Nutrient Criteria Development
Historically, the State of Texas and most other states have not had numerical criteria for nutrients in their surface water quality standards. In Texas, nutrient controls have taken the form of narrative criteria, watershed rules, and antidegradation considerations in permitting actions. TCEQ screens phosphorus, nitrate nitrogen, and chlorophyll monitoring data as a preliminary indication of areas of possible concern for the .
Numerical nutrient criteria are a potentially useful addition to the water quality standards, and TCEQ has been developing these criteria in coordination with an advisory workgroup and other public participation. In addition, EPA has mandated that states incorporate numerical nutrient criteria in their water quality standards. In June 2010, TCEQ adopted new numerical nutrient criteria for 75 reservoirs based on chlorophyll a concentrations and these new criteria were submitted to EPA for review. Also in June 2010, TCEQ completed new procedures to evaluate and control potential nutrient impacts from proposed wastewater discharge permits.
TCEQ is now conducting additional studies and evaluations to develop potential numerical nutrient criteria for selected streams, rivers, and estuaries in Texas. Numerical criteria for these other types of water bodies will also be developed and considered with extensive public participation.
Nutrient Criteria Development Plan
On August 20, 2014, the TCEQ sent a revised and expanded version of the "Nutrient Criteria Development Work Plan for the State of Texas," dated June 27, 2014, to EPA. The current draft of the plan reflects comments received during the public comment period that ended June 22, 2012.
On June 30, 2010, the Commission adopted numerical nutrient criteria for 75 reservoirs. The water bodies are listed in §307.10 (Appendix F) of the 2010 Standards. In addition, the Commission approved screening procedures for nutrients in the revised Procedures to Implement the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards.
The Nutrient Criteria Development Advisory Work Group has been involved in developing the criteria. For more information about the work group, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Emily McArdle by phone 512/239-6693, by fax at 512/239-4410 or by mail at TCEQ, MC-234, PO Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087.