Water: Oil & Gas Extraction
Oil and Gas Extraction Effluent Guidelines
- Unconventional Oil and Gas Extraction – Proposed Rule (April 7, 2015)
EPA promulgated the Oil and Gas Extraction (O&G) effluent guidelines and standards (40 CFR Part 435) in 1979, and amended the regulation in 1993, 1996, and 2001. The regulation covers wastewater discharges from field exploration, drilling, production, well treatment and well completion activities. These activities take place on land, in coastal areas and offshore. The O&G effluent guidelines and standards are incorporated into NPDES permits. The regulations apply to conventional and unconventional oil and gas extraction with the exception of coalbed methane.
- What is the Oil and Gas Extraction Industry?
- Facilities Covered
- Wastestreams Covered
- Subpart C Amendments: Unconventional Extraction
- Coalbed Methane
- Rulemaking History
- Additional Information
What is the Oil and Gas Extraction Industry?
Oil and Gas Extraction is the exploration and production of petroleum and natural gas from wells. The industry generates wastewater from the water extracted from the geological formations and from chemicals used during exploration, well drilling and production of oil and gas.
These activities are included within North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code 211111, Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction. (Note: the NAICS group listings are provided as a guide and do not define the coverage of the O&G rule. For precise definitions of coverage, see the applicability sections in 40 CFR Part 435.)
The O&G regulation applies to facilities organized into 5 subcategories:
- Subpart A: Offshore
- Subpart C: Onshore
- Subpart D: Coastal
- Subpart E: Agricultural and Wildlife Water Use
- Subpart F: Stripper Wells
EPA has issued a proposed rule (March 31, 2015) to address wastewater pollutant discharges from onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction facilities to municipal wastewater treatment plants.
EPA has not promulgated effluent limitations guidelines and standards for pollutant discharges from coalbed methane extraction facilities. EPA had initiated a coalbed methane rulemaking, but announced its decision to discontinue this effort in Fall 2014.
You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.
- 2001 Amendment
Added requirements for the discharge of synthetic-based drilling fluids (SBFs) and other non-aqueous drilling fluids.
- Clarification Memo: Standards for Controlling SBF Discharges (PDF) (16 pp, 271K) (10/10/2003)
- Final Rule: 66 FR 6850 (PDF) (70 pp, 1.1MB) 1/22/2001
- Proposed Rule: 67 FR 5488 (PDF) (67 pp, 629K) 2/3/1999
- 1996 Amendment
Added BAT, BCT, NSPS, PSES and PSNS, and revised BPT limitations for coastal facilities.
- 1993 Amendment
Added BAT, BCT and NSPS requirements for offshore facilities.
- Final Rule: 58 FR 12454 (PDF) (59 pp, 8MB) 3/4/1993
- Development Document (PDF) (407 pp, 21MB) (EPA-821-R-93-003, January 1993)
- Proposed Rules:
- 1979 Initial Rulemaking
BPT limitations for Offshore; Onshore; Coastal; and Agricultural and Wildlife Water Use subcategories.
For additional information on existing Oil and Gas Extraction subcategories, please contact Ron Jordan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 202-566-1003. For additional information on Unconventional Extraction, please contact Lisa Biddle (email@example.com) or 202-566-0350.