[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 231 (Monday, December 2, 2013)]
[Pages 72080-72081]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-28819]




Draft NPDES General Permit Modification for Discharges From the 
Oil and Gas Extraction Point Source Category to Coastal Waters in Texas 
and Onshore Stripper Well Category East of The 98th Meridian 

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice; Proposal of NPDES general permit modification.


SUMMARY: EPA Region 6 today proposes modifications for the National 
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit 
regulating discharges from oil and gas wells in the Coastal Subcategory 
in Texas and in the Stripper Subcategory which discharge into waters in 
Texas. These modifications would restore coverage eligibility for 
certain inland discharges that existed in the previous permit and 
require freshwater whole effluent toxicity species for discharges to 
freshwater receiving waters.

DATES: Comments must be received by January 16, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be sent to: Ms. Diane Smith (6WQ-NP), U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, 
Texas 75202-2733.
    Comments may also be submitted via email to the following address: 

Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202-
2733. Telephone: (214) 665-2145.
    A complete draft permit and a fact sheet more fully explaining the 
proposal may be obtained online from the Web site below or from Ms. 
Smith. In addition, the Agency's current administrative record on the 
proposal is available for examination at the Region's Dallas offices 
during normal working hours after providing Ms. Smith 24 hours advance 
notice. A copy of the proposed permit, fact sheet, and this Federal 
Register Notice may be found on the EPA Region 6 Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/region6/water/npdes/genpermit/index.htm.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This permit modification action proposes to 
clarify the coverage of discharges from stripper wells located east of 
the 98th meridian whose produced water comes from the Carrizo/Wilcox, 
Reklaw or Bartosh formations in Texas and whose produced water does not 
exceed 3000

[[Page 72081]]

mg/l total dissolved solids. The modification also adds WET testing 
requirements using freshwater species for produced waters which 
discharge to freshwater receiving waters. To determine whether your 
facility, company, business, organization, etc. is regulated by this 
action, you should carefully examine the applicability criteria in Part 
I, Section A.1 of this permit. If you have questions regarding the 
applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person 
listed in the preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. (Note 
that previous permit was noticed in the Federal Register at 77 FR 47380 
on August 8, 2012.)

Other Legal Requirements

A. State Certification

    Under section 401(a)(1) of the CWA, EPA may not issue an NPDES 
permit until the State in which the discharge will occur grants or 
waives certification to ensure compliance with appropriate requirements 
of the CWA and State law. EPA will seek certification from the Railroad 
Commission of Texas prior to issuing a final permit.

B. Other Regulatory Requirements

    When EPA issued the general permit in 2012, EPA had conducted 
evaluations required by Coastal Zone Management Act, National 
Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Historic Preservation Act, 
Paperwork Reduction Act, and Regulatory Flexibility Act. The scope of 
Today's permit modification action does not trigger requirements for 
new evaluations for compliance with those regulatory requirements. 
These requirements were discussed in the fact sheet dated March 7, 
2012, when EPA proposed the permit.

    Dated: November 20, 2013.
William K. Honker,
Director, Water Quality Protection Division, EPA Region 6.
[FR Doc. 2013-28819 Filed 11-29-13; 8:45 am]