TCEQ obtains approval from EPA to start issuing wastewater discharge permits under the TPDES program for oil and gas activities, pipelines and natural gas processing plants

On January 15, 2021, EPA announced that TCEQ received permitting authority for wastewater discharges from oil and gas activities, pipelines, and natural gas processing plants under the Clean Water Act.  Previously jurisdiction over this type of discharge involved permitting by both the RRC and EPA.  Going forward there will be one permit (individual or general depending on the specific circumstances) issued by TCEQ under the TPDES program.

TCEQ anticipates issuing two general discharge permits later this summer but is accepting individual permit applications now.  The types of discharges include produced water (in certain circumstances), hydrostatic test water, and gas plant effluent. 

TCEQ announcement here:

The Texas RRC also issued its own announcement here:

The RRC recognized this transition as a “step towards a future where our state has the legal authority to permit alternatives to the underground injection of wastewater.”