The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Groundwater Quality Bureau (GWQB) has developed the Treated Produced Water Pilot Project Guidance (NMED Guidance) to be utilized in tandem with the New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium's (NM PWRC) Guidance on Proposed Water Treatment Research, Development and Pilot Scale Demonstration Testing and Evaluation (NMPWRC Guidance). These documents are in the links below.

The purpose of the NMED Guidance is to ensure that pilot projects researching the potential use of treated produced water outside of the oil and gas industry operate in a manner that is protective of ground and surface water quality, human health and the environment.

NMED intends this guidance to provide direction for any person or entity seeking a "No Discharge Permit (DP) Required" determination associated with treated produced water pilot projects.

NMED technical staff will utilize this Guidance to ensure consistency in the technical review process. NMED will make the guidance document available to the regulated community and other interested parties.

The following websites are important resources:

New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) produced water webpage
https://www.env.nm.gov/new-mexico-produced-water/
New Mexico Produced Water Research Consortium (NM PWRC) webpage
https://nmpwrc.nmsu.edu/

In order to conduct a produced water pilot project in New Mexico you must compete the following process and submit these documents:

Read the NM PWRC Guidance on Produced Water Treatment, Research, Development, and Pilot-Scale Demonstrations Testing and Evaluation. This document is also found on the NM PWRC webpage under the public information tab. Submit all required documents to the consortium as directed in the guidance for their review and advisement.

Read the New Mexico State University (NMSU) and NMED MOU dated November 10, 2022 and complete Attachment B. Submit Attachment B to the NM PWRC and NMED. Attachment B will be posted on the NMED produced water public webpage so the public and interested parties know where pilot projects are being conducted within the state.

Read the NMED Treated Produced Water Pilot Project Guidance (NMED Guidance) and complete the NMED's Produced Water Pilot Project Notice of Intent to Discharge (NOI) for the proposed pilot project. At this time, NMED will only allow closed loop pilot projects with no discharges that may affect surface or groundwater.

Submit the NOI to the NMED, where technical staff will review and make a jurisdictional determination for the pilot project as being under the NMED, the Oil Conservation Division (OCD) or joint jurisdiction.

NMED will issue a determination of whether a discharge permit is required. At this time NMED will only allow closed loop pilot projects with no discharges that may affect surface or groundwater. If applicable, NMED will issue a "No Discharge Permit Required" determination letter.

Check back for updates.

2024/03/19

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