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Attachment II

Water Quality Control Commission


In an effort to prevent duplication of effort and to clarify the division of responsibilities pursuant to the provisions of the Water Quality Act, NMSA Sections 74-6-1 et seq. (1978), as administered and enforced by the Water Quality Control Commission, the Commission hereby approves the following list of delegated duties and responsibilities for two of the agencies that are constituent agencies to which authority an be delegated, the Environmental Improvement Division ("EID") and the Oil Conservation Division ("OCD"). The Commission is specifically authorized to take this action by NMSA Section 74-6-4E (1978) and by other general provisions of the Water Quality Act. The Commission notes that pursuant to NMSA Section 74-6-9C (1978), constituent agencies may "report to the Commission and to other constituent agencies water pollution conditions that are believed to. require action where the circumstances are such that the responsibility appears to be outside the responsibility assigned to the agency making the report." The Commission encourages OCD and EID to continue close communication and cooperation where responsibility is unclear, to ensure that water pollution is prevented or abated quickly, efficiently and consistently. In situations involving discharges or facilities under the jurisdiction of both agencies, the agencies shall mutually agree which shall be the lead agency and shall determine the method by which the discharge plan shall be evaluated and approved. In preparing this delegation statement, the Commission is cognizant of the limitations imposed on its authority by the Water Quality Act, especially NMSA Section 74-6-12G (1978) which prohibits it from taking any action which would "interfere with the exclusive authority of the Oil Conservation Commission over all persons and things necessary to prevent water pollution as a result of oil or gas operations...."

This delegation shall supersede all previous delegations to EID and OCD; reference to the dates and minutes of Commission meetings in which previous delegations were made are in parentheses and the minutes are attached. The specific grants of authority are not intended to be comprehensive. When a question of authority and jurisdiction arises, which is not specifically delegated, the general provisions below shall control.

1. General Provisions

As a general rule, OCD will administer and enforce applicable Commission regulations pertaining to surface and ground water discharges at oil and natural gas production sites, oil refineries, natural gas processing plants, geothermal installations, carbon dioxide facilities, natural gas transmission lines, and discharges associated with activities of the oil field service industry. The Commission recognizes that OCD also administers regulations under both the Oil and Gas Act and the Geothermal Resources Act, and that OCD shall have discretion as to which regulations to enforce in any given situation. OCD shall have jurisdiction over all activities associated with exploration for or development, production, transportation before refinement, refinement, storage or treatment of unrefined oil and natural gas, or oil or gas products on refinery premises.

EID will administer and enforce Commission regulations regarding discharges from transmission, transportation and storage facilities for oil or oil by-products after refinement (including but not limited to gasoline stations), except those within refinery premises. EID will administer and enforce all Commission regulations pertaining to all other discharges to
surface and ground water which are not specifically delegated to other departments and agencies. (Source: 1/13/69 and 5/8/84 Commission minutes)

2. Specific Grants of Authority

A. EID shall certify Section 404 dredge and fill material permits under the Clean Water Act ("CWA"). (Source: 1/13/76 and 6/14/83 Commission minutes)

B. EID shall administer the Wastewater Construction Grants program pursuant to Section 205 of the CWA. (Source: 6/14/83 Commission minutes)

C. EID shall certify NPDES permits pursuant to Title IV of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 and S402 of the CWA. (Source: 10/1/74 and 8/14/84 Commission minutes)

D. EID shall certify hydropower licenses issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (Source: 8/14/84 Commission minutes)

E. EID shall administer and enforce Commission regulations pertaining to the disposal of human excrement and bath water at oil and natural gas production sites, oil refineries, natural gas processing plants, geothermal installations, carbon dioxide facilities and natural gas
transmission lines when the treatment facilities for the sewage are a separate and isolated discharge unmixed with any produced water, oil field waste or oil field service waste. (Such an isolated discharge would include: a small sewage treatment plant, package plant, or septic tank and drainfield.) If, on the other hand, sewage is in a discharge combined or mixed with produced water, oil field waste or oil field service waste, OCD shall have jurisdiction. (Source: 5/8/84 Commission minutes)

F. OCD shall administer and enforce Commission regulations at brine manufacturing operations and concerning discharges to ground or surface water at brine manufacturing operations, including all brine production wells, holding ponds and tanks. OCD shall have jurisdiction over all manufactured brine once it is transported, used or disposed of off brine plant premises for use in or directly related to oil and gas operations regulated by OCD. OCD shall regulate brine injection through its Class II Underground Injection control (UIC) Program if the brine is used in the drilling for or production of oil and gas. EID shall regulate brine injection through its UIC Program if the brine is used for other purposes. (Source: 6/13/89 Commission minutes)

G. EID shall administer and enforce all programs implemented by the state under PL 92-500 (The Federal Water Pollution Control Act) and its Amendments, unless directed otherwise by the Commission. (Source: 7/8/75 Commission minutes)

H. OCD shall have general jurisdiction over the oil field service industry. Many activities that would ordinarily be regulated by EID are regulated by OCD when those activities occur in the oil field service industry. The following list, which is not intended to be inclusive, serves to help clarify this delegation:

OCD 					EID
waste oil handled or processed by 	used motor oil handlers
oil field service companies or
treating plants 
all underground and above-ground	all underground and above-
tanks on refinery premises, un-		ground tanks not on refinery 
less the tanks contain unmixed		premises, unless the tanks 
sewage; all underground and 		contain crude petroleum, 
above-ground tanks not on		produced water or oil field  
refinery premises which contain		service chemicals 
crude petroleum, produced water 
or oil field service chemicals 
tanker trucks hauling, spilling 	tanker trucks spilling or  
or disposing of well-service 		disposing of non-oil and gas
chemicals, kill water, produced		production wastes, non-oil and
water, crude oil tank bottom 		gas service materials, or
sludge and other oil field wastes	refined petroleum products
and oil field service materials    
washings from trucks and other 		washings from trucks and other
equipment used in the transport, 	equipment not used for oil and 
production or refining of oil and 	gas production related purposes
gas crude products, production 
wastes or service materials

Both EID and OCD are authorized to continue to take appropriate legal action in their respective areas of delegation (including initiating proceedings in court) on behalf of the Commission on a finding of good cause to believe any person is violating or is threatening to violate a Commission regulation or the Water Quality Act. The agencies shall send a copy of each Complaint, Settlement Agreement and Judgment to the Commission Secretary for distribution to Commission members. (Source: NMSA Section 74-1-8.2(B) (1978), 2/8/71 and 1/11/83 Commission minutes)


Signed By:
Richard Mitzelfelt, Chairman

July 21, 1989

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