Notice Instructions for Commercial Surface Disposal Facility Permit Applications

Notice is required for all applications submitted under Texas Administrative Code, Title 16, Rule §3.8 (Statewide Rule 8), Rule §3.57 (Statewide Rule 57), and Chapter 4 Subchapter B. In addition, notice for commercial applications must be provided in accordance with §§ 91.116 and 91.117 of the Texas Natural Resources Code (HB 480).

Please read this page carefully to determine what forms of notice are required and the timeline for notice for each type of application. Applications will be immediately returned if the all the notice requirements are not met and completed within the mandatory timeframes.

Please see the summary table of notice requirements and timeline for providing notice. The full requirements for each rule are listed in the following sections.

 Notes:

  • For any application that requires published notice, you must provide proof of publication and a sworn affidavit from the newspaper publisher that states the dates on which the notice was published and the county or counties in which the newspaper is of general circulation (it is recommended that the provided affidavit of publication form be used.)
  • Proof of publication of the notice shall consist tear sheets of the published notice. Acceptable "tear sheets" include the full page from the newspaper in which the notice appeared (photocopies or clippings are not acceptable) or "digital tear sheets" provided by the newspaper which show the full-page layout. This must be submitted as supplemental material after the initial application is filed.
  • The Recommended Notice Form may be used for published notice.
  • For any application that requires notice to adjacent landowners, the notice must consist of a complete copy of the application and instructions on how to protest the application.
    • Adjacent landowners will be determined based on county tax appraisal district records.
    • “Adjacent landowners” include all property tracts within 500 feet of the facility boundary, and all properties adjoining the tract on which the proposed facility will be located, unless the boundary with the adjoining tract is a distance of ½ mile or greater from the fence line or edge of the facility.
    • If the surface owner of the tract on which the facility will be located owns the land at least ½ mile in every direction from the facility boundary, then the applicant is only required to notify that surface owner.

The requirements for each rule are provided below. Specific instructions for notice are also included as part of the application for each type of permit. For facilities with multiple types of permitted activities at the same facility, the most stringent requirements must be used for the entire facility application.


For all permit applications:

Statewide Rule 8

  1. Notice of the permit application must be provided to the surface owners of the property where the pit, landfarm, or other disposal activities will be located.
  2. If the property is within the corporate limits of an incorporated city, town, or village, notice must be provided to the city clerk or other appropriate official. Pay special attention to the title of the “appropriate official” that has been sent the notice.
  3. Commercial applications require the applicant notify each adjacent landowner of the permit application unless the boundary with the adjoining tract is a distance of 1/2-mile or greater from the fence line or edge of the facility. The complete application, including all attachments, must be delivered to the adjacent landowner as part of the notification process. Provide a copy of the notification letter that was sent to each adjacent landowner as part of the application.
  4. The applicant must mail or deliver the required notice to the surface owners and the city clerk or other appropriate official on or before the date the application is submitted to the commission in Austin.
  5. Notice of the permit application must consist of a copy of the application together with a statement that any protest to the application should be filed with the commission within 15 days of the date the application is filed with the commission.
  6. If, in connection with a particular application, the director determines that another class of persons, such as offset operators, or an appropriate river authority, should receive notice of the application, the director may require the applicant to mail or deliver notice to members of that class.
  7. If the director determines that, after diligent efforts, the applicant has been unable to ascertain the name and address of one or more persons required by this subparagraph to be notified, then the director may authorize the applicant to notify such persons by publishing notice of the application. The director shall determine the form of the notice to be published. The notice shall be published once each week for two consecutive weeks by the applicant in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the pit will be located, or the disposal will take place. The applicant shall file proof of publication with the commission in Austin.
  8. The director will consider the applicant to have made diligent efforts to ascertain the names and addresses of surface owners required by this subparagraph to be notified if the applicant has examined the current county tax rolls and investigated other reliable and readily available sources of information.

Disposal activities are defined in the Rule as, “To dispose--To engage in any act of disposal subject to regulation by the commission including, but not limited to, conducting, draining, discharging, emitting, throwing, releasing, depositing, burying, landfarming, or allowing to seep, or to cause or allow any such act of disposal.


For commercial applications (including pits at commercial SWDs, disposal pits, and other surface waste treatment and disposal facilities), the following rule applies:

Texas Natural Resources Code (HB 480) § 91.116

  1. A person who files an application for a permit for a commercial surface disposal facility must publish notice of the application.
  2. The notice must include:
    1. the date the application was filed;
    2. the facility location, including the county in which the site is located, the name of the original survey and abstract number, and the direction and distance from the nearest municipality;
    3. the name of the surface owner;
    4. the name of the applicant;
    5. the type of fluid or waste to be disposed of at the facility;
    6. the disposal method proposed; and
    7. the procedure for protesting the application.
  3. The notice must be published:
    1. at least once each week for two consecutive weeks with the first publication occurring not earlier than the date the application is filed and not later than the 30th day after the date on which the application is filed; and
    2. in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the proposed disposal would occur.

For a Division 3, 4, 5, or 6 Commercial Recycling permit, the following rule applies:

Chapter 4 Subchapter B

Division 3, 4, 5, or 6 Notice Requirements:

  1. Notify each surface owner of the permit application. The complete application, including all attachments, must be delivered to the surface owner as part of the notification process. Provide a copy of the notification letter that was sent to each surface owner.
  2. Notify each adjacent landowner of the permit application unless the boundary with the adjoining tract is a distance of 1/2-mile or greater from the fence line or edge of the facility. The complete application, including all attachments, must be delivered to the adjacent landowner as part of the notification process. Provide a copy of the notification letter that was sent to each adjacent landowner as part of the application.
  3. If the proposed facility is within corporate limits, provide notice to the city clerk or other appropriate official. Pay special attention to the title of the “appropriate official” that has been sent the notice. The complete application, including all attachments, must be delivered as part of the notification process.
  4. The notification letter sent to the surface owner, adjacent landowners and the city clerk must include the following:
    1. The date the application was filed
    2. The site location, including the county, the original survey and abstract number, and the direction and distance from the nearest municipality
    3. The name of the property surface owner
    4. The name of the facility operator
    5. The type of fluid or waste to be accepted or disposed of (such as water-based or oil-based drilling mud and cuttings) at the site
    6. For Division 5, the procedure for protesting the application must include this statement: “Protests must be in writing and must be received by the 15th day after notice is received.
    7. For Divisions 4 and 6, the procedure for protesting the application must include this statement: “Protests must be in writing and must be received by the 15th day after the last date of publication of this notice. The last date of publication of this notice is expected to be _(A Date)_ which means protests should be received by _(A Date 15 Days Later)_
    8. The letter must be signed and dated by the operator or a representative of the operator.
  5. Protests must be sent to:

Technical Permitting Section
Oil and Gas Division
Railroad Commission of Texas
P.O. Box 12967
Austin, Texas 78711
Telephone 512-463-3840

Staff may request the certified mail return receipts for notification letters, but it is not required by rule. It is beneficial for applicants to send certified mail to demonstrate due diligence in the notification process.

Division 4 and 6 Published Notice Requirements:

  1. Publish notice of the application in a paper of general circulation for the county where the proposed facility will be.
  2. The published notice must include:
    1. The date the applicant filed the application with the Commission for the permit;
    2. The name of the applicant;
    3. The physical address of the proposed facility and its location in relation to the nearest municipality or community;
    4. The owner or owners of the property upon which the proposed facility will be located;
    5. A statement that affected persons may protest the application by filing a protest with the Railroad Commission within 15 days of the last date of publication; and
    6. The address to which protests may be mailed.
  3. The notice must be published at least once each week for two consecutive weeks with the first publication occurring not earlier than the date the application is filed and not later than the 30th day after the date on which the application is filed
  4. The Recommended Affidavit Form must be notarized, signed and dated.
  5. Provide proof of publication. Proof of publication of the notice must include a sworn affidavit from the newspaper publisher that states the dates on which the notice was published and the county or counties in which the newspaper is of general circulation and must include the full tear sheets of the published notices.

For an Application for a Permit to Operate a Reclamation Plant (Form R-9), the following rule applies:

Statewide Rule 57

  1. A copy of the application must be mailed or delivered to the county clerk of the county where the reclamation plant is to be located, and to the city clerk or other appropriate city official (if the reclamation plant is located within the corporate limits of the city), on or before the date the application is filed with the commission.
  2. Notice of the application must be published once by the applicant in a newspaper of general circulation for the county where the reclamation plant is to be located, in a form approved by the commission. Publication shall occur on or before the date the application is filed with the commission. Proof of publication must be filed with the commission.


Commissioners