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.
For the next triennial review, staff is considering a variety of possible changes such as nutrient criteria and site-specific uses and criteria for individual water bodies. Revisions will be developed by internal staff workgroups and the Surface Water Quality Standards Advisory Workgroup.
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is requesting preliminary written comments related to the next revision to the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards (30 Texas Administrative Code 307.1-307.10) (Standards). As required by the federal Clean Water Act, state water quality standards are publicly reviewed and revised as needed every three years.
The TCEQ is also requesting preliminary written comments related to the concurrent review and revision of the closely related guidance document, Procedures to Implement the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards (RG-194, June 2010) (Implementation Procedures). The Implementation Procedures address how the Standards are implemented in wastewater permitting.
The notice requesting written preliminary comments on the 2010 versions of the Standards and Implementation Procedures has been published in the Texas Register on June 24, 2011. The notice includes instructions on how to access the Standards and the Implementation Procedures and how to submit written preliminary comments. The TCEQ will review and consider preliminary comments during the development of draft proposals for revisions of the Standards and Implementation Procedures. Written responses to these preliminary comments will not be provided. All revisions will be subject to a formal public hearing and a public comment period prior to adoption.
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. David Galindo, Water Quality Division, at (512) 239-0951.