Emergency Response: Technical Assistance
TCEQ personnel can provide technical and regulatory assistance in the management of wastes and other residual materials that result from spills within the agencys jurisdiction, which also includes management of industrial and municipal solid wastes and hazardous wastes. Technical assistance is provided in other related areas such as spill notifications, contingency-plan issues, cleanup levels, and in-state funded cleanups.
The TCEQ and the Texas General Land Office jointly serve as the states primary members of the federal Regional Response Team for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys Region VI, and the TCEQ represents the state in matters related to inland spills or releases of oil, and inland or coastal releases of hazardous substances or other pollutants. The agency also responds to pollution events and the needs of local government, the regulated community, and the public associated with natural disasters.
TCEQ assistance in emergencies includes:
- assisting water-supply officials in supplying drinking water and the return of systems to operation; evaluating water quality, assisting individuals in maintaining private water or sewer systems, and assessing damages to public drinking-water systems;
- informing and aiding the State Emergency Management Council on matters of flood-hazard areas, floodplain management, flood hydrology, engineering, dam safety, reservoir operation, water rights and uses, water quality, and management of hazardous waste;
- obtaining, analyzing, and interpreting meteorological and climatological data, and making forecasts in emergency situations when weather is a factor;
- making available the services of specialists (floodplain management, hydrology, meteorology, groundwater geology, water quality, dam safety, wastewater treatment, water rights and uses, management of solid wasteincluding hazardous and radioactive waste, and emergency response) that may be of assistance during a disaster;
- supplying spill-response maps as well as maps relating to flood-hazard areas;
- supplying TCEQ data, including data from neighboring states and Mexico, needed for dealing with a disaster that transcends the boundaries of Texas;
- supporting post-emergency weather and damage assessment;
- offering technical assistance to local governments in the physical siting of disposal facilities for debris, including municipal wastes, whenever a disaster generates or causes excessive amounts of such wastes;
- making available equipment from TCEQ regional offices, such as boats, generators, and vehicles with radio and cellular phone support;
- helping pay for cleanups as appropriate from funds under the TCEQs statutory authority; and
- making available contracting resources for cleanups.