Commercial Waste Separation Facilities

An oil and gas waste separation facility, also known as a stationary treatment facility (STF) is a general category for facilities that receive, store, handle, treat, recycle and dispose of certain non-hazardous oil and gas wastes. The separation of the waste into liquid and solid components may be achieved using gravity, physical, mechanical, thermal, and/or chemicals. The separated fluid is transported to a Class II injection well for disposal and the solids are disposed of at a permitted landfill or disposal pit.

Prior to submitting an application for any permit, an applicant (also referred to as the “operator”) must have an active Organization Report (Form P-5) with the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC). You can contact the P-5 Department at 512-463-6772 for any questions regarding the Form P-5.

All engineering and geologic work products must be sealed by a registered engineer or geologist, respectively, as required by the Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 1001 and 1002.

Environmental Permitting & Support does not accept incomplete applications. A complete application package must be submitted. If an application is knowingly submitted as incomplete, it will not be reviewed and may be subject to return.

Once an application package has been submitted, only minor modifications or staff-recommended amendments will be accepted during the review process. If the original application is fundamentally revised, the application must be withdrawn, and a new application may be filed.

According to Statewide Rule §1.201(4), an applicant may make no more than two supplemental filings to complete an application. If the application is still incomplete, Technical Permitting shall administratively deny the application and no additional submissions will be accepted or reviewed.

Mail the original application to:

Railroad Commission of Texas 
Technical Permitting 
P.O. Box 12967 
Austin, Texas 78711-2967
Surface Waste Management: 512-463-3840

File one copy of the application with the appropriate District Office.

Please note that the application format has been updated as of March 2021. New applications must be submitted using the following application format.

Waste Separation Facility Application

  1. The permit application must contain an original signature in ink, the date of signing, and the following certification: "I certify that I am authorized to make this application, that this application was prepared by me or under my supervision and direction, and that the data and facts stated herein are true, correct, and complete to the best of my knowledge."
  2. Each organization performing activities subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission must maintain a current Organization Report (Form P-5) on file with the Commission’s Austin Office. Provide the following information, which must be consistent with the P-5 Organization Report:
    • Operator name
    • Address
    • Phone number
    • Contact person
  1. Provide the following property information for the proposed facility site:
    1. The coordinates for the center of the site (decimal degrees.)
    2. The name, physical address, mailing address, and telephone number of the surface owner(s) of the property.
    3. Provide a signed copy of the surface lease agreement (legal document) with the surface owner if the facility operator does not own the property. The surface owner must be listed on the County’s Appraisal District’s website and the operator’s name on the lease agreement must match the P-5 information. The agreement must authorize the proposed operations in the application.
  1. Provide the following siting and environmental information for the proposed facility site:
    1. Provide a general description of the topography and contour of the site, direction of surface water flow, and any water courses or drainage ways.
    2. Specify whether the site is in a flood-prone area, or FEMA flood plain. Sites that are located within the 100-year flood plain will not be approved.
    3. Specify whether the site is in a wetland. If a wetland is identified, the applicant is required to submit a copy of an U.S. Army Corps of Engineer (USACE) Wetlands Permit or Permit Application or get a jurisdictional determination letter from the USACE. Determination letters generally take 60 to 90 days.
    4. Provide the average annual precipitation and evaporation at the proposed site and the source of this information. This information is available from the Texas Water Development Board (
    5. Identify and describe the soil and subsoil by typical name, proportion of grain sizes, texture, consistency, moisture, and other soil characteristics. Identify the source of soil information. The Natural Resources Conservation Service ( can provide information on soils and subsoils.
    6. Provide a list of all active domestic water wells within one mile, including the depth of the well and distance from the facility. Note the depth to the shallowest groundwater in the area of the facility.
    7. Provide the direction of groundwater flow and the calculated gradient. Specify how the flow direction was determined (for example, the groundwater tends to flow in the same direction as the surface features, or it can be based on the installation of groundwater monitoring wells.)
    8. Submit a plan for the installation of groundwater monitor wells if groundwater is present shallower than 100 feet below ground surface. A representative number of borings must be drilled at the location to characterize the subsurface and direction of flow of any shallow groundwater. See the Soil Boring and Groundwater Monitoring Requirements page for additional application requirements.
  1. Submit a list of types and volumes of wastes to be accepted.
  2. Submit the maximum volume of unseparated waste, separated solids, and separated fluids to be stored at the facility at any given time. Also provide the maximum amount of time each of the classes of waste will be stored at the facility.
  3. Provide a description of the waste management and processing methods. Include details of waste processing from initial acceptance, storage, treatment, transportation and final disposal or recycling (as applicable). Include a flow diagram of waste processing from beginning to end, if applicable. 
  4. Submit a description of the type and thickness of liners (e.g., fiberglass, steel, concrete), if any, for all tanks, silos, pits, pads, storage areas/cells, and secondary containment. For any storage areas where tanks and/or liners are not used, submit engineering and/or geologic information demonstrating that tanks or liners are not necessary for the protection of surface and subsurface water.
  5. If any pits will be used in conjunction with the facility operations, an Application for a Permit to Maintain and Use a Pit (Form H-11) for each pit must be submitted with the application. If any waste will be held above grade, the pit diagrams must be sealed by a Professional Engineer (P.E.) registered in the state of Texas.
  6. If any oil will be actively reclaimed during the separation process, an Application for a Permit to Operate a Reclamation Plant (Form R-9) must be submitted with the application and a complete copy of the permit application must be mailed or delivered to the county clerk of the county of the facility, as required by Statewide Rule 57(c)(2). This should be submitted at the same time as the waste separation facility permit application. 
  7. Provide the permit numbers for disposal wells or other disposal locations where the waste will be transported for final disposal. Verify that the locations have active permits. 
  8. Submit estimated duration of the operation. (Generally, commercial facility permits are issued for five-year terms, which may be renewed).
  9. Provide Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for any chemical or compound proposed to be used in the treatment of waste at the facility.
  10. Submit plans for the following:
    1. Submit plans for record keeping of incoming and outgoing waste.
    2. Submit plans to control access to the facility (such as fencing, inaccessible terrain, 24-hour attendant, etc.)
    3. Submit a plan to control and manage storm water runoff and to retain incoming wastes during wet weather. Specify the location and dimensions of dikes or storage basins that would collect storm water during a 25-year, 24-hour maximum rainfall event. Include all calculations made to determine the required capacity and design. Include a topographic map showing the facility and the direction of storm water surface flow in each area.
    4. Submit plans for the prevention and control of spills at the facility.
    5. Submit plans for routine inspections, maintenance, and monitoring.
  1. Submit a detailed Closure Plan for closing the site when operations end, including plans for closing pits, removing dikes, contouring, etc. Provide an estimate of time required to close the site. See the Closure Plan Requirements page for more information.
  2. Submit a Closure Cost Estimate (CCE), according to the Closure Cost Estimate Guidance.

Maps and Figures

  1. Submit the following maps and figures. All diagrams must include a title block with a scale, a north arrow and a legend, and must show a clear outline of the proposed facility's boundaries and the lease boundaries:
    1. A copy of a county highway map showing the location of the proposed facility
    2. A complete, original 7 1/2-minute United States Geological Survey topographic quadrangle map clearly showing the outline of the proposed facility
    3. The location of any pipelines that underlay the facility (if not included on the topographic map)
    4. The section/survey lines, the survey name and abstract number, and the size (in square feet or acres) of the property tract
    5. The distance from the facility's boundary (fence line) to water wells, residences, schools, religious institutions, or hospitals that are within 500 feet of the boundary
    6. The location of the 100-year flood plain and the source of the flood plain information
    7. A “Site Facility Diagram” showing the layout and design of the entire facility. Show all receiving, processing, and storage areas and all equipment (e.g., pug mill), tanks, silos, monitor wells, dikes, fences, and access roads. Indicate the volume and material stored for all storage areas and tanks.
    8. Plan view and two perpendicular cross-sectional view diagrams for each waste management unit, showing the bottom, sides, dikes, and the natural grade. Include dimensions for length, width, and depth (if applicable).

Notice Requirements 

  1. Submit a map that identifies the facility surface owner(s) and each adjacent property surface owners, showing the associated tract of land for each owner. Include a table that includes the mailing address, property identification (tract no.), total acreage and a corresponding map label. All properties that share a boundary with the facility property tract and are within ½-mile of the facility operational boundary, as well as all properties within 500 feet of the facility operational boundary (even if they do not directly share a property tract boundary) are considered adjacent properties for the purposes of notice.
    • Staff will verify property ownership through available on-line sources, which include county appraisal district property records.  
  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. 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:
    • The date the application was filed
    • The site location, including the county, the original survey and abstract number, and the direction and distance from the nearest municipality
    • The name of the property surface owner
    • The name of the facility operator
    • 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
    • The procedure for protesting the application that includes this statement “Protests must be in writing and must be received within 15 days of the date the application is filed with the commission.
    • The letter must be signed and dated by the operator or a representative of the operator.

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).

In accordance with Statewide Rule 16 TAC §3.8., the applicant must mail or deliver the required notice to the surface owners, adjacent landowners, the city clerk or other appropriate official on or before the date the application is mailed or delivered to the Commission in Austin.

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.

Published Notice Requirements

  1. Publish notice of the application in a paper of general circulation for the county where the proposed facility will be.
    1. The published notice must include:
    • The date the application was filed 
    • The site location, including the county, the original survey and abstract number, and the direction and distance from the nearest municipality  
    • The name of the property surface owner
    • The name of the facility operator
    • The types of fluid or waste to be disposed of at the facility
    • The disposal method proposed
    • The procedure for protesting the application
    1. 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
    • In a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the proposed disposal would occur
    1. The Recommended Notice Form should be used as reference, but the information must be specific to the proposed operations and location. 
    • According to the Recommended Notice Form the protest instructions must read as follows:

Affected persons may protest this application. 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).

    1. The Recommended Affidavit Form must be notarized, signed and dated. 
  1. Provide proof of publication. Proof of publication must consist of tear sheets of the published notice. Acceptable tear sheets include the full page from the newspaper in which the notice appeared, or digital tear sheets provided by the newspaper which show the full-page layout. Photocopies or clippings are not acceptable.
  2. If the applicant cannot locate the name and address of one or more persons required to be notified, then the applicant may notify such persons by providing an additional published notice of the application. This is more of an issue in rural areas or communities that do not maintain current records. 
    • The notice must be published once each week for two consecutive weeks by the applicant in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the operations will be located.
    • File proof of publication with the commission in Austin. Staff will consider the applicant to have made diligent efforts to locate the names and addresses of surface owners if the applicant has examined the current county tax rolls and investigated other available sources of information.
  1. If, in connection with an application, the director determines that another class of persons, such as offset operators, adjacent surface owners, 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.

In accordance with §§ 91.116 and 91.117 of the Texas Natural Resources Code (HB 480), the published notice must be no later than the 30th day after the application is mailed or delivered to the Commission in Austin.

Applications will be immediately returned if the all the notice requirements are not met and completed within the mandatory timeframes.

Requirements for renewal of expiring permits:

The renewal application should be received at least 60 days prior to the permit expiration date. As required in §2001.054(b) of the Texas Government Code (, an active permit will remain in effect if the renewal request is received before the permit expiration date and the Commission has not yet acted on the application.

The renewal application must include:

  1. Submit a cover letter.
  2. Submit notice as required by Items 18 through 25 above. All supporting documentation, including maps, copies of notice letters, tear sheets for published notice, and proof of publication must be included in the renewal application.
  3. Submit an updated Closure Cost Estimate (CCE). Note that a screening survey for Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) must be conducted and included with the renewal application. See the Closure Cost Estimate Guidance for more information.
  4. If applicable, a new Form H-11 must be submitted for each associated pit permit.

If there have been any changes to the facility layout or operations, include updated information reflecting the current facility.