Railroad Commission of Texas’s Role in TGPC
The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) regulates oil and gas exploration and production, surface mining and mine reclamation, and pipelines.
The Surface Mining and Reclamation Division of the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) is authorized to enforce laws and regulations consistent with the Texas Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Act and the Texas Uranium Surface Mining and Reclamation Act. Groundwater information is required in the regulations, as are monitoring plans for pre-mining and post-mining conditions. Groundwater investigations and monitoring by the Division is conducted in response to citizen complaints of adverse impact from surface mining activities.
The RRC’s Oil and Gas Division is responsible for protecting groundwater from activities related to the drilling, exploration, and production of oil, gas, and geothermal resources, the underground storage of hydrocarbons, and the solution mining of brine. The regulations of the Oil and Gas Division for the well drilling, completion, and plugging focus on the protection of groundwater resources. The RRC administers the EPA-delegated Underground Injection Control Program under the Safe Drinking Water Act for Class II injection wells associated with oil and gas activities. The RRC responds to citizen complaints regarding alleged groundwater contamination from oil and gas activities and to alleged unauthorized activities, which may endanger groundwater.
More information regarding the various groundwater protection programs within this agency can be found in the current version of the TGPC’s Joint Groundwater Monitoring and Contamination Report.