Louisiana DEQ conducts pilot program for E&P waste
The Louisiana Department of Environmental
Quality (DEQ) is conducting a pilot program to allow exploration
and production waste, also known as E&P waste, to be disposed
of at three Type I landfills which are designed to accept industrial
solid waste. E&P waste is waste that is produced during oil
and natural gas exploration and production. It includes drilling
mud and waste derived from cleaning up oil spills.
Louisiana regulations state that E&P waste may be disposed
of at facilities approved by the Department of Natural Resources
or at a facility designated by DEQ. In July, DEQ issued administrative
orders on consent allowing three facilities that are currently
permitted to accept industrial solid waste to temporarily accept
E&P waste. Those landfills are Riverbirch in Jefferson Parish
and CWI-White Oaks in Ouachita Parish, and LaSalle/Grant in LaSalle
All landfills in Louisiana which are permitted to accept industrial
solid waste have liners, groundwater monitoring systems and leachate
collection systems. The permits for these facilities have testing
parameters in place to monitor the leachate, groundwater and
surface water. The AOCs require additional parameters to be monitored.
Prior to the orders, no landfills in Louisiana were allowed to
accept E&P waste. However, DEQ is allowing the three Type
I landfills to accept the industrial solid waste because of the
increased oil and gas production in the state, the proximity
of landfills capable to accept industrial solid waste and the
environmental regulations placed upon these landfills.
Under state regulations, E&P waste is under the jurisdiction
of the Department of Natural Resources. However, the Department
of Natural Resources regulations provide for the option to dispose
of E&P waste in a DEQ-approved landfill. Once E&P waste
is disposed in a DEQ-regulated landfill, it becomes subject to
DEQ’s solid waste regulations.