Oil and Gas Waste Haulers

Who is an oil and gas waste hauler?

Any person who transports oil and gas waste for hire by any method other than pipeline, such as hauling flowback water via truck.

What is oil and gas waste?

Waste resulting from activities associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas. Oil and gas waste includes salt water, brine, sludge, and drilling mud. It also includes waste materials generated during drilling, operation and plugging of wells such as domestic septage and trash.

What permits are needed for oil and gas waste haulers?

Oil and gas waste haulers must file Form WH-1: Application for Oil and Gas Waste Hauler’s Permit with the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC). The application must be approved and a permit application fee must be paid. Haulers must register and properly mark their vehicles. Each vehicle must be operated and maintained in such a manner to prevent spills, leaks and other discharges during transportation. A copy of the permit must be kept in each vehicle as identified in the permit application. Oil and gas waste haulers must keep waste manifests to document proper disposal of wastes. You can download the application form (WH-1) and other applications from the RRC website. Based on the waste hauler FAQ guidance at http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/media/8672/waste-hauler-2012-faqs.pdf, forms WH-2 and WH-3 are also required.

Where is disposal of oil and gas waste allowed?

Oil and gas waste haulers must ensure the waste is disposed of at an authorized facility. The disposal facility used by the hauler must be documented in the waste hauler’s permit. Waste generated from oil and gas operations may be disposed of at authorized RRC facilities or certain TCEQ regulated landfills. In order to dispose of oil and gas waste at TCEQ Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfills, the waste generator must obtain a special waste authorization by completing and submitting Form 00152 to the TCEQ. Contact your local TCEQ regulated landfills for specific information on types of waste they are permitted to accept. Transporters and generators must keep manifests to document proper disposal of waste. More information regarding disposal regulations is available in TCEQ’s publications titled Disposal of Special Wastes Associated with the Development of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (RG-003) and Common Environmental Requirements for Regulated Oil and Gas Operations (RG-482).

Who enforces the rules?

State and local agencies are authorized to ensure compliance with applicable waste hauler regulations. State agencies with jurisdiction include: Texas Department of Public Safety, TCEQ, and RRC. County sheriffs and city police departments may request compliance documentation from waste haulers and are authorized to issue civil and criminal penalties, which may include monetary fines, and may impound unauthorized or improperly operated vehicles.

How are truck wash facilities regulated?

RRC has jurisdiction over wastes such as vacuum truck rinsate and tank rinsate generated from:

  • oil and gas exploration, development, or production sites
  • a facility operated by an oil and gas waste hauler permitted by the RRC
  • a facility such as a warehouse, pipeyard, or equipment storage facility belonging to an oil and gas operator and used solely to support that operator’s oil and gas exploration, development, or production activities

The TCEQ regulates rinsate from vacuum trucks generated at commercial service company facilities such as truck washing operations, or companies that provide equipment, materials, or services to the oil and gas industry if the facility is not operated by an RRC-permitted waste hauler. Examples of commercial service company facilities include facilities that provide drilling and work over rig rental and tank rental services, equipment repair services, drilling fluid supply services, and acidizing, fracturing, and cementing services.