TCEQ Doesn't Have to Restart Injection Well Permit Review
Environmental and energy attorney John Riley was quoted in a Law360 article about a Texas Supreme Court decision that ruled that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has the authority to grant a permit for an underground injection well even after state regulators expressed concerns over the project. Montgomery County, the city of Conroe and a group of 10 residents sued over injection wells that TexCom Gulf Disposal LLC received permission to build as part of a wastewater disposal facility in Montgomery County. The Railroad Commission of Texas, which oversees the state's oil and gas industry, originally issued a no-harm letter for the project but later rescinded it over concerns about the wells' effects on nearby mineral, oil and gas rights. In a unanimous decision, the justices found that while Texas' Injection Well Act, which governs the injection well permitting process in the state, requires a permit applicant to acquire a no-harm letter from the Railroad Commission of Texas to begin permit proceedings in front of the environmental commission, rescission of the same no-harm letter does not halt proceedings.
Mr. Riley, who represented TexCom Gulf Disposal LLC, commented that the company is pleased with the court's ruling.
"It provides important guidance for stakeholders on the authority of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in the permitting process, he said."
READ: TCEQ Doesn't Have to Restart Injection Well Permit Review (subscription required)