Texas forms new group to weigh pros, cons of repurposing oilfield wastewater

The group is charged with recommending regulatory and legal modifications to better allow advantageous usages, identifying pilot tasks and assessing the economics of using produced water both effectively but also in a way that protects public health and the environment.Answering these questions will be no simple task, and Texas should absolutely not motivate helpful reuse until it can with confidence address tough concerns about safety.The distinct difficulty of produced waterProduced water is extremely variable, frequently toxic and highly saline– if regulative programs arent developed to directly address the distinct contaminants in produced water, they will go untracked and uncontrolled and develop potential threats to our water, land, animals, wildlife and public health. Of these, less than 24% have actually authorized analytical techniques for use in a regulative context, less than 15% have comprehensive toxicological information, and only a little portion are covered by existing federal and state regulatory requirements and standards.In Texas, a total of 67 chemicals typically discovered in produced waters are covered by existing state surface area water quality requirements. Outside of surface water discharge scenarios, our state has basically no regulatory programs created specifically to allow the reuse of produced water in other scenarios pictured by some as advantageous usages, such as irrigation or rangeland rehabilitation.This consortium will have to straight grapple with these gaps and how to narrow them if reuse in any context can be shown to be useful and protective of public health and the environment, as charged by the statute.While its positive that Texas is devoting to research, its crucial that the public and affected stakeholders pay attention to this consortium and hold it to its charges.Learn from New MexicoTexas is the 2nd state to develop a consortium, following New Mexicos launch 2 years ago of a Produced Water Research Consortium.