Statement from Commissioner Ryan Sitton on EPA Lawsuit Regarding Oil and Gas Waste Disposal

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton issued a statement regarding the court decision in a civil complaint filed against the EPA: Civil Action No. 1:16-cv-842, which was filed on May 4, 2016. The court decision, announced Dec. 28, directs the EPA to review and update its regulations on oil and gas waste disposal.

In July of 2016, Commissioner Sitton sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy explaining that no additional federal regulation is needed in this area to protect the public and environment and asking EPA not to collude with environmentalists by settling the case.

Commissioner Sitton issued the following statement on the decision:

“We have hundreds of rules in place at the Railroad Commission specifically to safeguard the public and the environment from any potential risks associated with oil and gas waste disposal. There is no rational basis for EPA to layer additional bureaucracy on top of our regulation of oil and gas waste disposal rules. As stated in my letter to the EPA, at the Railroad Commission we take our duty to regulate these processes seriously and have stringent requirements and comprehensive rules in place to ensure there are no harmful releases.

“The decision by EPA to settle caters only to environmental groups and adds unnecessary, burdensome regulation to an already suffering energy industry and economy. I am confident that the incoming presidential administration will put an end to this “sue and settle” approach to regulation, stop this type of political gamesmanship and base future decisions on sound science and data, as we do at the Railroad Commission.”