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Transporters and Haulers - Commonly Asked Questions

Common requirements associated with the transportation of waste.

Oil and Gas Waste Haulers

Transporting Other Liquid Waste

Transporting Treated Effluent

Transporting Potable Water

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 websiteExit the TCEQ. Based on the waste hauler FAQ guidance at the TCEQ, 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 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document 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 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document (RG-003) and Common Environmental Requirements for Regulated Oil and Gas Operations Adobe Acrobat PDF Document (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.

Does a waste hauler transporting O&G waste to a TCEQ-authorized disposal facility permitted to accept this type of waste need to register with the TCEQ as a transporter?

No. The hauler must be permitted by RRC as a waste hauler, but is not required to be a TCEQ registered transporter.

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Transporting Other Liquid Waste

Do I need a permit to transport other waste, such as sewage sludge?

Yes. The TCEQ regulates the transportation of wastes (not generated at an oil and gas exploration or production facility) such as, sewage sludge, domestic septage, chemical toilet waste, grease and grit trap waste and water treatment sludge. Sludge waste transporters must keep records for waste collections and disposals and file an annual summary report. Visit the Sludge Transporters: Am I Regulated? website for more information about the TCEQ registration process. In addition to a TCEQ permit, registration may be required with local governments.

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Transporting Treated Effluent

What types of permits are required in order to transport treated effluent?

The TCEQ does not require any permits to transport or haul treated effluent. However, TCEQ authorization is required for proper disposal, land application, or other use of treated effluent.

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Transporting Potable Water

What are the requirements for transporting potable water?

When drinking water is distributed by tank truck or trailer, the water must be obtained from an approved source, the equipment used must be approved by the TCEQ and be constructed in accordance with specific TCEQ standards. Here is a partial listing of those standards:

  • the tank truck must be labeled “Drinking Water”
  • the tank must be watertight and made of an approved material
  • the tank shall be disinfected monthly or any time contamination is suspected
  • the tank must be sampled at least once per month
  • record keeping such as the amount of water hauled, purchases, sampling results, disinfection dates and the source of water.

For complete rules on hauling potable water, see applicable rules in 30 TAC § 290.44(i) Adobe Acrobat PDF Document relating to Public Drinking Water.

Click here for a list of licensed potable water haulers Adobe Acrobat PDF Document.

Where can I find more information and assistance?

The TCEQ's Small Business and Local Government Assistance Section offers free, confidential help to small businesses and local governments working to comply with state environmental regulations. Call us at (800) 447-2827 or visit our Web page at

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