In This Issue

Proposed Changes to TRRC – TCEQ Memorandum of Understanding

The Railroad Commission of Texas has proposed amendments to 16 TAC §3.30, relating to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Railroad Commission of Texas (TRRC) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), as found in Title 16, Part 1, Chapter 3 of the Texas Administrative Code. The proposed amendments affect the Texas Health and Safety Code, §401.414; Texas Water Code, §26.131, Chapter 27, and §§29.001-29.053; and Texas Natural Resources Code, §§81.052, 85.042(b), 85.201, 85.202, 91.101, and 91.602.

Proposed changes of interest to pipeline operators in Texas include:

  • Proposed amendments in subsection (d)(3) address storage of oil, and provide that tank bottoms and other wastes from the storage of crude oil (whether foreign or domestic) before it enters the refinery are under the jurisdiction of the TRRC, and that waste resulting from storage of crude oil at refineries is subject to the jurisdiction of the TCEQ.
    • Wastes generated from storage tanks that are part of the refinery and wastes resulting from the wholesale and retail marketing of refined products are subject to the jurisdiction of the TCEQ.
    • The proposed amendments strike references to storm water because storm water is addressed in proposed new subsection (b)(1)(B) and (b)(2)(B).
  • Subsection (d)(6) addresses transportation of crude oil or natural gas. Proposed new wording addresses questions both agencies have received on a regular basis, and adds a paragraph about general jurisdiction over pipeline related activities. Proposed new paragraph (6)(A) provides that the TRRC has jurisdiction over:
    • Matters related to pipeline safety for all pipelines in Texas that transport hazardous materials as that term is defined by federal regulation.
    • Spill response and remediation of releases from pipelines transporting crude oil, natural gas, and condensate from the point of origin at exploration and production facilities to the refinery gate.
    • Waste generated by construction and operation of pipelines used to transport crude oil, natural gas, and condensate on an oil and gas lease, and from exploration and production facilities to the refinery gate.
    • Waste generated by construction and operation of pipelines transporting carbon dioxide.

The TRRC is responsible for water quality certification issues related to construction and operation of pipelines used to transport crude oil, natural gas, and condensate on an oil and gas lease and from exploration and production facilities to the refinery gate.

The Railroad Commission of Texas will hold a public hearing on this proposal on Tuesday, May 11, 2010, at 1:30 p.m., in Room 1-100 of the William Travis Building, 1701 N. Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78711.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted online at www.rrc.state.tx.us/rules/commentform.php ; or by electronic mail to rulescoordinator@rrc.state.tx.us. Comments should refer to O&G Docket No. 20-0264933 and will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on May 17, 2010.