Press Release from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
March 30, 2009
Contact: Jody Withers
(512) 463-0130

Texas Senate Passes Legislation to Help Monitor Oil and Gas Disposal Wells

Austin — The Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 540 by State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) 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 provide a copy of the application to the local groundwater conservation district, and defers for 30 days the time to issue the permit.

"Requiring notification and extending the permit review 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 Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and represents Senate District 30 covering Archer, Baylor, Clay, Collin (part), Cooke, Denton (part), Grayson, Jack, Montague, Parker, Palo Pinto, Shackelford, Stephens, Throckmorton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Wise, and Young counties.