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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.

Hot Topic Temperature Meeting Announcement

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will host a meeting on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 9:00 A.M., TCEQ Building F, Room 2210 to discuss the development of temperature screening procedures for use in Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permits.

In 2010, TCEQ began receiving Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) objections to TPDES permits regarding temperature limits that exceeded the segment criteria. At that time, TCEQ began negotiations with the EPA to develop a strategy to address thermal discharges in Texas. Recently, the TCEQ and the EPA reached an agreement that the TCEQ will develop screening procedures to address this issue. Concurrently, and over a more extended time frame, the TCEQ will evaluate existing temperature criteria.

The TCEQ is seeking your participation in developing screening procedures for addressing thermal discharges in TPDES permits where thermal discharges may be an issue in the receiving waters.

Below are the agenda and other documents for discussion. Please be prepared to provide comments on the approach presented below and please bring any and all ideas you may have for addressing this issue. If you already have thoughts/ideas and are willing to share them with us prior to the meeting, please email them to Lynda.Clayton@tceq.texas.gov

 

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.

Draft 2012 Implementation Procedures

On January 11, 2012, the Commission approved for public comment a draft revision of the 2010 Implementation Procedures. The draft 2012 Implementation Procedures revision was proposed to address EPA objections to portions of the 2010 Implementation Procedures but has not been approved by the Commission or EPA for use in wastewater permitting.

Previous Implementation Procedures

For More Information

For information on the Implementation Procedures, contact Gregg Easley at 512-239-4539 or ipcommnt@tceq.texas.gov. You may also send a fax to 512-239-4420 or a letter to TCEQ, Attn: Gregg Easley, MC-150, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087.

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