The organic constituents in oil shale process waters are of environmental concern when spent shale is codisposed with the process waters. Applying shale process water to hot spent shale may result in the mobility of certain organic species and the irreversible retention of other organic compounds. The mobility and retention of the resulting organic chemical substances will be affected by the chemical and physical properties of the spent shale. Particularly, the residual carbon content of the spent shale is expected to possess sorptive properties similar to activated carbon and adsorb organic substances. This paper reports on research focused on determining the relationship between spent shale residual carbon content and the sorption of organic compounds that have previously been identified in shale process waters.