This paper describes the development of legal and environmental aspects concerning water disposal from onshore mining activities in the Netherlands. The study is based on an existing complex situation consisting of a producing oil field and several sweet and sour gas fields. Production water is injected into the main water drive area under the oil reservoir and into a depleted gas reservoir.

Developments in legislation formed the framework for this study. An Environmental Impact Assessment was required as part of the process of permit application. The most difficult aspect was the continuous changes in legislation in relation to an on-going technical development.

The existing mode of operation, which was injection of production water, turned out to cause the least environmental impact.

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