SIP Section 185 Fees
On March 7, 2014, the TCEQ submitted a “clean data” notice to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This notice stated that three consecutive years of quality-assured data with a design value for 2011-2013 did not exceed the one-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) one-hour ozone nonattainment area. As a result, the §185 fee collection is placed in abeyance and will not be due until further notice by the agency. At this time, the §185 fee will not be invoiced by the agency. All other Section 185 Program requirements remain in effect.
- Letter to the EPA of Annual Data Certification and Request for Finding of Attainment for the HGB One-hour Ozone Area, March 7, 2014 (pdf)
Baseline Amount Forms and Instructions
Baseline amounts are due by September 19, 2013 from major stationary sources of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and/or nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) nonattainment area per 30 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 101, Subchapter B. Instructions and the forms for establishing baseline amounts are posted below. Also available is a presentation given on July 18, 2013 on calculating baseline amounts for the Federal Clean Air Act Section 185 Failure to Attain Fee and Frequently Asked Questions.
- Instructions for Section 185 Fee Program Baseline Amount Determination Forms Under Sections 101.106 and 101.107 (pdf)
- Instructions for Section 185 Fee Program Alternative Baseline Amount Determination Forms Under Section 101.108 (pdf)
- Instructions for Section 185 Fee Program Baseline Amount Determination Forms For New Sources Under Section 101.110 (pdf)
Submitting the Forms
Please submit the forms to the TCEQ to establish a baseline amount for each or group of major stationary sources. These forms can be used for single major stationary sources or for major stationary sources aggregated under common control. A Section 185 Account Number will be assigned to each major stationary source or aggregated group of major stationary sources. For aggregated groups under common control, select a valid CN that will represent all the RNs in the group. It must be associated in the agency’s Central Registry Database with at least one of the RNs in the group.
Certifications are required for the data. An electronic copy and a printed/signed copy of the completed form(s) are required to be submitted.
- Save the appropriate form(s) to your computer.
- Complete the form(s) using the electronic template.
- Print and sign the completed form(s).
- Save a copy of the completed electronic form(s) on a compact disc (CD).
- Mail the signed, completed forms and the CD to the TCEQ.
Please contact the EAS at 512-239-1773 if an electronic copy, either on CD or stick memory (thumb drive), cannot be submitted with the signed copy of the forms.
Mail the signed forms and the CD with the electronically completed baseline forms to:
Section 185 Baseline Amount, MC 166
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
P. O. Box 13087
Austin, Texas 78711-3087
Historically Reported VOC and NOx Data
This Excel spreadsheet lists VOC and NOx emissions reported to the TCEQ point source emissions inventory for all sites in the HGB nonattainment area, regardless of a regulated entity’s major source classification. Determination of Section 185 applicability is the responsibility of the regulated entity. Inclusion in this data set does not constitute a determination of Section 185 applicability by the TCEQ.
This VOC and NOx data, spanning the years 1998 to 2007, is at the emissions unit level. Please note that emissions unit level scheduled maintenance, start-up, and shutdown (SMSS) emissions were reported and stored differently during this time period. For calendar years 1998 to 2003, SMSS emissions and emissions event (EE) emissions were stored as one total, EE+SMSS emissions, in the point source emissions inventory database. Since calendar year 2004, SMSS emissions have been stored separately from EE emissions in the point source emissions inventory database.
The Federal Clean Air Act Amendments (FCAA) Section 185 require each state implementation plan (SIP) for severe or extreme ozone nonattainment areas to include a penalty fee on major stationary sources of VOC located in the area. The fee is imposed if the area fails to attain the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) by the applicable attainment date. FCAA §182(f) extends this fee to emissions of NOx.
The FCAA requires imposition of the fee each calendar year after the attainment date until the area is redesignated as an attainment area for ozone.
The TCEQ proposed rules under 30 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 101, Subchapter B, to implement the FCAA fee requirement in 2009 but did not adopt them. Instead, the commission requested a Section 185 Termination Determination of the fee program in May 2010. In July 2011, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a letter to the TCEQ stating they would not process the termination determination.
A final notice of finding of failure to attain the NAAQS was signed by the EPA on June 7, 2012, for the HGB one-hour nonattainment area.
The TCEQ re-initiated the proposed rules under 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 101, Subchapter B to implement the FCAA fee requirement. The commission approved publication of the proposed rules at the agenda on November 14, 2012 and published the rules in the Texas Register on November 30, 2012. Comments received from the United States Environmental Protection Agency are now available and remaining comments are posted below. These rules were adopted by the TCEQ on May 22, 2013. Baseline amounts are due by September 19, 2013.
- Section 185 Termination Determination Request
- Meeting on Section 185 Termination Determination Request
- Public Hearings
- Public Meetings
- Minutes from Past Public Meetings
- Comments and Meeting on Section 185 Termination Determination Request
- Comments received on the 2009 Proposed Failure to Attain Fee (Section 185) Rule
- Comments Received on Section 185 Issues from Public Meetings
- Contact Information
Comments received on the 2012 Proposed Failure to Attain Fee (Section 185) Rule
Comments were solicited on the 2012 proposed rule language to implement the FCAA Section 185 rule. The deadline for receipt of written comments was January 14, 2013.
- Air Alliance Houston with Environmental Integrity Project, Environmental Defense Fund, and Sierra Club (pdf)
Section 185 Termination Determination Request
The EPA issued a memorandum on January 5, 2010, entitled “Guidance on Developing Fee Programs Required by Clean Air Act Section 185 for the 1-hour Ozone NAAQS.” This guidance stated that if the EPA determined that the one-hour nonattainment area is attaining either the one-hour or the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS, based on permanent and enforceable emissions reductions, the area would no longer be obligated to submit a fee. The eight-hour ozone design value in 2009 for the HGB area, based on 2007 through 2009 monitoring data, met this requirement.
In May 2010, the TCEQ submitted a Section 185 Termination Determination submittal to EPA for consideration. The submittal requested a determination that a Section 185 fee program was not required for the HGB one-hour ozone nonattainment area because the area met the requirements in the EPA memo.
On July 25, 2011, the EPA issued a letter to TCEQ stating they were unable to propose approving the Section 185 fee termination determination request. The EPA stated that its January 5, 2010, guidance was vacated by the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals on July 1, 2011. Also, the area had not attained the one-hour standard.
Meeting on Section 185 Termination Determination Request
Staff presented material on the Termination Determination request on April 28, 2010 in Houston.
The commission held two public hearings on 2009 proposed rule language to implement the FCAA Failure to Attain (Section 185) rule:
Two public meetings were held (March 4 and June 12) in 2009 in Houston, Texas. Issues and possible options for Section 185 fee alternatives were discussed in March and an overview of proposed language was presented at the June 12 meeting. Minutes and written comments received from these public meetings are listed below.
Minutes of Past Public Meetings
Comments on Section 185 Termination Determination Request
Comments on the TCEQ's request to terminate the Section 185 fee requirement for the HGB one-hour ozone standard.
Comments received on the 2009 Proposed Failure to Attain Fee (Section 185) Rule
Comments were solicited on the 2009 proposed rule language to implement the FCAA Section 185 rule. The deadline for receipt of written comments was January 25.2010.
Comments Received on Section 185 Issues from Public Meetings
- Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention(GHASP) and Mothers For Clan Air (MfCA) 3-18-2009 (PDF)
- Letter from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality regarding Section 185 Termination Determination July 25, 2011
- The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Request For Section 185 Fee Program Termination Determination for Houston Galveston Brazoria (HGB) One-Hour Ozone Standard Nonattainment Area, May 14, 2010 (PDF)
- Guidance on Developing Fee Programs Required by Clean Air Act Section 185 for the One-hour Ozone NAAQS US EPA January 5, 2010 (PDF)
- Submittal of Section 185 Fee State Implementation Revision (SIP) or an Alternative Equivalent Program for the One-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), February 10, 2009(PDF)
- Guidance on Establishing Emissions Baselines under Section 185 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) for Severe and Extreme Ozone Nonattainment Areas that Fail to Attain the 1-hour Ozone NAAQS by their Attainment, March 21, 2009(PDF)
For more information or to suggest topics for future meetings, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org referencing Section 185 Fees in the subject line.