Texas Railroad Commission Vote on Recycling Rules Expected Soon

On March 6, 2013, during a panel discussion on the management of community impacts of unconventional oil and gas development, Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman indicated that by the end of the month, the Commission will issue rules to make it easier for drillers to recycle hydraulic fracturing flowback water at the drilling sites.

Smitherman expected the rules to clarify what materials can be recycled and provide baseline specifications for fracking fluid recycling pits.

As mentioned in our 3/11 Fracking Blog post, Flowback Fluid Recycling Regulation in the Barnett and Eagle Ford Shale Plays, the Commission has proposed that recycling be allowed onsite without a permit if the waste water is to be re-used in the fracking operations or treated to drinking water quality and disposed of appropriately.

According to TRRC Chairman, the Commission will consider and vote on the proposed recycling rules at its next scheduled hearing on March 26, 2013.

This post was prepared by Barclay Nicholson (bnicholson@fulbright.com or 713 651 3662) fromFulbright's Energy Practice.