Revising the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards
The process to revise the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards (Standards) includes the public and is usually conducted at least every three years. Revisions address new information about pollutants, additional data about water quality conditions in specific segments, and new state and federal regulatory requirements.
Stakeholders in the review and revision process include the TCEQ, EPA, the general public, other governmental agencies, industries, municipalities, environmental groups, and others. Much of the coordination is done through the Surface Water Quality Standards Advisory Workgroup. There have been revisions to the Standards in 1967, 1973, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1995, 1997, 2000, and 2010.
The Procedures to Implement the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards (RG-194) (Implementation Procedures), which explain how the Standards are used in wastewater permitting, are reviewed and revised along with the Standards.
2014 Revision: Proposed Language and Public Comment Submission
For the next triennial review, staff is considering a variety of possible changes such as site-specific uses and criteria for individual water bodies, the addition of a definition for industrial cooling water areas, clarification regarding the allowance of different mixing zone sizes for specific numeric criteria, and the addition of a second category of primary contact recreation (primary contact recreation 2). Revisions were developed by internal staff workgroups and the Surface Water Quality Standards Advisory Workgroup.
- Proposed Language for the 2014 Revision of the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards
- Public Comment Period
- Public Hearing
- Target Adoption Date
Proposed Language for the 2014 Revision of the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards
Public Comment Period
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Commissioners granted permission to publically propose revisions to the Standards during the August 21, 2013 agenda, and the proposed rule language was published in the September 13, 2013 edition of the Texas Register. The public comment period began the week of August 25th and will end on October 24, 2013. Written comments must be submitted no later than midnight, October 24, 2013.
Written comments on the proposed revisions to 30 TAC Chapter 307 may be submitted to Michael Parrish, MC 205, Office of Legal Services, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087, or faxed to (512) 239-4808. Electronic comments may be submitted via the eComments system. File size restrictions may, and all comments should reference Rule Project Number 2012-001-307-OW. For further information, please contact Debbie Miller, Rule Coordinator, Water Quality Planning Division, at (512) 239-1703.
The commission held a public hearing on this proposal in Austin on October 17, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. in Building E, Room 201S, at the commission's central office located at 12100 Park 35 Circle. The hearing was structured for the receipt of oral or written comments by interested persons.
Target Adoption Date
The target agenda date for adoption of the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards is February 12, 2014. If adopted, the final rule will then be published again in the Texas Register and become effective in March 2014. The adopted rule will then be sent to EPA for review and approval for Clean Water Act purposes.
For further information on the Standards, please contact Ms. Debbie Miller, Water Quality Planning Division, at (512) 239-1703. For further information on the Implementation Procedures, please contact Mr.Gregg Easley, Water Quality Division, at (512) 239-4539.