Title 52 - Oil & Gas Code

§52-139. Jurisdiction, powers and authority of Corporation Commission and Department of Environmental Quality.


          A. The Corporation Commission is vested with exclusive jurisdiction, power and authority, and it shall be its duty, to make and enforce such rules and orders governing and regulating the handling, storage and disposition of saltwater, mineral brines, waste oil and other deleterious substances produced from or obtained or used in connection with the drilling, development, producing, and operating of oil and gas wells and brine wells within this state as are reasonable and necessary for the purpose of preventing the pollution of the surface and subsurface waters in the state, and to otherwise carry out the purpose of this act.

          B. 1. Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, the Corporation Commission is hereby vested with exclusive jurisdiction, power and authority, and it shall be its duty to promulgate and enforce rules, and issue and enforce orders governing and regulating:

                    a. the conservation of oil and gas,

                    b. field operations for geologic and geophysical exploration for oil, gas and brine, including seismic survey wells, stratigraphic test wells and core test wells,

                    c. the exploration, drilling, development, producing or processing for oil and gas on the lease site,

                    d. the exploration, drilling, development, production and operation of wells used in connection with the recovery, injection or disposal of mineral brines,

                    e. reclaiming facilities only for the processing of salt water, crude oil, natural gas condensate and tank bottoms or basic sediment from crude oil tanks, pipelines, pits and equipment associated with the exploration, drilling, development, producing or transportation of oil or gas,

                    f. injection wells known as Class II wells under the federal Underground Injection Control Program, and any aspect of any CO2 sequestration facility, including any associated CO2 injection well, over which the Commission is given jurisdiction pursuant to the Oklahoma Carbon Capture and Geologic Sequestration Act. Any substance that the United States Environmental Protection Agency allows to be injected into a Class II well may continue to be so injected,

                    g. tank farms for storage of crude oil and petroleum products which are located outside the boundaries of the refineries, petrochemical manufacturing plants, natural gas liquid extraction plants, or other facilities which are subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Quality with regard to point source discharges,

                    h. the construction and operation of pipelines and associated rights-of-way, equipment, facilities or buildings used in the transportation of oil, gas, petroleum, petroleum products, anhydrous ammonia or mineral brine, or in the treatment of oil, gas or mineral brine during the course of transportation but not including line pipes associated with processing at or in any:

                    (1) natural gas liquids extraction plant,

                    (2) refinery,

                    (3) reclaiming facility other than for those specified within subparagraph e of this paragraph,

                    (4) mineral brine processing plant, and

                    (5) petrochemical manufacturing plant,

                    i. the handling, transportation, storage and disposition of saltwater, mineral brines, waste oil and other deleterious substances produced from or obtained or used in connection with the drilling, development, producing and operating of oil and gas wells, at:

                    (1) any facility or activity specifically listed in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this subsection as being subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission, and

                    (2) other oil and gas extraction facilities and activities,

                    j. spills of deleterious substances associated with facilities and activities specified in paragraph 1 of this subsection or associated with other oil and gas extraction facilities and activities, and

                    k. subsurface storage of oil, natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas in geologic strata.

          2. The exclusive jurisdiction, power and authority of the Corporation Commission shall also extend to the construction, operation, maintenance, site remediation, closure and abandonment of the facilities and activities described in paragraph 1 of this subsection.

          3. When a deleterious substance from a Commission-regulated facility or activity enters a point source discharge of pollutants or storm water from a facility or activity regulated by the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department shall have sole jurisdiction over the point source discharge of the commingled pollutants and storm water from the two facilities or activities insofar as Department-regulated facilities and activities are concerned.

          4. For purposes of the Federal Clean Water Act, any facility or activity which is subject to the jurisdiction of the Corporation Commission pursuant to paragraph 1 of this subsection and any other oil and gas extraction facility or activity which requires a permit for the discharge of a pollutant or storm water to waters of the United States shall be subject to the direct jurisdiction of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and shall not be required to be permitted by the Department of Environmental Quality or the Corporation Commission for such discharge.

          5. The Corporation Commission shall have jurisdiction over:

                    a. underground storage tanks that contain antifreeze, motor oil, motor fuel, gasoline, kerosene, diesel, or aviation fuel and that are not located at refineries or at upstream or intermediate shipment points of pipeline operations, including, but not limited to, tanks from which these materials are dispensed into vehicles, or tanks used in wholesale or bulk distribution activities, as well as leaks from pumps, hoses, dispensers, and other ancillary equipment associated with the tanks, whether above the ground or below; provided that any point source discharge of a pollutant to waters of the United States during site remediation or the off-site disposal of contaminated soil, media, or debris shall be regulated by the Department of Environmental Quality,

                    b. aboveground storage tanks that contain antifreeze, motor oil, motor fuel, gasoline, kerosene, diesel, or aviation fuel and that are not located at refineries or at upstream or intermediate shipment points of pipeline operations, including, but not limited to, tanks from which these materials are dispensed into vehicles, or tanks used in wholesale or bulk distribution activities, as well as leaks from pumps, hoses, dispensers, and other ancillary equipment associated with the tanks, whether above the ground or below; provided that any point source discharge of a pollutant to waters of the United States during site remediation or the off-site disposal of contaminated soil, media, or debris shall be regulated by the Department of Environmental Quality, and

                    c. the Petroleum Storage Tank Release Environmental Cleanup Indemnity Fund and Program and the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund.

          6. The Department of Environmental Quality shall have sole jurisdiction to regulate the transportation, discharge or release of deleterious substances or hazardous or solid waste or other pollutants from rolling stock and rail facilities. The Department of Environmental Quality shall not have any jurisdiction with respect to pipeline transportation of carbon dioxide.

          7. The Department of Environmental Quality shall have sole environmental jurisdiction for point and nonpoint source discharges of pollutants and storm water to waters of the state from:

                    a. refineries, petrochemical manufacturing plants and natural gas liquid extraction plants,

                    b. manufacturing of oil and gas related equipment and products,

                    c. bulk terminals, aboveground and underground storage tanks not subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission pursuant to this subsection, and

                    d. other facilities, activities and sources not subject to the jurisdiction of the Corporation Commission or Department of Agriculture as specified by this section.

          8. The Department of Environmental Quality shall have sole environmental jurisdiction to regulate air emissions from all facilities and sources subject to operating permit requirements under Title V of the Federal Clean Air Act as amended.

C. The Corporation Commission shall comply with and enforce the Oklahoma Water Quality Standards.

D. 1. For the purpose of immediately responding to emergency situations having potentially critical environmental or public safety impact and resulting from activities within its jurisdiction, the Commission may take whatever necessary action, without notice and hearing, including the expenditure of monies from the Corporation Commission Revolving Fund, to promptly respond to the emergency. Such emergency expenditure shall be made pursuant to the provisions of The Oklahoma Central Purchasing Act, upon such terms and conditions established by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to accomplish the purposes of this section. Thereafter, the Commission shall seek reimbursement from the responsible person, firm or corporation for all expenditures made from the Corporation Commission Revolving Fund. Any monies received as reimbursement shall be deposited to the credit of the Corporation Commission Revolving Fund.

          2. The Commission shall not expend from any fund in the State Treasury, in any fiscal year, for the purposes herein provided, an amount of money in excess of the total sum specifically authorized annually by the Legislature for such purposes. Any monies received by the Commission through execution on any required surety shall not be subject to such limitation on expenditure for remedial action.

          3. Neither the Commission nor any independent contractor of the Commission authorized to conduct remedial action under this section shall be held liable or responsible for any damages resulting from non-negligent actions reasonably necessary for conducting remedial work. Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of the Commission or relieve any person or persons otherwise legally responsible from any obligation to prevent or remediate pollution.

Added by Laws 1955, p. 482, § 1, emerg. eff. May 19, 1955. Amended by Laws 1965, c. 228, § 1, emerg. eff. June 16, 1965; Laws 1991, c. 332, § 6, eff. July 1, 1991; Laws 1993, c. 145, § 255, eff. July 1, 1993; Laws 1993, c. 324, § 49, eff. July 1, 1993; Laws 2000, c. 364, § 6, emerg. eff. June 6, 2000; Laws 2009, c. 429, § 9, emerg. eff. June 1, 2009; Laws 2012, c. 304, § 211.