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Implementing the Surface Water Quality Standards in Permitting

The TCEQ establishes procedures that describe how surface water quality standards are applied in wastewater permitting.

New InformationRequest for Stakeholder Comments for Thermal Procedures.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) hosted a public stakeholder meeting to continue discussions on the development of temperature screening procedures for use in Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permits. Since the previous stakeholder meeting in 2015, the TCEQ sent draft, high-level procedures to and received comments from EPA Region VI. The purpose of the July 2017 meeting was to discuss revisions to the draft procedures in response to EPA comments.

All interested parties/stakeholders are asked to revise the literature provided and to submit suggestions and comments for:

  • Rise over Ambient – How to demonstrate compliance.
  • How to prevent “Thermal Shock” due to rapid changes.
  • How to address multiple discharges in close proximity.
  • How to determine which discharges require screening.
    • By wastestream, flow volume, percentage.
  • How to calculate protective effluent limits.

Please submit your comments to the Standards Implementation Team at no later than September 30, 2017. You may also send a fax to 512-239-4420 or a letter to TCEQ, Attn: Standards Implementation Team, MC-150, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087.

The next stakeholder meeting will take place in early October. The specific date will be announced and listed on this site once it has been scheduled. The meeting will focus on working through a more detailed draft of the thermal procedures. The TCEQ plans to subsequently provide the draft thermal procedures to EPA for comment by October 31, 2017. Future meeting notice will be listed on this site when available.


Thermal Procedures Summaries and Handouts

(Most of the files linked beflow are in Portable Document Format (PDF). Adobe Acrobat PDF Document (Help with PDF).

DateNotificationAgenda/AttendeesSummaryHandouts (PDF)Handouts (PPT)Organization

July 27, 2017


August 15, 2016
Sharing of EPA Comments with Stakeholders - No meeting
July 15, 2015
Sharing of Texas Tech Report with Stakeholders - No meeting

Texas Tech University, The Institute of Environmental and Human Health. Department of Environmental Toxicology


Feb 25, 2015

Flowchart Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

WQS Suggestions Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Dec 17, 2014

Summary Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Stakeholder Comments Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Aug 20, 2014


SummaryAdobe Acrobat PDF Document

PurposeAdobe Acrobat PDF Document


Kansas Dept. of Health & Environment Bureau of Water.

North Americal Journal Of Fisheries Management.


What Are The Implementation Procedures?

The TCEQ is responsible for maintaining and enhancing water quality in the state. One aspect of that responsibility involves implementation of the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards when issuing permits for wastewater discharges to surface waters of the state. The TCEQ issues Wastewater Permits under a program called the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES).

The TCEQ maintains a document entitled “Procedures to Implement the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards” (Implementation Procedures) that explains procedures used to apply water quality standards to permits issued under the TPDES program. This guidance document is updated as needed to reflect changes in the water quality standards and in agency policy and procedures. The implementation procedures are subject to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review and approval.

Current 2010 Implementation Procedures

On June 30, 2010, the Commission approved a revision to the Implementation Procedures. The EPA has reviewed the June 2010 Implementation Procedures and has approved all but the following sections for use in TPDES permitting: whole effluent toxicity testing, dechlorination requirements for minor domestic wastewater treatment facilities, and variances. The TCEQ continues to work with the EPA to resolve these remaining issues.

Previous Implementation Procedures

For More Information

For information on the Implementation Procedures, contact Standards Implementation Team at 512-239-4671 or You may also send a fax to 512-239-4420 or a letter to TCEQ, Attn: Standards Implementation Team, MC-150, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087.

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