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Revising the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards

Summary of how the standards are revised.

Revision Process

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, 2010, and 2014.

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.

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2018 Revision

The TCEQ published a notice in the March 6, 2015 issue of the Texas Register Adobe Acrobat PDF Document requesting preliminary written comments for the next revision of the Standards by the close of business on April 6, 2015 and the TCEQ commissioners granted formal approval to begin the rule making process in July of 2015. The draft rule package was presented to the TCEQ commissioners during the August 23, 2017 agenda, and permission was granted to formally propose the rule revisions to the public for formal comment.  The public notice is scheduled to be published in the Texas Register on September 8, 2017.

The commission will hold a public hearing on this proposal in Austin on October 16, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. in Building E, Room 201S, at the commission's central office located at 12100 Park 35 Circle. The hearing will be webcast and is structured for the receipt of oral or written comments by interested persons. Individuals may present oral statements when called upon in order of registration. Open discussion will not be permitted during the hearing; however, commission staff members will be available to discuss the proposal 30 minutes prior to the hearing.

Written comments may be submitted to Kris Hogan, 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 apply to comments being submitted. All comments should reference Rule Project Number 2016-002-307-OW. The comment period closes on October 17, 2017, and copies of the proposed rulemaking can be obtained from the commission's website. For further information, please contact Debbie Miller, Monitoring and Assessment Section, at (512) 239-1703.

Please see the draft revision timeline regarding draft dates for stakeholder meetings, hearing, and agenda dates.

Staff Contacts

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.Peter Schaefer, Water Quality Division, at (512) 239-4372.

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