from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
January 28, 2009
Contact: Jody Withers
(512) 463-0130

Senator Estes Files Legislation to Help Monitor Oil and Gas Disposal Wells

Austin — State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) filed Senate Bill 540 to require oil and gas companies filing a disposal permit with the Railroad Commission to also notify the local groundwater conservation district.

"The groundwater conservation districts are tasked with the important responsibility to help preserve and protect our groundwater resources, and should be notified of potential disposal wells that could impact local groundwater quality," said Estes.

Current law requires a permit to be issued by the Railroad Commission before anyone can use, convert, or begin drilling a disposal well to dispose of oil and gas waste. Senate Bill 540 would require applicants to notify the local groundwater conservation district, and extends from 15 days to 30 days the time allowed to protest the permit.

"Requiring notification and extending the protest time will better enable our groundwater conservation districts to perform their due diligence in their mission to safeguard our water resources," added Estes.

Senator Estes is Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, and Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs, and Coastal Resources, and represents Montague, Parker, and Wise counties within the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District.