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Transporters and Haulers - Commonly Asked Questions

Common questions about and requirements for transporting oil and gas waste, other liquid waste, and drinking water in Texas.

If you transport oil and gas waste for hire by any method other than pipeline, such as hauling flowback water via truck, you are an oil and gas waste hauler.

Waste resulting from activities associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas.

Oil and gas waste includes:

  • Salt water.
  • Brine.
  • Sludge.
  • Drilling mud.

It also includes waste materials generated during drilling, operation, and plugging of wells such as domestic septage and trash.

You can dispose of waste generated from oil and gas operations at authorized RRC facilities or certain TCEQ-regulated landfills. You must list any authorized facility you use in your waste hauler’s permit.

To dispose of oil and gas waste at TCEQ municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills, the waste generator must get a special waste authorization from TCEQ by completing and submitting Form 00152. Contact your local TCEQ-regulated landfills for specific information on types of waste they can accept.

Waste transporters need an RRC waste hauler’s permit, but do not need a TCEQ registration to dispose of oil and gas waste at a TCEQ-authorized facility.

Transporters and generators must keep manifests to document proper disposal of waste.

For more information, see:

State and local agencies ensure compliance with applicable waste hauler regulations.

State agencies with authority include:

  • Texas Department of Public Safety.
  • TCEQ.
  • RRC.

County sheriffs and city police departments may request compliance documentation from waste haulers and may issue civil and criminal penalties, which may include monetary fines, and may impound unauthorized or improperly operated vehicles.

RRC regulates wastes such as vacuum truck rinsate and tank rinsate generated from:

  • Oil and gas exploration, development, or production sites.
  • Facilities run by an oil and gas waste hauler permitted by RRC.
  • Facilities belonging to an oil and gas operator used solely to support their oil and gas exploration, development, or production activities. (Examples include warehouses, pipe yards, or equipment storage facilities.)

TCEQ regulates rinsate from vacuum trucks generated from commercial service company facilities such as truck washing operations and 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.
  • Acidizing, fracturing, and cementing services.

Yes. 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.
  • 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. Local governments may other requirements.

TCEQ does not require any permits to transport treated effluent. However, proper disposal, land application, or other use of treated effluent needs TCEQ authorization.

Yes, but drinking water distributed by tank truck or trailer must come from a TCEQ-approved source. Equipment used for transport needs TCEQ approval and must meet specific standards.

For example, you must:

  • Label the tank truck as “Drinking Water.”
  • Ensure the tank is watertight and made of an approved material.
  • Disinfect the tank monthly or any time you suspect contamination.
  • Sample water in the tank at least once per month.
  • Keep adequate records, such as the amount of water hauled, purchases, sampling results, disinfection dates and the source of water.

For more information:

For more information about oil and gas compliance:

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