Waste Disposal Regulations

Published: June 19, 2019 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Waste Disposal Regulations Mean?

Waste disposal regulations are classified into water-based, oil-based and synthetic-based muds. Water-based muds use fresh water or salt water as their primary constituent, while oil and synthetic-based muds use refined oil or synthetic material as their primary constituent. Disposal of water-based muds are subject to the least prohibitions and accounts for over 80% of the market.

Offshore disposal of water-based drilling mud and cuttings is permitted by most countries.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Waste Disposal Regulations

As per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), spent drilling mud is special waste. The drilling process generates used drilling fluid and drill cutting, both of which need to be disposed safely, away from ground water sources and fields, to prevent contamination. Regulatory practice for waste disposal has undergone radical changes since the 1980s, with acts such as Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Clean Water Act (CWA) and Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA).

Since regulations pertaining to disposal have to be followed by the contractors and owners, it is practical to utilize proper disposal methods most suitable to the site and project conditions.


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