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Office of the Public Interest Counsel

This office helps citizens who have questions about the legal aspects of dealing with the TCEQ, its hearing process, rules, and enforcement proceedings. Assistance is also available to anyone affected by a particular permit application or other agency authorization.

The Office of Public Interest Counsel (OPIC) (Address, Phone, Fax)

OPIC carries out its responsibilities by (1) participating as a party in contested case hearings regarding air quality, water quality, water rights, and applications for solid waste disposal permits; (2) participation in proposed rulemakings; (3) reviewing and participating in enforcement matters; and (4) participation in matters set for consideration at the Commission's public meetings.

As a party to every permitting and utility-related contested case proceeding, the office strives to provide balance to the hearings process. OPIC participation ensures that environmental permitting applications satisfy all legal requirements and will be adequately protective of human health and the environment. The office also provides comments to the Commission on proposed agency rules and policy, including rulemaking projects that have a significant effect on public participation.

OPIC works independently of other TCEQ offices to bring forward relevant issues from a public interest perspective. The office's goal is to ensure that all relevant evidence is developed and made part of the record so that the Commission may make informed decisions and issue permits that are protective of human health and the environment.