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Wastewater Discharges from Oil and Gas Outer Continental Shelf Facilities: Am I Regulated?

Find out if your oil and gas facility located in the Outer Continental Shelf needs coverage under General Permit WQG280000 or an individual permit to discharge wastewater.

TCEQ has issued a new Oil and Gas Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) General Permit No. WQG280000, with an effective date of January 10, 2024.

Facilities Likely to be Regulated

This permit regulates discharges into the Gulf of Mexico between 3.0 and 10.357 statute miles from the Texas coastline. The discharges under this permit are restricted to the oil and gas extraction activities in Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, (40 CFR) Part 435.

You may be eligible for coverage under this general permit if you plan to release one or more of the following wastes from oil and gas extraction activities:

  • Produced Wastewater and Hydrate Control Fluids
  • Well Treatment, Completion, and Workover Fluids
  • Deck Drainage
  • Domestic Waste
  • Sanitary Waste
  • Uncontaminated Miscellaneous Discharges
  • Contaminated Miscellaneous Discharges
  • Water-Based Drilling Fluids and Associated Drill Cuttings or
  • Drill Cuttings Associated with Non-Aqueous Drilling Fluids

Activities not Covered by this Permit

The activities associated with oil and gas extraction discharges into the Gulf of Mexico that are regulated by the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) include, but are not limited to - drilling new wells, plugging and abandoning existing wells, blowout prevention control, spill prevention and surface coatings and preparation. There may be other RRC regulated activities not associated with discharges into the Gulf of Mexico.

This general permit does not authorize discharges that are:

  • Adjacent to water in the state (e.g., land application or evaporation) for wastes transported onshore from RRC regulated oil and gas extraction activities.
  • From oil and gas extraction facilities other than Outer Continental Shelf Facilities located in the Gulf of Mexico between 3.0 and 10.357 statute miles from the Texas coastline. You can find the definition of such facilities in 40 CFR Part 435, Subpart A, and C-F.
  • Hydrostatic test water discharged into the Gulf of Mexico. These discharges may be covered under TPDES General Permit No. TXG670000 (under state-only authority) or an individual TCEQ state-only discharge permit.

Next Steps

If you think after reading the permit that this general permit might be appropriate for you, continue to Applying for Coverage under the Oil and Gas Outer Continental Shelf WQG280000 to learn more and see how to apply.

If you don't qualify for coverage under the general permit, you may require an individual permit for any discharge released. Contact us if you have questions.

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