In addition to groups in Ohio and Oklahoma, environmental groups and citizens in Texas are pushing for tighter regulations on the disposal of fracking wastewater in injection wells, which some believe may be linked to recent earthquakes in northwest Texas near the town of Azle, which is 20 miles northwest of Fort Worth. Concerned groups believe the Texas Railroad Commission, which is the state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, natural gas utilities, pipeline safety, and surface coal and uranium mining in Texas, should require seismic testing before allowing injection wells, and should require monitoring of the volume and injection pressure for new and existing injection wells.
On August 12, 2014, the Texas Railroad Commission proposed new oil and gas permit rules for hydraulic fracturing injection wells. The rules would require any permit applicant for Class II injection wells in high risk areas to include geological information. The text of the proposed rules, which would amend 16 Tex. Admin. Code §3.9 Relating to Disposal Wells, and §3.46 Relating to Fluid Injection into Productive Reservoirs, can be found at www.rrc.state.tx.us/legal/rules/proposed-rules/. The public comment period for the proposed rules ends at noon on September 29, 2014.
For more information, or for assistance preparing comments on the proposed rules, contact Toni Ellington at (504) 599-8500.