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Waste Minimization Program

Waste minimization is any activity which results in a reduction of the quantity or toxicity of an oil and gas waste that must be treated or disposed. Waste minimization is not specifically required in RRC rules, but is a voluntary action on the operator’s part. Waste minimization can be a good business decision. Many operators have found waste minimization to reduce operating costs, improve efficiency, reduce regulatory compliance concerns, and reduce future potential liability. Also, waste minimization can improve a company’s, and the oil and gas industry’s, public image.

The RRC has operated the Waste Minimization Program since 1992. The Waste Minimization Program’s purpose is to encourage and help oil and gas operators implement successful waste minimization techniques and plans. We also will help you find source reduction and recycling options.

Free Products Offered by the Waste Minimization Program

Waste Minimization in the Oil Field

This manual (PDF), developed with the assistance of the oil and gas industry, offers source reduction and recycling (i.e., waste minimization) concepts, cost effective and practical examples of source reduction and recycling opportunities in the oil field, and information on how to develop an individualized waste minimization plan. The manual also presents a discussion on how to identify hazardous and nonhazardous oil and gas wastes as defined by EPA regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Operation-specific documents

In addition to the manual, we offer documents that address waste minimization for specific operations. These documents repeat information in the manual, but may prove useful because the user will not be distracted by irrelevant information. For example, a person working in a natural gas processing plant will not have information on drilling operations in their operation-specific document.

Annotated bibliography of waste minimization technology for crude oil and natural gas exploration, production, and pipeline transportation operations

The annotated bibliography (PDF) offers numerous references to technical papers, articles, and publications. Each reference address a technology, process, procedure, or equipment modification that results in reduced waste generation or recycling. The bibliography is arranged by type of operation and specific processes within each type of operation. The "bookmarks" feature allows you to easily search the bibliography for your area of interest.

WasteMin Software

WasteMin is a Windows-based PC program that will assist you in developing a waste minimization plan for a facility or site. WasteMin is available for downloading. Information regarding system and software requirements and a user's guide are available for your review prior to downloading WasteMin.

Other sources of waste minimization information

Numerous federal and state agencies, industry associations, organizations, and universities offer valuable waste minimization information. We provide a description of the information available from each link.