Marked Agenda
Commissioners' Work Session (Open Meeting)
Friday, June 29, 2000
10:30 a.m.
Room 201S, Building E, Park 35, Austin

New Business

  1. Discussion of the Monthly Enforcement Report for April, 2000. Anne Dobbs OCE/Enforcement Division presented this issue. No action was taken.

  2. Consideration and Approval of the Fiscal Year 2001 Operating Budget and Discussion of the Fiscal Year 2002-2003 Legislative Appropriation Request (LAR). Machelle Pharr OAS/Chief Finance Officer and Jeff Grymkoski OAS/Strategic Plans and Appropriations presented this issue. The Commissioners approved the FY 2001 Operating Budged and the proposed mission statement. The proposed Priority Allocation Table was remanded to the July 12 Commissioners' Agenda.

  3. Consideration of the submission to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of the Clean Water Act 303(d) list of impaired water bodies. This issue was presented by Joe Vogel, OCE/Deputy Director, Steve Spaw, Steve Twidwell, OCE/Monitoring Operations and Margaret Hoffman, OLS/ Director Environmental Law. The Executive Director committed to submitting the 303(d) Lists to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by June 30. Due to a number of reasons such as: (1) water quality data were reported improperly or late by monitoring entities, (2) historical monitoring data were found to be in error and had to be corrected, and (3) review and analysis of data, information, and comments during the first comment period required a second comment period for eleven water bodies, the report has not yet been submitted. Staff discussed 4 options relating to the submission to the EPA of the Clean Water Act 303(d) List of Impaired Water Bodies:

    The Commissioners approved a 5th option which gives the Executive Director flexibility in the timeliness in providing the Lists to EPA and directs staff to wait until action is complete on approval of the water quality standards on July 12. Then staff is to proceed with the submission of the 303(d) list, 305(b) electronic assessment files, and the actual narrative report as by the end of August or as early as possible.

  4. Consideration of policy issues associated with the Houston Nickel Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). Julia Rathgeber, OEPAA/Strategic Plans Division presented this issue. Julia described three policy elements relating to TMDL: Margin of Safety (MOS), Allowance for Future Growth (AFG), and implementation plans. As more experience is gained, staff intends to develop more formal guidance on these and other issues and bring them to work session at a future date. Additionally, using this experience, staff will revise the Houston Nickel TMDL with regard to MOS, AFG, implementation strategy aspects, and return as soon as possible to a future work session. No action was taken.

  5. Consideration of issues with regard to establishing policies and guidance for portable air quality permits used for transient industries such as rock and concrete crushing plants, asphalt concrete plants, and concrete batch plants. These criteria will be used by Air Permits and Field Operations Division staff when drafting relocation conditions and processing requests for Relocation or Change in Location projects of portable air permits. John Steib, and Anne Inman, Air Permits and David Duncan, OLS/Environmental Law, presented this issue. Staff described how, historically, there has been no clear written guidance on such permit issues as: initial operation duration; length of time at a given site; public notice criteria; and discretionary authorization Regional Offices.

    Staff recommended the following criteria should be followed for Regional review of Relocations:

    Staff recommended the following criteria should be established for APD review of requests to waive public notice during Change of Location reviews:

    Staff outlined an interim process to accomplish the above with an implementation date of July 1, 2000. The interim nature is intended to allow the Legislature time to provide additional guidance on this process during the next session. At the invitation of Chairman Huston, Sonya Nersworthy, spoke on behalf of Al Edwards, State Representative for District 146. Referring to a letter to Chairman Huston, Subject: Objections to Recommendations of Air Permits Division Regarding Rock Crushing Operations, Ms. Nersworthy agreed that changes are required, offered a number of comments:

    Staff acknowledged some of these differences and concerns. Mr. Steib noted the proposed interim procedures were prepared with input previously received from stakeholder groups, including legislative staff, and industry representatives. Mr. Steib requested an opportunity to discuss these differences with stakeholders and gather additional input from other interested parties. The Commissioners' directed staff to proceed with the interim process as presented.

  6. Consideration of the FAA draft general conformity analysis for the Bush Intercontinental Airport expansion, options for a recommendation to the Governor regarding certification that the expansion meets state air and water standards, the air quality emission inventory for airport emissions, SIP planning regarding airport air emissions and area-wide construction emissions, the implication of the pending lawsuit, The Air Transport Association v. TNRCC, No. GN-01483 (Dist. Ct. of Travis County, 345th Judicial Dist. of Texas), and related issues. This issue was presented by Chuck Mueller, OEPAA/SIP and Kerri Rowland, OLS/Environmental Law Division. Staff noted that one of the goals of general conformity is to ensure that federal actions associated with constructions projects in counties that are considered nonattainment for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards conform to the SIP and do not cause new violations, increase violations, or interfere with applicable SIPs. TNRCC's role in this process is that we are responsible for determining that these construction emissions are accounted for in the SIP and that the construction budget will not be exceeded in the Houston/Galveston nonattainment area. No action was taken on this issue.

  7. Update and discussion of issues regarding agency's response to the drought. No action taken on this issue.

  8. Consideration of activities and comments associated with State Implementation Plans and update on the 8-hour ozone designation. This issue was not discussed.

  9. Consideration of legislative implementation affecting the TNRCC and other issues related to actions taken by the 76th Texas Legislature. The commission may also meet in closed meeting to receive legal advice regarding these matters, or any of the above matters, as authorized by Section 551.071 of the Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551 of the Government Code. Any commission action, decision, or vote on these matters will be made in open meeting in accordance with Section 551.102 of the Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551 of the Government Code. This issue was not discussed.

  10. Planning for the next Commissioners' Work Session. The work session previously scheduled for July 14 is canceled. Issues tentatively scheduled for August 11 are Marine Dockside Emissions, Houston TMDL, Fall ECOS Conference, and LAR. The Cap and Trade and Emission Banking and Trading Program will be discussed at the August 9 Commissioners' Agenda.