ABSTRACT: Proper Classification of Waste Drilling Muds and Fluids
WOODHOUSE, CARYN, Heller, Ehrman, White, and McAuliffe, Sacramento, CA
The proper classification of waste drilling muds and fluids from petroleum exploration and development is essential to determine the appropriate management strategy for these wastes. The classification of drilling muds and fluids under the complex waste identification schemes required by the state of California includes consideration of the requirements of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards, and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency. Under the California scheme, the characteristics that may present threats to water quality must be identified and quantified. The concentration and toxicity of drilling mud additives, in addition to the naturally occurring constituents of concern, must be considered in classify ng these wastes. In the state and federal regulations, there are areas of overlap and apparent conflict regarding classification and management; these areas are defined and resolved.