Questions or Comments: TexasEnviroHelp@tceq.texas.gov

Oil and Gas Wastewater Permits

Permits for oil and gas facilities, requirements for each type, and links and information on how to apply

HOTFree Online Workshop for the Oil and Gas Industry

TCEQ is hosting a free online workshop on January 7, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. CST covering how to:

  • Set up an account in STEERS.
  • Submit an NOI for the Hydrostatic Test general permit.
  • Submit discharge monitoring reports.

Register for the workshop on Oil and Gas E-Permitting and Discharge ReportingExit the TCEQ or view the workshop agenda Adobe Acrobat PDF Document.

Sign up for future industry workshop alertsExit the TCEQ through GovDelivery.

What is changing for oil and gas wastewater discharge permits?

TCEQ requested authority from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue federal permits for produced water, hydrostatic test water, and gas plant effluent discharges resulting from certain oil and gas activities into water in the state as required by House Bill 2771, 86th Legislature 2019. When EPA approves the request, state permitting authority for these discharges will transfer from the Railroad Commission (RRC) of Texas to TCEQ. We anticipate receiving delegation approval from EPA ahead of schedule, in January 2021.

You can find information on how we request and receive delegation for these permits, including the proposed schedule at the Oil and Gas Wastewater Stakeholder Group webpage.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

What types of permits will TCEQ have for oil and gas facilities?

Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) General Permit TXG310000.

  • We are developing a new general permit to authorize onshore stripper wells, coastal facilities, and territorial seas facilities where EPA regulations establish discharges that are authorized and prohibited, for example, produced water authorized in certain categories and not others. (40 CFR Part 435Exit the TCEQ)
  • Our general permit will replace EPA General Permits TXG260000 and TXG330000.
  • Until we issue the permit, continue following the requirements of EPA’s permits.

Outer Continental General Permit WQG280000

  • We are developing a new general permit to authorize discharges to the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf between 3 miles and 10.2 miles (3 leagues) from shore.
  • You will also need federal authorization under EPA’s General Permit GMG290000. EPA does not delegate National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) authorization past the 3-mile statutory boundary.

Hydrostatic Test General Permit TXG670000

  • Upon EPA approval of TCEQ’s program request, discharges of hydrostatic test water from crude oil and natural gas exploration, development, and production operations will be eligible for authorization under this general permit.

Individual Permits

  • Upon EPA approval of TCEQ’s program request, gas plants and produced water facilities located west of the 98th meridian that discharge into water in the state will need to get authorized under an individual permit.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

How does this affect my permitting requirements?

Produced water facilities located west of the 98th meridian with existing individual permits:

  • You must apply for a TCEQ individual permit before your EPA or RRC permit expires. Our permit will replace both of those permits.

Gas plant facilities with existing individual permits:

  • You must apply for a TCEQ individual permit before your EPA or RRC permit expires. Our permit will replace both of those permits.

Onshore stripper wells, coastal facilities, and territorial seas facilities with existing coverage under general permits:

  • Your existing EPA NPDES and RRC permits are valid; continue complying with their requirements.
  • Apply for authorization under our TXG310000 general permit when it is issued. It will replace both EPA and RRC permits.

Outer continental shelf facilities with existing coverage under general permits:

  • Apply for state authorization under our WQG280000 general permit when it is issued and keep your current EPA permit.

Hydrostatic test water with existing coverage under general permits:

  • Upon EPA approval of TCEQ’s program request, apply for authorization under the Hydrostatic Test General Permit TXG670000. This will replace your existing EPA and RRC permits.

New or non-permitted facilities:

  • Upon EPA approval of TCEQ’s program request, you must get authorized under one of the above-referenced general permits or under an individual permit before discharging into water in the state.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

What if I need coverage for my discharges, but cannot meet TCEQ’s general permit requirements?

If your facility needs permit authorization but cannot meet the requirements of the general permit, you need an individual permit. Please contact TCEQ Wastewater Permitting at (512) 239-4671 or wqap@tceq.texas.gov to schedule a pre-application meeting for an individual permit.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

When does TCEQ become the permitting authority?

TCEQ anticipates receiving authority from EPA to authorize these permits in January 2021. Please visit the Oil and Gas Wastewater Stakeholder Group website for delegation announcements.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

How do I apply for TCEQ’s general permits?

Submit a notice of intent (NOI) to get permit authorization using the State of Texas Environmental Electronic Reporting System (STEERS).

We encourage operators with affected facilities to create a STEERS account as soon as possible to prevent delays in submitting your NOI for permit authorization once the EPA delegation takes effect.

STEERS Support

For more help, call the STEERS help line at (512) 239-6925, email steers@tceq.texas.gov, or use the STEERS Contact Form.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

How do I report discharges?

Submit Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs) online through NetDMR.

Back to the top of the page Back to top

Where can I get more information?

Email a request to HB2771@tceq.texas.gov to join the HB 2771 stakeholder list to get updates on future meetings and correspondence about the house bill related to this transfer of authority.

Sign up to receive The Advocate, a periodic publication that sends updates on regulatory concerns and rules for small businesses and local governments.

For additional questions or help please visit our Oil and Gas Compliance Assistance Website, call our confidential compliance hotline at (800) 447-2827, or email TexasEnviroHelp@tceq.texas.gov.

Back to the top of the page Back to top