Oil & Gas

Regulating the exploration, production, & transportation of oil and natural gas in Texas


RRC Accepting Informal Comments on Draft Amendments to Water Protection & Environmental Protection Rules

October 02, 2023

La Comisión de Ferrocarriles de Texas Aceptando Comentarios Informales sobre las Enmiendas Propuestas a las Normas de Protección del Agua y Protección Ambiental

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) is accepting informal comments on draft amendments to 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §3.8 (also known as Statewide Rule 8), relating to Water Protection; 16 TAC §3.57(also known as Statewide Rule 57), relating to Reclaiming Tank Bottoms, Other Hydrocarbon Wastes, and Other Waste Materials; and 16 TAC Chapter 4, Subchapter B, relating to Commercial Recycling; and new 16 TAC Chapter 4, Subchapter A, relating to Oil and Gas Waste Management.

16 TAC §3.8 has existed in its current form since 1984 with several minor modifications since then. The RRC is proposing to significantly revise this cornerstone waste management rule, as well as its existing rules for commercial recycling of oil and gas waste that can be found in 16 TAC Chapter 4, Subchapter B.

To view the draft amendments, rules synopsis, and submit comments online by 5 p.m. on Friday, November 3, 2023, visit the RRC website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/general-counsel/rules/draft-rules/.

In addition to providing an opportunity for the public to submit written comments, the RRC plans to hold in-person and virtual hearings as well.

  • At 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 26, 2023, the RRC will hold an in-person hearing in Room 1.111 of the William B. Travis Building, 1701 N. Congress in Austin. For information on the visiting the RRC, visit the RRC website at https://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/organization-and-activities/visiting-the-railroad-commission/.
  • At 9 a.m. on Friday, October 27, 2023, the RRC will hold a virtual hearing using an internet meeting service. Individuals who plan to participate in the hearing by providing verbal comments or who want their participation on record must register by submitting the following information to Paul Dubois at Paul.Dubois@rrc.texas.gov:
    • request to provide verbal comment,
    • name, title, affiliation, and
    • contact information to include email address and daytime telephone number.

The first part of each hearing will consist of a brief overview by RRC staff regarding the proposed rule amendments. The second part of the hearing will consist of informal public comment on the draft rule amendments.

Both hearings can be viewed via live webcast on the AdminMonitor website at https://adminmonitor.com/tx/rrc/.

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What we do

The Railroad Commission, through its Oil and Gas Division, regulates the exploration, production, and transportation of oil and natural gas in Texas. Its statutory role is to:

  1. prevent waste of the state's natural resources,
  2. to protect the correlative rights of different interest owners,
  3. to prevent pollution, and
  4. to provide safety in matters such as hydrogen sulfide.

The division accomplishes these goals by permitting and reporting requirements; by field inspections, testing programs and monitoring industry activities in the field; and through programs to remediate abandoned wells and sites through the use of fees and taxes paid by industry.
The Oil and Gas Division is headquartered in Austin, Texas with nine district offices spread over the state.

Drilling Permit Processing Time
as of August 16th, 2023

Expedited Permits: approximately 2
Business days
Standard Permits: approximately   4
Business days

Tips on submitting a problem-free drilling permit.