A Brownfield site is property which may be contaminated with hazardous waste or pollution, but has the potential for cleanup and reuse. The Brownfields Site Assessment program receives funding from the U.S. EPA to assess sites for local governments, non-profit organizations, and others who are eligible.
Municipal solid waste landfill facilities recover and capture gas created by decomposition and use it as an energy source. These facilities processed 15.7 billion cubic feet of gas processed for beneficial use in 2012. They generated and used on site 534 million kilowatt hours (kWh) and generated and sold 255 million kWh (enough for 23,530 homes to run for one year).
By using landfill gas to produce electricity, landfills can significantly reduce their emissions of methane and avoid generating energy from fossil fuels, reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants from fossil fuel combustion.
Voluntary Cleanup Program
The Texas Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) offers incentives to encourage the cleanup of contaminated sites in Texas. Under the VCP all non-responsible parties, including future lenders and landowners, are protected from liability to the state of Texas for cleanup of sites. That eliminates most of the constraints for completing real estate transactions at those sites. As a result, many unused or under used properties may be restored to economic productivity or to benefit the community. Also under this program, site cleanups are streamlined to reduce future human and environmental risk to safe levels.
One such successful VCP site stands on the former Montgomery Ward property in downtown Fort Worth. Previous usage left soil and groundwater contaminated with BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene) and chlorinated solvents.
Voluntary Cleanup Program Site in Fort Worth, TX
The redeveloped "Montgomery Plaza" is now a mixed residential and commercial property that boasts restaurants, a coffee shop, specialty retail stores and a Super Target as well as 200 condominiums.
Reclaiming an Urban Landfill
From the late 1800's, Inspiration Drive in Dallas, TX was home to a "City Dumping Grounds," and later an on-site incinerator. Chemicals such as lead, benzo(a)pyrene, mercury and arsenic were all found in unacceptable levels and had begun to leach into the groundwater.
Through the Voluntary Cleanup Program, over 100,000 cubic yards of landfill was excavated and disposed of at an approved off-site facility. An institutional control was put in place to prevent the shallow groundwater from being used in the area of the former landfill and a clay liner was installed to prevent leaching.
In 2009, redevelopment was completed, creating over 300 new residences, and more than 25 new jobs, and reclaiming five acres of urban Brownfields.
A Redeveloped Brownfields Site
Did you know that to ensure safe drinking water, all public water systems have trained and licensed water operators? Last year, the TCEQ issued 1,889 new water licenses and renewed 3,212 licenses to Texas Water Operators. For additional licensing information, please see our Water Operators Licensing web page.
Safeguarding the Environment
Low-level Radioactive waste
The State of Texas has recently licensed a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility that can securely handle radioactive material in a single location that would otherwise be stored throughout the state in various locations.
The low-level radioactive waste disposal facility, in a remote corner of the state, is owned by the State of Texas. Ownership will ensure safe operations and long-term oversight. In addition, all waste disposed of at the facility generates revenue for the State of Texas.
Uranium mining in Texas now uses an in-situ method for extracting uranium from the ground. This method protects the environment and is a significant improvement over conventional mining methods. The TCEQ issues radioactive materials licenses for in-situ uranium mining, and requires mining operators to obtain Underground Injection Control permits, that include stipulations to protect underground drinking water sources.
Licensure and Registration
The TCEQ licenses individuals whose occupations may have an environmental impact.
- licensed 54,945 environmental professionals and registered entities.
- 45,352 active registrations
In 2013 we:
- renewed 14,974 licenses
- processed 10,906 exams
- issued 16,221 petroleum delivery certificates
- reviewed 6,934 incoming data reports