Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Questions or Comments:
oce@tceq.texas.gov
You are here: Home / About the TCEQ / Organization / Office of Compliance and Enforcement

Office of Compliance and Enforcement

This office enforces compliance with the state’s environmental laws, responds to emergencies and natural disasters that threaten human health and the environment, oversees dam safety, and monitors air quality within Texas. In addition, the office oversees the operations of 16 regional offices and one special-project office across the state.

 

Ramiro Garcia, Jr., Deputy Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

Critical Infrastructure
Enforcement
Monitoring
TCEQ Field Operations Around the State:

 

See our regional directory.
See our region map and address list in PDF. Adobe Acrobat PDF Document
See maps of each TCEQ region in PDF. Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

 

Critical Infrastructure

Kelly Cook, Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

The Critical Infrastructure Division, in keeping with the State of Texas Homeland Security Strategic Plan, strives to achieve a safer, more secure, and more resilient state. To accomplish this, the division seeks not only to assure compliance with environmental regulations to protect health and the environment, but also—during disaster conditions—to support regulated critical assets that are essential for the state and its citizens.

Dam Safety Program

The Dam Safety Program monitors and regulates both private and public dams in Texas. The program inspects dams that pose a high or significant hazard and provides recommendations and reports to responsible parties (owners) to help them maintain safe facilities. The program ensures that these facilities are constructed, maintained, repaired, and removed safely.

Homeland Security Program

The TCEQ's Homeland Security Program assists in the planning, development, coordination, and implementation of initiatives to promote the governor's homeland-security strategy, and to detect, deter, respond to, and recover from disasters, whether caused by nature or people. These initiatives include notifying and coordinating with those responsible for much of the state's critical infrastructure, including producers and purchasers of drinking water for the public, high-risk dams, refineries, petrochemical facilities, and wastewater-treatment facilities.

As part of the Texas Homeland Security Council, the TCEQ assists in planning, coordination, and communication for homeland-security preparedness. The homeland-security coordinator facilitates requests for assistance from Texas Homeland Security and the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The coordinator works with all TCEQ program areas and the THS and TDEM on issues and activities related to all hazards, including homeland security and emergency management.

The program includes the TCEQ BioWatch Program, a federal initiative that provides for early detection of bioterrorism agents to enable the earliest possible response to an attack.

An additional focus of the Homeland Security Program is the safety and security of radioactive materials. Our health physicists investigate compliance with radioactive materials regulations of construction, operation, security, and closure at regulated facilities, and are members of the state radiological emergency-response team.

Emergency Management Support Team

The Emergency Management Support Team supports the state's capability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters caused by nature or people. As part of this function, the team supports the TCEQ's regional offices by training staff on enhanced disaster preparedness and coordinating state-level preparation for, response to, and recovery from large-scale or statewide disasters.

See also:
Procedures for ERCOT or Other Electric Reliability Entities to Request TCEQ Enforcement Discretion for a Power Emergency Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Enforcement

Bryan H. Sinclair, Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

Through enforcement of TCEQ rules, regulations, and permits, the Enforcement Division protects human health and the environment and deters future noncompliance. The division develops enforcement cases in accordance with state statutes and agency rules consistent with the TCEQ’s philosophy that enforcement, when necessary, must be swift, sure, and just. For each enforcement case, the division drafts proposed enforcement orders that include appropriate penalties and other provisions for the commission’s consideration and approval.

In addition, the Enforcement Division is also responsible for:

  • administering the Compliance Monitoring Program under the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
  • administering third-party Supplemental Environmental Projects
  • reviewing and responding to notices and disclosures submitted pursuant to the Texas Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Privilege Act
  • processing compliance-history appeals

See also:
Enforcement Reports: Annual, Monthly
Penalty Policy
TCEQ Enforcement Process Review

Monitoring

Cory Chism, Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

The Monitoring Division provides the TCEQ with the foundation for making sound, scientifically-based decisions for the protection of public health and the environment by ensuring the collection, analysis, and display of quality environmental data.

Air Quality Monitoring

The division oversees the Texas air quality monitoring program, which samples and analyzes the air in Texas and reports the results to the public and the U.S. EPA. It relies on a network of stationary monitors (that belong to the state, local governments, councils of governments, and private partners), labs that analyze samples, and short-term mobile monitoring of emission sources. The program generates data for:

  • determining the causes, nature, behavior, and trends of air pollution;
  • forecasting possible high concentrations of ozone and particulate matter;
  • determining attainment with EPA air quality standards;
  • informing Air Pollutant Watch List decisions; and
  • evaluating impacts of air quality on human health.

Laboratory Accreditation

The TCEQ’s laboratory-accreditation program is a voluntary program that accredits environmental laboratories providing analytical data directly or indirectly to the agency. Accreditation ensures that environmental labs meet established standards and reduces the risk of poor environmental decisions.

TCEQ Field Operations Around the State

To meet the challenges posed by Texas’ diversity and to provide excellent service to Texas citizens and the regulated community, the agency divides the state into four regional areas:

The regional areas are responsible for the administration and operation of each region including legislative and EPA investigative commitments, emergency response, budget, human resources, purchasing, lease management, consistency of program implementation, development of program policy and guidance, coordination and implementation of special initiatives, coordination and interaction with the EPA, and data management.

Major responsibilities of all regional offices include:

  • Investigating compliance at permitted and registered air, water, and waste facilities located across the state and complaints at facilities and operations—permitted or not—from citizens, businesses and other organizations, or other concerned parties.
  • Developing enforcement-action referrals for violations identified during investigations.
  • Environmental education and technical assistance for communities as needed.
  • Monitoring the quality of ambient air, surface water (rivers, lakes, and bays), and public drinking water.

In addition, the agency’s strike teams are housed in the regions. They are a key component of the agency’s ability:

  • to rapidly respond to emergencies (including natural disasters) with personnel, equipment, and expertise;
  • assess the extent of public exposure to hazardous materials;
  • and provide an interoperable communication platform.

These groups of highly trained and experienced environmental investigators can offer specialized, long-term response capabilities to any region in the state for almost any type of event, whether natural or caused by people.

See also:
Field Citation Program

Field Operations Border & Permian Basin

David A. Ramirez, Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

Responsible for the operations of:

  • Region 6 (El Paso)
  • Region 7 (Midland)
  • Region 15 (Harlingen — includes Eagle Pass Office; also office of the Rio Grande Watermaster)
  • Region 16 (Laredo)

Field Operations Central Texas

Susan Jablonski, P.E., Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

Responsible for the operations of:

Landscape Irrigation Program

The Landscape Irrigation Program conserves water through its efficient application to promote healthy plant and turf materials and protects human health by requiring backflow prevention. In areas that have not adopted local programs, TCEQ personnel serve as the primary enforcement authority.

On-Site Sewage Facility Program

The OSSF program compiles and enforces a minimum state code for the design, construction, installation, operation and maintenance of on-site sewage facilities (such as septic tanks); delegates regulatory authority to local governments; reviews and evaluates local OSSF programs; and gives technical assistance and support to local governments, licensees, manufacturers, and the public.

Clean Water Certification Program

The Program Support Section certifies marine sanitation devices and boat pump-out facilities, collecting fees and issuing stickers for vessels. The program is aimed at reducing sewage in Texas waters from boats and pump-out stations.

See also:
Edwards Aquifer Protection Program

Field Operations Coastal & East Texas

Kelly Keel Linden, Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

Responsible for the operations of:

  • Region 5 (Tyler)
  • Region 10 (Beaumont)
  • Region 12 (Houston)
  • Region 14 (Corpus Christi)

Field Operations North Central & West Texas

Randy J. Ammons, Director
Staff: Address/Phone/Fax

Responsible for the operations of:

  • Region 1 (Amarillo)
  • Region 2 (Lubbock)
  • Region 3 (Abilene)
  • Region 4 (Dallas/Fort Worth — includes Stephenville Special-Project Office for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations)
  • Region 8 (San Angelo — also office of the Concho Watermaster)