (g) was changed to reflect the date of RRC adoption of the proposed amendments. The new effective date is July 15, 2020.

House Bill 2230 (84th Legislature, 2015) enacted Texas Water Code, Section 27.026, to allow dual authorization of Class II and Class V injection wells for the disposal of nonhazardous brine from a desalination operation, or nonhazardous drinking water treatment residuals (DWTR), under the jurisdiction of the TCEQ, into a Class II injection well permitted by the RRC. House Bill 2230 allows the TCEQ to authorize by individual permit, by general permit, or by rule, a Class V injection well for the disposal of such brine or DWTR in a Class II well permitted by the RRC. New subsection (e)(4)(E) implements the dual authority granted by House Bill 2230.

House Bill 2771 (86th Legislature, 2019) amended Texas Water Code, Section 26.131, to transfer to TCEQ the RRC's responsibilities relating to regulation of discharges into surface water in the state, as defined in 30 TAC §307.3(70) (relating to Definitions and Abbreviations), of produced water, hydrostatic test water, and gas plant effluent resulting from the exploration, production and development of oil, natural gas, or geothermal resources. House Bill 2771 authorizes the transfer of responsibilities from the RRC to the TCEQ after TCEQ receives approval from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to supplement or amend TCEQ's Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) program to include authority over these discharges. House Bill 2771 also establishes September 1, 2021, as the deadline for TCEQ to submit its request to the EPA to supplement or amend the TPDES program to include delegation of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit authority for discharges of produced water, hydrostatic test water, and gas plant effluent.

Amendments implementing House Bill 2771 are found in subsection (b)(1)(B), (b)(2)(B), and (d)(12)(A). The definition of "produced water" in subsection (b)(1)(B)(i) is based on TCEQ's definition of that term as published in the January 10, 2020, issue of the Texas Register in proposed amendments to 30 TAC §305.541.

Amendments in subsection (e)(1) correct references to the TCEQ Small Business and Environmental Assistance (SBEA) Division, which is now the TCEQ External Relations Division.

Finally, amendments in §3.30(e)(7)(B)(ii) update the definition of "underground source of drinking water" to reference the definition in 40 Code of Federal Regulations §146.3.

The RRC adopts the amendments to 16 TAC §3.30 under: (1) Texas Water Code §26.131, which transfers the responsibilities relating to regulation of discharges of produced water, hydrostatic test water and gas plant effluent into surface water in the state from the RRC to the TCEQ; (2) Texas Water Code Chapter 27, which authorizes the RRC to adopt and enforce rules relating to injection wells and, specifically, Texas Water Code §27.026, as amended by House Bill 2230 (84th Legislature, 2015), which requires the RRC and TCEQ by rule to amend the MOU to implement the statutory changes related to disposal of nonhazardous brine from a desalination operation or nonhazardous drinking water treatment residuals (DWTR); (3) Texas Natural Resources Code, §81.052, which authorizes the RRC to adopt all necessary rules for governing persons and their operations under the jurisdiction of the RRC; and (4) Texas Natural Resources Code, §85.201, which authorizes the RRC to make and enforce rules for the conservation of oil and gas and prevention of waste of oil and gas.

Statutory authority: Water Code §§26.131 and 27.026, and Natural Resources Code §§81.052 and 85.201.

Cross reference to statute: Water Code Chapters 26 and 27; Natural Resources Code Chapters 81 and 85.

§3.30.Memorandum of Understanding between the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

(a) Need for agreement. Several statutes cover persons and activities where the respective jurisdictions of the RRC and the TCEQ may intersect. This rule is a statement of how the agencies implement the division of jurisdiction.

(1) Section 10 of House Bill 1407, 67th Legislature, 1981, which appeared as a footnote to the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act, Texas Civil Statutes, Article 4477-7, provides as follows: On or before January 1, 1982, the Texas Department of Water Resources, the Texas Department of Health, and the Railroad Commission of Texas shall execute a memorandum of understanding that specifies in detail these agencies' interpretation of the division of jurisdiction among the agencies over waste materials that result from or are related to activities associated with the exploration for and the development, production, and refining of oil or gas. The agencies shall amend the memorandum of understanding at any time that the agencies find it to be necessary.

(2) Texas Health and Safety Code, §401.414, relating to Memoranda of Understanding, requires the Railroad Commission of Texas and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to adopt a memorandum of understanding (MOU) defining the agencies' respective duties under Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 401, relating to radioactive materials and other sources of radiation. Texas Health and Safety Code, §401.415, relating to oil and gas naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) waste, provides that the Railroad Commission of Texas shall issue rules on the management of oil and gas NORM waste, and in so doing shall consult with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (now TCEQ) and the Department of Health (now Department of State Health Services) regarding protection of the public health and the environment.

(3) Texas Water Code, Chapters 26 and 27, provide that the Railroad Commission and TCEQ collaborate on matters related to discharges, surface water quality, groundwater protection, underground injection control and geologic storage of carbon dioxide. Texas Water Code, §27.049, relating to Memorandum of Understanding, requires the RRC and TCEQ to adopt a new MOU or amend the existing MOU to reflect the agencies' respective duties under Texas Water Code, Chapter 27, Subchapter C-1 (relating to Geologic Storage and Associated Injection of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide).

(4) The original MOU between the agencies adopted pursuant to House Bill 1407 (67th Legislature, 1981) became effective January 1, 1982. The MOU was revised effective December 1, 1987, May 31, 1998, August 30, 2010, and again on May 1, 2012, to reflect legislative clarification of the Railroad Commission's jurisdiction over oil and gas wastes and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission's (the combination of the Texas Water Commission, the Texas Air Control Board, and portions of the Texas Department of Health) jurisdiction over industrial and hazardous wastes.

(5) The agencies have determined that the revised MOU that became effective on May 1, 2012, should again be revised to further clarify jurisdictional boundaries and to reflect legislative changes in agency responsibility.

(b) General agency jurisdictions.

(1) Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) (the successor agency to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission).

(A) Solid waste. Under Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 361, §§361.001 - 361.754, the TCEQ has jurisdiction over solid waste. The TCEQ's jurisdiction encompasses hazardous and nonhazardous, industrial and municipal, solid wastes.

(i) Under Texas Health and Safety Code, §361.003(34), solid waste under the jurisdiction of the TCEQ is defined to include "garbage, rubbish, refuse, sludge from a waste treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility, and other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, municipal, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations and from community and institutional activities."

(ii) Under Texas Health and Safety Code, §361.003(34), the definition of solid waste excludes "material which results from activities associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas or geothermal resources and other substance or material regulated by the Railroad Commission of Texas pursuant to Section 91.101, Natural Resources Code. . . ."

(iii) Under Texas Health and Safety Code, §361.003(34), the definition of solid waste includes the following until the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delegates its authority under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 United States Code (U.S.C.) §6901, et seq., (RCRA) to the RRC: "waste, substance or material that results from activities associated with gasoline plants, natural gas or natural gas liquids processing plants, pressure maintenance plants, or repressurizing plants and is a hazardous waste as defined by the administrator of the EPA. . . ."

(iv) After delegation of RCRA authority to the RRC, the definition of solid waste (which defines TCEQ's jurisdiction) will not include hazardous wastes arising out of or incidental to activities associated with gasoline plants, natural gas or natural gas liquids processing plants, or reservoir pressure maintenance or repressurizing plants. The term natural gas or natural gas liquids processing plant refers to a plant the primary function of which is the extraction of natural gas liquids from field gas or fractionation of natural gas liquids. The term does not include a separately located natural gas treating plant for which the primary function is the removal of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, or other impurities from the natural gas stream. A separator, dehydration unit, heater treater, sweetening unit, compressor, or similar equipment is considered a part of a natural gas or natural gas liquids processing plant only if it is located at a plant the primary function of which is the extraction of natural gas liquids from field gas or fractionation of natural gas liquids. Further, a pressure maintenance or repressurizing plant is a plant for processing natural gas for reinjection (for reservoir pressure maintenance or repressurization) in a natural gas recycling project. A compressor station along a natural gas pipeline system or a pump station along a crude oil pipeline system is not a pressure maintenance or repressurizing plant.

(B) Water quality.

(i) Discharges under Texas Water Code, Chapter 26. Under the Texas Water Code, Chapter 26, the TCEQ has jurisdiction over discharges into or adjacent to water in the state, except for discharges regulated by the RRC. Upon delegation from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to the TCEQ of authority to issue permits for discharges into surface water in the state of produced water, hydrostatic test water, and gas plant effluent resulting from the activities described in Texas Water Code §26.131(a), the TCEQ has sole authority to issue permits for those discharges. For the purposes of TCEQ's implementation of Texas Water Code, §26.131,"produced water" is defined as all wastewater associated with oil and gas exploration, development, and production activities, except hydrostatic test water and gas plant effluent, that is discharged into water in the state, including waste streams regulated by 40 CFR Part 435.

(ii) Discharge permits existing on the effective date of EPA's delegation to TCEQ of NPDES permit authority for discharges of produced water, hydrostatic test water, and gas plant effluent. RRC permits issued prior to TCEQ delegation of NPDES authority shall remain effective until revoked or expired. Amendment or renewal of such permits on or after the effective date of delegation shall be pursuant to TCEQ's TPDES authority. The TPDES permit will supersede and replace the RRC permit. For facilities that have both an RRC permit and an EPA permit, TCEQ will issue the TPDES permit upon amendment or renewal of the RRC or EPA permit, whichever occurs first.

(iii) Discharge applications pending on the effective date of EPA's delegation to TCEQ of NPDES permit authority for discharges of produced water, hydrostatic test water, and gas plant effluent. TCEQ shall assume authority for discharge applications pending at the time TCEQ receives delegation from EPA. The RRC will provide TCEQ the permit application and any other relevant information necessary to administratively and technically review and process the applications. TCEQ will review and process these pending applications in accordance with TPDES requirements.

(iv) Storm water. TCEQ has jurisdiction over storm water discharges that are required to be permitted pursuant to Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 122.26, except for discharges regulated by the RRC. Discharge of storm water regulated by TCEQ may be authorized by an individual Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permit or by a general TPDES permit. These storm water permits may also include authorizations for certain minor types of non-storm water discharges.

(I) Storm water associated with industrial activities. The TCEQ regulates storm water discharges associated with certain industrial activities under individual TPDES permits and under the TPDES Multi-Sector General Permit, except for discharges associated with industrial activities under the jurisdiction of the RRC.

(II) Storm water associated with construction activities. The TCEQ regulates storm water discharges associated with construction activities, except for discharges from construction activities under the jurisdiction of the RRC.

(III) Municipal storm water discharges. The TCEQ has jurisdiction over discharges from regulated municipal storm sewer systems (MS4s).

(IV) Combined storm water. Except with regard to storage of oil, when a portion of a site is regulated by the TCEQ, and a portion of a site is regulated by the EPA and RRC, storm water authorization must be obtained from the TCEQ for the portion(s) of the site regulated by the TCEQ, and from the EPA and the RRC, as applicable, for the RRC regulated portion(s) of the site. Discharge of storm water from a facility that stores both refined products intended for off-site use and crude oil in aboveground tanks is regulated by the TCEQ.

(v) State water quality certification. Under the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 (33 U.S.C. Section 1341), the TCEQ performs state water quality certifications for activities that require a federal license or permit and that may result in a discharge to waters of the United States, except for those activities regulated by the RRC.

(vi) Commercial brine extraction and evaporation. Under Texas Water Code, §26.132, the TCEQ has jurisdiction over evaporation pits operated for the commercial production of brine water, minerals, salts, or other substances that naturally occur in groundwater and that are not regulated by the RRC.

(C) Injection wells. Under the Texas Water Code, Chapter 27, the TCEQ has jurisdiction to regulate and authorize the drilling, construction, operation, and closure of injection wells unless the activity is subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC. Injection wells under TCEQ's jurisdiction are identified in 30 TAC §331.11 (relating to Classification of Injection Wells) and include:

(i) Class I injection wells for the disposal of hazardous, radioactive, industrial or municipal waste that inject fluids below the lower-most formation which within 1/4 mile of the wellbore contains an underground source of drinking water;

(ii) Class III injection wells for the extraction of minerals including solution mining of sodium sulfate, sulfur, potash, phosphate, copper, uranium and the mining of sulfur by the Frasch process;

(iii) Class IV injection wells for the disposal of hazardous or radioactive waste which inject fluids into or above formations that contain an underground source of drinking water; and

(iv) Class V injection wells that are not under the jurisdiction of the RRC, such as aquifer remediation wells, aquifer recharge wells, aquifer storage wells, large capacity septic systems, storm water drainage wells, salt water intrusion barrier wells, and closed loop geothermal wells.

(2) Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC).

(A) Oil and gas waste.

(i) Under Texas Natural Resources Code, Title 3, and Texas Water Code, Chapter 26, wastes (both hazardous and nonhazardous) resulting from activities associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas or geothermal resources, including storage, handling, reclamation, gathering, transportation, or distribution of crude oil or natural gas by pipeline, prior to the refining of such oil or prior to the use of such gas in any manufacturing process or as a residential or industrial fuel, are under the jurisdiction of the RRC, except as noted in clause (ii) of this subparagraph. These wastes are termed "oil and gas wastes." In compliance with Texas Health and Safety Code, §361.025 (relating to exempt activities), a list of activities that generate wastes that are subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC is found at §3.8(a)(30) of this title (relating to Water Protection) and at 30 TAC §335.1 (relating to Definitions), which contains a definition of "activities associated with the exploration, development, and production of oil or gas or geothermal resources." Under Texas Health and Safety Code, §401.415, the RRC has jurisdiction over the disposal of oil and gas naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) waste that constitutes, is contained in, or has contaminated oil and gas waste.

(ii) Hazardous wastes arising out of or incidental to activities associated with gasoline plants, natural gas or natural gas liquids processing plants or reservoir pressure maintenance or repressurizing plants are subject to the jurisdiction of the TCEQ until the RRC is authorized by EPA to administer RCRA. When the RRC is authorized by EPA to administer RCRA, jurisdiction over such hazardous wastes will transfer from the TCEQ to the RRC.

(B) Water quality.

(i) Discharges. Under Texas Natural Resources Code, Title 3, and Texas Water Code, Chapter 26, the RRC regulates discharges from activities associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil, gas, or geothermal resources, including transportation of crude oil and natural gas by pipeline, and from solution brine mining activities, except that on delegation to the TCEQ of NPDES authority for discharges into surface water in the state of produced water, hydrostatic test water, and gas plant effluent resulting from the activities described in Texas Water Code §26.131(a), the TCEQ has sole authority to issue permits for those discharges. Discharges regulated by the RRC into or adjacent to water in the state shall not cause a violation of the water quality standards. While water quality standards are established by the TCEQ, the RRC has the responsibility for enforcing any violation of such standards resulting from activities regulated by the RRC. Texas Water Code, Chapter 26, does not require that discharges regulated by the RRC comply with regulations of the TCEQ that are not water quality standards. The TCEQ and the RRC may consult as necessary regarding application and interpretation of Texas Surface Water Quality Standards.

(ii) Storm water. When required by federal law, authorization for storm water discharges that are under the jurisdiction of the RRC must be obtained through application for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit with the EPA and authorization from the RRC, as applicable.

(I) Storm water associated with industrial activities. Where required by federal law, discharges of storm water associated with facilities and activities under the RRC's jurisdiction must be authorized by the EPA and the RRC, as applicable. Under 33 U.S.C. §1342(l)(2) and §1362(24), EPA cannot require a permit for discharges of storm water from "field activities or operations associated with {oil and gas} exploration, production, processing, or treatment operations, or transmission facilities" unless the discharge is contaminated by contact with any overburden, raw material, intermediate product, finished product, byproduct, or waste product located on the site of the facility. Under §3.8 of this title (relating to Water Protection), the RRC prohibits operators from causing or allowing pollution of surface or subsurface water. Operators are encouraged to implement and maintain Best Management Practices (BMPs) to minimize discharges of pollutants, including sediment, in storm water to help ensure protection of surface water quality during storm events.

(II) Storm water associated with construction activities. Where required by federal law, discharges of storm water associated with construction activities under the RRC's jurisdiction must be authorized by the EPA and the RRC, as applicable. Activities under RRC jurisdiction include construction of a facility that, when completed, would be associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas or geothermal resources, such as a well site; treatment or storage facility; underground hydrocarbon or natural gas storage facility; reclamation plant; gas processing facility; compressor station; terminal facility where crude oil is stored prior to refining and at which refined products are stored solely for use at the facility; a carbon dioxide geologic storage facility under the jurisdiction of the RRC; and a gathering, transmission, or distribution pipeline that will transport crude oil or natural gas, including natural gas liquids, prior to refining of such oil or the use of the natural gas in any manufacturing process or as a residential or industrial fuel. The RRC also has jurisdiction over storm water from land disturbance associated with a site survey that is conducted prior to construction of a facility that would be regulated by the RRC. Under 33 U.S.C. §1342(l)(2) and §1362(24), EPA cannot require a permit for discharges of storm water from "field activities or operations associated with {oil and gas} exploration, production, processing, or treatment operations, or transmission facilities, including activities necessary to prepare a site for drilling and for the movement and placement of drilling equipment, whether or not such field activities or operations may be considered to be construction activities" unless the discharge is contaminated by contact with any overburden, raw material, intermediate product, finished product, byproduct, or waste product located on the site of the facility. Under §3.8 of this title (relating to Water Protection), the RRC prohibits operators from causing or allowing pollution of surface or subsurface water. Operators are encouraged to implement and maintain BMPs to minimize discharges of pollutants, including sediment, in storm water during construction activities to help ensure protection of surface water quality during storm events.

(III) Municipal storm water discharges. Storm water discharges from facilities regulated by the RRC located within an MS4 are not regulated by the TCEQ. However, a municipality may regulate storm water discharges from RRC sites into their MS4.

(IV) Combined storm water. Except with regard to storage of oil, when a portion of a site is regulated by the RRC and the EPA, and a portion of a site is regulated by the TCEQ, storm water authorization must be obtained from the EPA and the RRC, as applicable, for the portion(s) of the site under RRC jurisdiction and from the TCEQ for the TCEQ regulated portion(s) of the site. Discharge of storm water from a terminal facility where crude oil is stored prior to refining and at which refined products are stored solely for use at the facility is under the jurisdiction of the RRC.

(iii) State water quality certification. The RRC performs state water quality certifications, as authorized by the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 (33 U.S.C. Section 1341) for activities that require a federal license or permit and that may result in any discharge to waters of the United States for those activities regulated by the RRC.

(C) Injection wells. The RRC has jurisdiction over the drilling, construction, operation, and closure of the following injection wells.

(i) Disposal wells. The RRC has jurisdiction under Texas Water Code, Chapter 27, over injection wells used to dispose of oil and gas waste. Texas Water Code, Chapter 27, defines "oil and gas waste" to mean "waste arising out of or incidental to drilling for or producing of oil, gas, or geothermal resources, waste arising out of or incidental to the underground storage of hydrocarbons other than storage in artificial tanks or containers, or waste arising out of or incidental to the operation of gasoline plants, natural gas processing plants, or pressure maintenance or repressurizing plants. The term includes but is not limited to salt water, brine, sludge, drilling mud, and other liquid or semi-liquid waste material." The term "waste arising out of or incidental to drilling for or producing of oil, gas, or geothermal resources" includes waste associated with transportation of crude oil or natural gas by pipeline pursuant to Texas Natural Resources Code, §91.101.

(ii) Enhanced recovery wells. The RRC has jurisdiction over wells into which fluids are injected for enhanced recovery of oil or natural gas.

(iii) Brine mining. Under Texas Water Code, §27.036, the RRC has jurisdiction over brine mining and may issue permits for injection wells.

(iv) Geologic storage of carbon dioxide. Under Texas Water Code, §27.011 and §27.041, and subject to the review of the legislature based on the recommendations made in the preliminary report described by Section 10, Senate Bill No. 1387, Acts of the 81st Legislature, Regular Session (2009), the RRC has jurisdiction over geologic storage of carbon dioxide in, and the injection of carbon dioxide into, a reservoir that is initially or may be productive of oil, gas, or geothermal resources or a saline formation directly above or below that reservoir and over a well used for such injection purposes regardless of whether the well was initially completed for that purpose or was initially completed for another purpose and converted.

(v) Hydrocarbon storage. The RRC has jurisdiction over wells into which fluids are injected for storage of hydrocarbons that are liquid at standard temperature and pressure.

(vi) Geothermal energy. Under Texas Natural Resources Code, Chapter 141, the RRC has jurisdiction over injection wells for the exploration, development, and production of geothermal energy and associated resources.

(vii) In situ tar sands. Under Texas Water Code, §27.035, the RRC has jurisdiction over the in situ recovery of tar sands and may issue permits for injection wells used for the in situ recovery of tar sands.

(c) Definition of hazardous waste.

(1) Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, §361.003(12), a "hazardous waste" subject to the jurisdiction of the TCEQ is defined as "solid waste identified or listed as a hazardous waste by the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the federal Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, as amended (42 U.S.C. §6901, et seq.)." Similarly, under Texas Natural Resources Code, §91.601(1), "oil and gas hazardous waste" subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC is defined as an "oil and gas waste that is a hazardous waste as defined by the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the federal Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (42 U.S.C. §§6901, et seq.)."

(2) Federal regulations adopted under authority of the federal Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by RCRA, exempt from regulation as hazardous waste certain oil and gas wastes. Under 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §261.4(b)(5), "drilling fluids, produced waters, and other wastes associated with the exploration, development, or production of crude oil, natural gas or geothermal energy" are described as wastes that are exempt from federal hazardous waste regulations.

(3) A partial list of wastes associated with oil, gas, and geothermal exploration, development, and production that are considered exempt from hazardous waste regulation under RCRA can be found in EPA's "Regulatory Determination for Oil and Gas and Geothermal Exploration, Development and Production Wastes," 53 FedReg 25,446 (July 6, 1988). A further explanation of the exemption can be found in the "Clarification of the Regulatory Determination for Wastes from the Exploration, Development and Production of Crude Oil, Natural Gas and Geothermal Energy, " 58 FedReg 15,284 (March 22, 1993). The exemption codified at 40 CFR §261.4(b)(5) and discussed in the Regulatory Determination has been, and may continue to be, clarified in subsequent guidance issued by the EPA.

(d) Jurisdiction over waste from specific activities.

(1) Drilling, operation, and plugging of wells associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil, gas, or geothermal resources. Wells associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil, gas, or geothermal resources include exploratory wells, cathodic protection holes, core holes, oil wells, gas wells, geothermal resource wells, fluid injection wells used for secondary or enhanced recovery of oil or gas, oil and gas waste disposal wells, and injection water source wells. Several types of waste materials can be generated during the drilling, operation, and plugging of these wells. These waste materials include drilling fluids (including water-based and oil-based fluids), cuttings, produced water, produced sand, waste hydrocarbons (including used oil), fracturing fluids, spent acid, workover fluids, treating chemicals (including scale inhibitors, emulsion breakers, paraffin inhibitors, and surfactants), waste cement, filters (including used oil filters), domestic sewage (including waterborne human waste and waste from activities such as bathing and food preparation), and trash (including inert waste, barrels, dope cans, oily rags, mud sacks, and garbage). Generally, these wastes, whether disposed of by discharge, landfill, land farm, evaporation, or injection, are subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC. Wastes from oil, gas, and geothermal exploration activities subject to regulation by the RRC when those wastes are to be processed, treated, or disposed of at a solid waste management facility authorized by the TCEQ under 30 TAC Chapter 330 are, as defined in 30 TAC §330.3(148) (relating to Definitions), "special wastes."

(2) Field treatment of produced fluids. Oil, gas, and water produced from oil, gas, or geothermal resource wells may be treated in the field in facilities such as separators, skimmers, heater treaters, dehydrators, and sweetening units. Waste that results from the field treatment of oil and gas include waste hydrocarbons (including used oil), produced water, hydrogen sulfide scavengers, dehydration wastes, treating and cleaning chemicals, filters (including used oil filters), asbestos insulation, domestic sewage, and trash are subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC.

(3) Storage of oil.

(A) Tank bottoms and other wastes from the storage of crude oil (whether foreign or domestic) before it enters the refinery are under the jurisdiction of the RRC. In addition, waste resulting from storage of crude oil at refineries is subject to the jurisdiction of the TCEQ.

(B) Wastes generated from storage tanks that are part of the refinery and wastes resulting from the wholesale and retail marketing of refined products are subject to the jurisdiction of the TCEQ.

(4) Underground hydrocarbon storage. The disposal of wastes, including saltwater, resulting from the construction, creation, operation, maintenance, closure, or abandonment of an "underground hydrocarbon storage facility" is subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC, provided the terms "hydrocarbons" and "underground hydrocarbon storage facility" have the meanings set out in Texas Natural Resources Code, §91.201.

(5) Underground natural gas storage. The disposal of wastes resulting from the construction, operation, or abandonment of an "underground natural gas storage facility" is subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC, provided that the terms "natural gas" and "storage facility" have the meanings set out in Texas Natural Resources Code, §91.173.

(6) Transportation of crude oil or natural gas.

(A) Jurisdiction over pipeline-related activities. The RRC has jurisdiction over matters related to pipeline safety for pipelines in Texas, as referenced in §8.1 of this title (relating to General Applicability and Standards) pursuant to Chapter 121 of the Texas Utilities Code and Chapter 117 of the Texas Natural Resources Code. The RRC has jurisdiction over spill response and remediation of releases from pipelines transporting crude oil, natural gas, and condensate that originate from exploration and production facilities to the refinery gate. The RRC has jurisdiction over waste generated by construction and operation of pipelines used to transport crude oil, natural gas, and condensate on an oil and gas lease, and from exploration and production facilities to the refinery gate. The RRC is responsible for water quality certification issues related to construction and operation of pipelines used to transport crude oil, natural gas, and condensate on an oil and gas lease, and from exploration and production facilities to the refinery gate. The RRC has jurisdiction over waste generated by construction and operation of pipelines transporting carbon dioxide.

(B) Crude oil and natural gas are transported by railcars, tank trucks, barges, tankers, and pipelines. The RRC has jurisdiction over waste from the transportation of crude oil by pipeline, regardless of the crude oil source (foreign or domestic) prior to arrival at a refinery. The RRC also has jurisdiction over waste from the transportation by pipeline of natural gas, including natural gas liquids, prior to the use of the natural gas in any manufacturing process or as a residential or industrial fuel. The transportation wastes subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC include wastes from pipeline compressor or pressure stations and wastes from pipeline hydrostatic pressure tests and other pipeline operations. These wastes include waste hydrocarbons (including used oil), treating and cleaning chemicals, filters (including used oil filters), scraper trap sludge, trash, domestic sewage, wastes contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (including transformers, capacitors, ballasts, and soils), soils contaminated with mercury from leaking mercury meters, asbestos insulation, transite pipe, and hydrostatic test waters.

(C) The TCEQ has jurisdiction over waste from transportation of refined products by pipeline.

(D) The TCEQ also has jurisdiction over wastes associated with transportation of crude oil and natural gas, including natural gas liquids, by railcar, tank truck, barge, or tanker.

(7) Reclamation plants.

(A) The RRC has jurisdiction over wastes from reclamation plants that process wastes from activities associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil, gas, or geothermal resources, such as lease tank bottoms. Waste management activities of reclamation plants for other wastes are subject to the jurisdiction of the TCEQ.

(B) The RRC has jurisdiction over the conservation and prevention of waste of crude oil and therefore must approve all movements of crude oil-containing materials to reclamation plants. The applicable statute and regulations consist primarily of reporting requirements for accounting purposes.

(8) Refining of oil.

(A) The management of wastes resulting from oil refining operations, including spent caustics, spent catalysts, still bottoms or tars, and American Petroleum Institute (API) separator sludges, is subject to the jurisdiction of the TCEQ. The processing of light ends from the distillation and cracking of crude oil or crude oil products is considered to be a refining operation. The term "refining" does not include the processing of natural gas or natural gas liquids.

(B) The RRC has jurisdiction over refining activities for the conservation and the prevention of waste of crude oil. The RRC requires that all crude oil streams into or out of a refinery be reported for accounting purposes. In addition, the RRC requires that materials recycled and used as a fuel, such as still bottoms or waste crude oil, be reported.

(9) Natural gas or natural gas liquids processing plants (including gas fractionation facilities) and pressure maintenance or repressurizing plants. Wastes resulting from activities associated with these facilities include produced water, cooling tower water, sulfur bead, sulfides, spent caustics, sweetening agents, spent catalyst, waste hydrocarbons (including used oil), asbestos insulation, wastes contaminated with PCBs (including transformers, capacitors, ballasts, and soils), treating and cleaning chemicals, filters, trash, domestic sewage, and dehydration materials. These wastes are subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC under Texas Natural Resources Code, §1.101. Disposal of waste from activities associated with natural gas or natural gas liquids processing plants (including gas fractionation facilities), and pressure maintenance or repressurizing plants by injection is subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC under Texas Water Code, Chapter 27. However, until delegation of authority under RCRA to the RRC, the TCEQ shall have jurisdiction over wastes resulting from these activities that are not exempt from federal hazardous waste regulation under RCRA and that are considered hazardous under applicable federal rules.

(10) Manufacturing processes.

(A) Wastes that result from the use of natural gas, natural gas liquids, or products refined from crude oil in any manufacturing process, such as the production of petrochemicals or plastics, or from the manufacture of carbon black, are industrial wastes subject to the jurisdiction of the TCEQ. The term "manufacturing process" does not include the processing (including fractionation) of natural gas or natural gas liquids at natural gas or natural gas liquids processing plants.

(B) The RRC has jurisdiction under Texas Natural Resources Code, Chapter 87, to regulate the use of natural gas in the production of carbon black.

(C) Biofuels. The TCEQ has jurisdiction over wastes associated with the manufacturing of biofuels and biodiesel. TCEQ Regulatory Guidance Document RG-462 contains additional information regarding biodiesel manufacturing in the state of Texas.

(11) Commercial service company facilities and training facilities.

(A) The TCEQ has jurisdiction over wastes generated at facilities, other than actual exploration, development, or production sites (field sites), where oil and gas industry workers are trained. In addition, the TCEQ has jurisdiction over wastes generated at facilities where materials, processes, and equipment associated with oil and gas industry operations are researched, developed, designed, and manufactured. However, wastes generated from tests of materials, processes, and equipment at field sites are under the jurisdiction of the RRC.

(B) The TCEQ also has jurisdiction over waste generated at commercial service company facilities operated by persons providing equipment, materials, or services (such as drilling and work over rig rental and tank rental; equipment repair; drilling fluid supply; and acidizing, fracturing, and cementing services) to the oil and gas industry. These wastes include the following wastes when they are generated at commercial service company facilities: empty sacks, containers, and drums; drum, tank, and truck rinsate; sandblast media; painting wastes; spent solvents; spilled chemicals; waste motor oil; and unused fracturing and acidizing fluids.

(C) The term "commercial service company facility" does not include a station facility such as a warehouse, pipeyard, or equipment storage facility belonging to an oil and gas operator and used solely for the support of that operator's own activities associated with the exploration, development, or production activities.

(D) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (A) - (C) of this paragraph, the RRC has jurisdiction over disposal of oil and gas wastes, such as waste drilling fluids and NORM-contaminated pipe scale, in volumes greater than the incidental volumes usually received at such facilities, that are managed at commercial service company facilities.

(E) The RRC also has jurisdiction over wastes such as vacuum truck rinsate and tank rinsate generated at facilities operated by oil and gas waste haulers permitted by the RRC pursuant to §3.8(f) of this title (relating to Water Protection).

(12) Mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs). MODUs are vessels capable of engaging in drilling operations for exploring or exploiting subsea oil, gas, or mineral resources.

(A) The RRC and, where applicable, the EPA, the U.S. Coast Guard, or the Texas General Land Office (GLO), have jurisdiction over discharges from an MODU when the unit is being used in connection with activities associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas or geothermal resources, except that upon delegation to the TCEQ of NPDES authority for discharges into surface water in the state of produced water, hydrostatic test water, and gas plant effluent resulting from the activities described in Texas Water Code, §26.131(a), the TCEQ shall assume RRC's authority under this subsection.

(B) The TCEQ and, where applicable, the EPA, the U.S. Coast Guard, or the GLO, have jurisdiction over discharges from an MODU when the unit is being serviced at a maintenance facility.

(C) Where applicable, the EPA, the U.S. Coast Guard, or the GLO has jurisdiction over discharges from an MODU during transportation from shore to exploration, development or production site, transportation between sites, and transportation to a maintenance facility.

(e) Interagency activities.

(1) Recycling and pollution prevention.

(A) The TCEQ and the RRC encourage generators to eliminate pollution at the source and recycle whenever possible to avoid disposal of wastes. Questions regarding source reduction and recycling may be directed to the TCEQ External Relations Division, or to the RRC. The TCEQ may require generators to explore source reduction and recycling alternatives prior to authorizing disposal of any waste under the jurisdiction of the RRC at a facility regulated by the TCEQ; similarly, the RRC may explore source reduction and recycling alternatives prior to authorizing disposal of any waste under the jurisdiction of the TCEQ at a facility regulated by the RRC.

(B) The TCEQ External Relations Division and the RRC will coordinate as necessary to maintain a working relationship to enhance the efforts to share information and use resources more efficiently. The TCEQ External Relations Division will make the proper TCEQ personnel aware of the services offered by the RRC, share information with the RRC to maximize services to oil and gas operators, and advise oil and gas operators of RRC services. The RRC will make the proper RRC personnel aware of the services offered by the TCEQ External Relations Division, share information with the TCEQ External Relations Division to maximize services to industrial operators, and advise industrial operators of the TCEQ External Relations Division services.

(2) Treatment of wastes under RRC jurisdiction at facilities authorized by the TCEQ under 30 TAC Chapter 334, Subchapter K, (relating to Storage, Treatment, and Reuse Procedures for Petroleum-Substance Contaminated Soil).

(A) Soils contaminated with constituents that are physically and chemically similar to those normally found in soils at leaking underground petroleum storage tanks from generators under the jurisdiction of the RRC are eligible for treatment at TCEQ regulated soil treatment facilities once alternatives for recycling and source reduction have been explored. For the purpose of this provision, soils containing petroleum substance(s) as defined in 30 TAC §334.481 (relating to Definitions) are considered to be similar, but drilling muds, acids, or other chemicals used in oil and gas activities are not considered similar. Generators under the jurisdiction of the RRC must meet the same requirements as generators under the jurisdiction of the TCEQ when sending their petroleum contaminated soils to soil treatment facilities under TCEQ jurisdiction. Those requirements are in 30 TAC §334.496 (relating to Shipping Procedures Applicable to Generators of Petroleum-Substance Waste), except subsection (c) which is not applicable, and 30 TAC §334.497 (relating to Recordkeeping and Reporting Procedures Applicable to Generators). RRC generators with questions on these requirements should contact the TCEQ.

(B) Generators under RRC jurisdiction should also be aware that TCEQ regulated soil treatment facilities are required by 30 TAC §334.499 (relating to Shipping Requirements Applicable to Owners or Operators of Storage, Treatment, or Disposal Facilities) to maintain documentation on the soil sampling and analytical methods, chain-of-custody, and all analytical results for the soil received at the facility and transported off-site or reused on-site.

(C) The RRC must specifically authorize management of contaminated soils under its jurisdiction at facilities authorized by the TCEQ under 30 TAC Chapter 334, Subchapter K. The RRC may grant such authorizations by rule, or on an individual basis through permits or other written authorizations.

(D) All waste, including treated waste, subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC and managed at facilities authorized by the TCEQ under 30 TAC Chapter 334, Subchapter K will remain subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC. Such materials will be subject to RRC regulations regarding final reuse, recycling, or disposal.

(E) TCEQ waste codes and registration numbers are not required for management of wastes under the jurisdiction of the RRC at facilities authorized by the TCEQ under 30 TAC Chapter 334, Subchapter K.

(3) Processing, treatment, and disposal of wastes under RRC jurisdiction at facilities authorized by the TCEQ.

(A) As provided in this paragraph, waste materials subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC may be managed at solid waste facilities under the jurisdiction of the TCEQ once alternatives for recycling and source reduction have been explored. The RRC must specifically authorize management of wastes under its jurisdiction at facilities regulated by the TCEQ. The RRC may grant such authorizations by rule, or on an individual basis through permits or other written authorizations. In addition, except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, the concurrence of the TCEQ is required to manage "special waste" under the jurisdiction of the RRC at a facility regulated by the TCEQ. The TCEQ's concurrence may be subject to specified conditions.

(B) A facility under the jurisdiction of the TCEQ may accept, without further individual concurrence, waste under the jurisdiction of the RRC if that facility is permitted or otherwise authorized to accept that particular type of waste. The phrase "that type of waste" does not specifically refer to waste under the jurisdiction of the RRC, but rather to the waste's physical and chemical characteristics. Management and disposal of waste under the jurisdiction of the RRC is subject to TCEQ's rules governing both special waste and industrial waste.

(C) If the TCEQ regulated facility receiving the waste does not have approval to accept the waste included in its permit or other authorization, individual written concurrences from the TCEQ shall be required to manage wastes under the jurisdiction of the RRC at TCEQ regulated facilities. Recommendations for the management of special wastes associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil, gas, or geothermal resources are found in TCEQ Regulatory Guidance document RG-3. (This is required only if the TCEQ regulated facility receiving the waste does not have approval to accept the waste included in its permit or other authorization provided by the TCEQ.) To obtain an individual concurrence, the waste generator must provide to the TCEQ sufficient information to allow the concurrence determination to be made, including the identity of the proposed waste management facility, the process generating the waste, the quantity of waste, and the physical and chemical nature of the waste involved (using process knowledge and/or laboratory analysis as defined in 30 TAC Chapter 335, Subchapter R (relating to Waste Classification)). In obtaining TCEQ approval, generators may use their existing knowledge about the process or materials entering it to characterize their wastes. Material Safety Data Sheets, manufacturer's literature, and other documentation generated in conjunction with a particular process may be used. Process knowledge must be documented and submitted with the request for approval.

(D) Domestic septage collected from portable toilets at facilities subject to RRC jurisdiction that is not mixed with other waste materials may be managed at a facility permitted by the TCEQ for disposal, incineration, or land application for beneficial use of such domestic septage waste without specific authorization from the TCEQ or the RRC. Waste sludge subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC may not be applied to the land at a facility permitted by the TCEQ for the beneficial use of sewage sludge or water treatment sludge.

(E) TCEQ waste codes and registration numbers are not required for management of wastes under the jurisdiction of the RRC at facilities under the jurisdiction of the TCEQ. If a receiving facility requires a TCEQ waste code for waste under the jurisdiction of the RRC, a code consisting of the following may be provided:

(i) the sequence number "RRCT";

(ii) the appropriate form code, as specified in 30 TAC Chapter 335, Subchapter R, §335.521, Appendix 3 (relating to Appendices); and

(iii) the waste classification code "H" if the waste is a hazardous oil and gas waste, or "R" if the waste is a nonhazardous oil and gas waste.

(F) If a facility requests or requires a TCEQ waste generator registration number for wastes under the jurisdiction of the RRC, the registration number "XXXRC" may be provided.

(G) Wastes that are under the jurisdiction of the RRC need not be reported to the TCEQ.

(4) Management of nonhazardous wastes under TCEQ jurisdiction at facilities regulated by the RRC.

(A) Once alternatives for recycling and source reduction have been explored, and with prior authorization from the RRC, the following nonhazardous wastes subject to the jurisdiction of the TCEQ may be disposed of, other than by injection into a Class II well, at a facility regulated by the RRC; bioremediated at a facility regulated by the RRC (prior to reuse, recycling, or disposal); or reclaimed at a crude oil reclamation facility regulated by the RRC: nonhazardous wastes that are chemically and physically similar to oil and gas wastes, but excluding soils, media, debris, sorbent pads, and other clean-up materials that are contaminated with refined petroleum products.

(B) To obtain an individual authorization from the RRC, the waste generator must provide the following information, in writing, to the RRC: the identity of the proposed waste management facility, the quantity of waste involved, a hazardous waste determination that addresses the process generating the waste and the physical and chemical nature of the waste, and any other information that the RRC may require. As appropriate, the RRC shall reevaluate any authorization issued pursuant to this paragraph.

(C) Once alternatives for recycling and source reduction have been explored, and subject to the RRC's individual authorization, the following wastes under the jurisdiction of the TCEQ are authorized without further TCEQ approval to be disposed of at a facility regulated by the RRC, bioremediated at a facility regulated by the RRC, or reclaimed at a crude oil reclamation facility regulated by the RRC: nonhazardous bottoms from tanks used only for crude oil storage; unused and/or reconditioned drilling and completion/workover wastes from commercial service company facilities; used and/or unused drilling and completion/workover wastes generated at facilities where workers in the oil and gas exploration, development, and production industry are trained; used and/or unused drilling and completion/workover wastes generated at facilities where materials, processes, and equipment associated with oil and gas exploration, development, and production operations are researched, developed, designed, and manufactured; unless other provisions are made in the underground injection well permit used and/or unused drilling and completion wastes (but not workover wastes) generated in connection with the drilling and completion of Class I, III, and V injection wells; wastes (such as contaminated soils, media, debris, sorbent pads, and other cleanup materials) associated with spills of crude oil and natural gas liquids if such wastes are under the jurisdiction of the TCEQ; and sludges from washout pits at commercial service company facilities.

(D) Under Texas Water Code, §27.0511(g), a TCEQ permit is required for injection of industrial or municipal waste as an injection fluid for enhanced recovery purposes. However, under §27.0511(h), the RRC may authorize a person to use nonhazardous brine from a desalination operation or nonhazardous drinking water treatment residuals as an injection fluid for enhanced recovery purposes without obtaining a permit from the TCEQ. The use or disposal of radioactive material under this subparagraph is subject to the applicable requirements of Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 401.

(E) Under Texas Water Code, §27.026, by individual permit, general permit, or rule, the TCEQ may designate a Class II disposal well that has an RRC permit as a Class V disposal well authorized to dispose by injection nonhazardous brine from a desalination operation and nonhazardous drinking water treatment residuals under the jurisdiction of the TCEQ. The operator of a permitted Class II disposal well seeking a Class V authorization must apply to TCEQ and obtain a Class V authorization prior to disposal of nonhazardous brine from a desalination operation or nonhazardous drinking water treatment residuals. A permitted Class II disposal well that has obtained a Class V authorization from TCEQ under Texas Water Code, §27.026, remains subject to the regulatory requirements of both the RRC and the TCEQ. Nonhazardous brine from a desalination operation and nonhazardous drinking water treatment residuals to be disposed by injection in a permitted Class II disposal well authorized by TCEQ as a Class V injection well remain subject to the requirements of the Texas Health and Safety Code, the Texas Water Code, and the TCEQ's rules. The RRC and the TCEQ may impose additional requirements or conditions to address the dual injection activity under Texas Water Code, §27.026.

(5) Drilling in landfills. The TCEQ will notify the Oil and Gas Division of the RRC and the landfill owner at the time a drilling application is submitted if an operator proposes to drill a well through a landfill regulated by the TCEQ. The RRC and the TCEQ will cooperate and coordinate with one another in advising the appropriate parties of measures necessary to reduce the potential for the landfill contents to cause groundwater contamination as a result of landfill disturbance associated with drilling operations. The TCEQ requires prior written approval before drilling of any test borings through previously deposited municipal solid waste under 30 TAC §330.15 (relating to General Prohibitions), and before borings or other penetration of the final cover of a closed municipal solid waste landfill under 30 TAC §330.955 (relating to Miscellaneous). The installation of landfill gas recovery wells for the recovery and beneficial reuse of landfill gas is under the jurisdiction of the TCEQ in accordance with 30 TAC Chapter 330, Subchapter I (relating to Landfill Gas Management). Modification of an active or a closed solid waste management unit, corrective action management unit, hazardous waste landfill cell, or industrial waste landfill cell by drilling or penetrating into or through deposited waste may require prior written approval from TCEQ. Such approval may require a new authorization from TCEQ or modification or amendment of an existing TCEQ authorization.

(6) Coordination of actions and cooperative sharing of information.

(A) In the event that a generator or transporter disposes, without proper authorization, of wastes regulated by the TCEQ at a facility permitted by the RRC, the TCEQ is responsible for enforcement actions against the generator or transporter, and the RRC is responsible for enforcement actions against the disposal facility. In the event that a generator or transporter disposes, without proper authorization, of wastes regulated by the RRC at a facility permitted by the TCEQ, the RRC is responsible for enforcement actions against the generator or transporter, and the TCEQ is responsible for enforcement actions against the disposal facility.

(B) The TCEQ and the RRC agree to cooperate with one another by sharing information. Employees of either agency who receive a complaint or discover, in the course of their official duties, information that indicates a violation of a statute, regulation, order, or permit pertaining to wastes under the jurisdiction of the other agency, will notify the other agency. In addition, to facilitate enforcement actions, each agency will share information in its possession with the other agency if requested by the other agency to do so.

(C) The TCEQ and the RRC agree to work together at allocating respective responsibilities. To the extent that jurisdiction is indeterminate or has yet to be determined, the TCEQ and the RRC agree to share information and take appropriate investigative steps to assess jurisdiction.

(D) For items not covered by statute or rule, the TCEQ and the RRC will collaborate to determine respective responsibilities for each issue, project, or project type.

(E) The staff of the RRC and the TCEQ shall coordinate as necessary to attempt to resolve any disputes regarding interpretation of this MOU and disputes regarding definitions and terms of art.

(7) Groundwater.

(A) Notice of groundwater contamination. Under Texas Water Code, §26.408, effective September 1, 2003, the RRC must submit a written notice to the TCEQ of any documented cases of groundwater contamination that may affect a drinking water well.

(B) Groundwater protection letters. The RRC provides letters of recommendation concerning groundwater protection.

(i) For recommendations related to normal drilling operations, shot holes for seismic surveys, and cathodic protection wells, the RRC provides geologic interpretation identifying fresh water zones, base of usable-quality water (generally less than 3,000 mg/L total dissolved solids, but may include higher levels of total dissolved solids if identified as currently being used or identified by the Texas Water Development Board as a source of water for desalination), and include protection depths recommended by the RRC. The geological interpretation may include groundwater protection based on potential hydrological connectivity to usable-quality water.

(ii) For recommendations related to injection, the RRC provides geologic interpretation of the base of the underground source of drinking water. The term "underground source of drinking water" is defined in 40 Code of Federal Regulations §146.3 (Federal Register, Volume 46, June 24, 1980).

(8) Emergency and spill response.

(A) The TCEQ and the RRC are members of the state's Emergency Management Council. The TCEQ is the state's primary agency for emergency support during response to hazardous materials and oil spill incidents. The TCEQ is responsible for state-level coordination of assets and services, and will identify and coordinate staffing requirements appropriate to the incident to include investigative assignments for the primary and support agencies.

(B) Contaminated soil and other wastes that result from a spill must be managed in accordance with the governing statutes and regulations adopted by the agency responsible for the activity that resulted in the spill. Coordination of issues of spill notification, prevention, and response shall be addressed in the State of Texas Oil and Hazardous Substance Spill Contingency Plan and may be addressed further in a separate Memorandum of Understanding among these agencies and other appropriate state agencies.

(C) The agency (TCEQ or RRC) that has jurisdiction over the activity that resulted in the spill incident will be responsible for measures necessary to monitor, document, and remediate the incident.

(i) The TCEQ has jurisdiction over certain inland oil spills, all hazardous-substance spills, and spills of other substances that may cause pollution.

(ii) The RRC has jurisdiction over spills or discharges from activities associated with the exploration, development, or production of crude oil, gas, and geothermal resources, and discharges from brine mining or surface mining.

(D) If TCEQ or RRC field personnel receive spill notifications or reports documenting improperly managed waste or contaminated environmental media resulting from a spill or discharge that is under the jurisdiction of the other agency, they shall refer the issue to the other agency. The agency that has jurisdiction over the activity that resulted in the improperly managed waste, spill, discharge, or contaminated environmental media will be responsible for measures necessary to monitor, document, and remediate the incident.

(9) Anthropogenic carbon dioxide storage. In determining the proper permitting agency in regard to a particular permit application for a carbon dioxide geologic storage project, the TCEQ and the RRC will coordinate by any appropriate means to review proposed locations, geologic settings, reservoir data, and other jurisdictional criteria specified in Texas Water Code, §27.041.

(f) Radioactive material.

(1) Radioactive substances. Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, §401.011, the TCEQ has jurisdiction to regulate and license:

(A) the disposal of radioactive substances;

(B) the processing or storage of low-level radioactive waste or NORM waste from other persons, except oil and gas NORM waste;

(C) the recovery or processing of source material;

(D) the processing of by-product material as defined by Texas Health and Safety Code, §401.003(3)(B); and

(E) sites for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste, by-product material, or NORM waste.

(2) NORM waste.

(A) Under Texas Health and Safety Code, §401.415, the RRC has jurisdiction over the disposal of NORM waste that constitutes, is contained in, or has contaminated oil and gas waste. This waste material is called "oil and gas NORM waste." Oil and gas NORM waste may be generated in connection with the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas.

(B) Under Texas Health and Safety Code, §401.412, the TCEQ has jurisdiction over the disposal of NORM that is not oil and gas NORM waste.

(C) The term "disposal" does not include receipt, possession, use, processing, transfer, transport, storage, or commercial distribution of radioactive materials, including NORM. These non-disposal activities are under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of State Health Services under Texas Health and Safety Code, §401.011(a).

(3) Drinking water residuals. A person licensed for the commercial disposal of NORM waste from public water systems may dispose of NORM waste only by injection into a Class I injection well permitted under 30 TAC Chapter 331 (relating to Underground Injection Control) that is specifically permitted for the disposal of NORM waste.

(4) Management of radioactive tracer material.

(A) Radioactive tracer material is subject to the definition of low-level radioactive waste under Texas Health and Safety Code, §401.004, and must be handled and disposed of in accordance with the rules of the TCEQ and the Department of State Health Services.

(B) Exemption. Under Texas Health and Safety Code, §401.106, the TCEQ may grant an exemption by rule from a licensing requirement if the TCEQ finds that the exemption will not constitute a significant risk to the public health and safety and the environment.

(5) Coordination with the Texas Radiation Advisory Board. The RRC and the TCEQ will consider recommendations and advice provided by the Texas Radiation Advisory Board that concern either agency's policies or programs related to the development, use, or regulation of a source of radiation. Both agencies will provide written response to the recommendations or advice provided by the advisory board.

(6) Uranium exploration and mining.

(A) Under Texas Natural Resources Code, Chapter 131, the RRC has jurisdiction over uranium exploration activities.

(B) Under Texas Natural Resources Code, Chapter 131, the RRC has jurisdiction over uranium mining, except for in situ recovery processes.

(C) Under Texas Water Code, §27.0513, the TCEQ has jurisdiction over injection wells used for uranium mining.

(D) Under Texas Health and Safety Code, §401.2625, the TCEQ has jurisdiction over the licensing of source material recovery and processing or for storage, processing, or disposal of by-product material.

(g) Effective date. This Memorandum of Understanding, as of its July 15, 2020, effective date, shall supersede the prior Memorandum of Understanding among the agencies, dated May 1, 2012.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 16, 2020.

TRD-202002417

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: July 15, 2020

Proposal publication date: February 28, 2020

For further information, please call: (512) 475-1295