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Storm Water Discharges from Oil and Gas Related Construction Activities. EPA Public Meeting Dallas, Texas May 10, 2005. Overview. History Rule deferral rationale Regulatory options EPA analysis Q&A. Chronology. Oil and Gas Exemption.

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Storm water discharges from oil and gas related construction activities

Storm Water Discharges from Oil and Gas Related Construction Activities


Public Meeting

Dallas, Texas

May 10, 2005

Overview Activities

  • History

  • Rule deferral rationale

  • Regulatory options

  • EPA analysis

  • Q&A

Chronology Activities

Oil and gas exemption
Oil and Gas Exemption Activities

  • CWA §402(l)(2) - The Administrator shall not require a permit … for discharges of stormwater runoff from … oil and gas exploration, production, processing, or treatment operations or transmission facilities, composed entirely of flows which are from conveyances or systems of conveyances … used for collecting and conveying precipitation runoff and which are not contaminated …

  • Construction activity, includes clearing, grading, and excavating

  • Since 1992, EPA has considered construction activity at oil and gas sites to require permit coverage – i.e., not considered to fall under exemption.

Epa as npdes permitting authority

Construction Activities

and Industrial

EPA as NPDES Permitting Authority

Federal Facilities

Oil and Gas

Puerto Rico

Virgin Islands


Other Territories

2003 facts and figures
2003 Facts and Figures Activities

  • ~28,000 new well sites in 29 states

  • EPA administers the Storm Water program in AK*, TX, OK, and NM:

    • 48% of the wells are drilled

    • 66% of estimated compliance costs are accrued

    • Permit addresses ESA and NHPA

* Vast majority of AK sites are >5 acres and covered by Phase I regulations.

Deferral rationale
Deferral Rationale Activities

  • Phase II Rule determined that few if any oil and gas sites exist between 1 and 5 acres

  • EPA subsequently deferred requirement for small oil and gas sites to obtain permit coverage

  • EPA performing:

    • Economic impact analysis, including cost/benefit analysis

    • BMP review

      • Industry Standard Operating Procedures

      • BLM Gold Book Guidelines

      • State prescribed BMPs

    • Analysis of regulatory options

Regulatory options
Regulatory Options Activities

EPA is currently evaluating 2 options (against the baseline) for regulating small oil and gas construction activity:

(Baseline) - Regulate consistent with Phase II Rule

(Option 1) – Create New Waiver

(Option 2) - Non-permitting program [CWA 402(p)(6)]

Regulatory options baseline
Regulatory Options (Baseline) Activities

Baseline Approach:

  • Requirements include:

    • Coverage under Construction General Permit

    • Develop site-specific Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)

    • Perform routine inspections

    • ESA/NHPA considerations (for EPA permits)

Baseline approach
Baseline Approach Activities

GAO-05-240, February 2005

Baseline construction swppp
Baseline – ActivitiesConstruction SWPPP

  • Site Description

  • Controls to Reduce Pollutants

    • Erosion and Sediment Controls

    • Stabilization Practices

    • Storm Water Management

  • Maintenance

  • Inspections

Baseline swppp site description
Baseline- ActivitiesSWPPP: Site Description

  • Description of construction activity

  • Sequence of major soil disturbing events

  • Total and disturbed area (acreage)

  • Storm water discharges (location)

  • Site map

  • Storm water controls (location)

  • Receiving waters (name, location)

  • Endangered species; historic preservation

Baseline swppp erosion and sediment controls
Baseline- ActivitiesSWPPP: Erosion and Sediment Controls

  • Properly select and install controls to:

    • Minimize erosion

    • Retain sediment on-site

    • Remove any sediment that accumulated off-site

  • Remove sediment from sediment traps

  • Prevent litter from entering streams

Baseline swppp stabilization practices
Baseline- ActivitiesSWPPP: Stabilization Practices

  • Temporary Seeding

  • Permanent Seeding

  • Mulching

  • Sod Stabilization

  • Vegetative Buffer Strips

  • Tree Preservation

  • Contouring and Protecting Sensitive Areas

Baseline swppp structural controls
Baseline- ActivitiesSWPPP: Structural Controls

Maintenance and inspections
Maintenance and Inspections Activities

  • BMPs must be maintained in effective operating condition

  • Any repairs must be performed before next anticipated storm event, if possible.

  • Inspect at least every 14 calendar days and within 24 hours after any storm event of 0.5 inches or greater (or every 7 days) until permit coverage terminated.

Regulatory option 1 waiver
Regulatory Option #1- ActivitiesWaiver

  • Sites <5 acres would be waived from permit coverage under certain conditions

  • Sites 5 acres and above would still be required to obtain permit coverage

  • Possible waiver eligibility requirements:

    • Short term (<30 days) construction

    • Proximity to water body

    • Slope, region, and other site-specific considerations

    • BMP implementation

Regulatory option 2 non permitting npdes program
Regulatory Option #2- ActivitiesNon-Permitting NPDES Program

  • Comprehensive program under CWA section 402(p)(6)

  • Develop a program for O&G construction activity

  • Likely similar BMP requirements as baseline and Option 1

  • Evaluate legal authorities and responsibilities

Economic analysis purpose
Economic Analysis: Purpose Activities

  • Evaluate the costs and benefits of the requirements under the Phase II Storm Water Rule

  • Follow analytical approach using relevant data from the Phase II analysis (1998).

  • Examine the costs and benefits for 3 rulemaking options:

    • Baseline (expiration of deferral after 6/12/06)

    • Waiver

    • Non-permitting program under CWA 402(p)(6)

Economic analysis impacts
Economic Analysis: Impacts Activities

  • Direct costs

    • Notice of Intent

    • SWPPPs

    • BMPs

    • Potential ESA & NHPA Considerations

  • Indirect costs

    • Revenue delay

    • Forgone lease bonus payments

    • Idle rig contract payments

    • Project cancellation

Next steps
Next Steps Activities

  • Gather additional information

  • Complete Economic Analysis

  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (9/05)

  • Comment period

  • Final Rulemaking (6/06)