Houston Ship Channel and Upper Galveston Bay: A TMDL Project for PCBs in Fish Tissue
Counties: Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Galveston, Harris, Jackson, Matagorda, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria
Parameters: Dioxin and PCBs
Basins:Bays and Estuaries, Neches-Trinity Coastal, Trinity River, Trinity–San Jacinto Coastal, San Jacinto River, San Jacinto–Brazos Coastal
Segments:0702, 0801, 1101, 1103, 1113, 2421, 2422, 2423, 2424, 2425, 2432, 2438, 2439, 2501
- Project Overview (PDF)
- Background and Goals
- Public Participation
- Project Reports
- For More Information
Background and Goals
Both dioxin and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are extremely persistent in the environment. In July 2008, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) issued consumption advisory ADV-35 for all catfish species and spotted sea trout in the Galveston Bay including Chocolate Bay, East Bay, West Bay, Trinity Bay, and contiguous waters. The consumption risk was due to dioxin and PCBs in fish tissue. The Houston Ship Channel portions of the area have also been under consumption advisories since 1990 because of dioxin in catfish and blue crabs. More information about consumption advisories is available on the DSHS web site.
A TMDL determines the amount (or load) of a pollutant that a body of water can receive and still support its designated uses. The allowable load is then allocated among the sources of pollution in the watershed, and measures to reduce pollutant loads are developed as necessary.
Learn more about water quality standards and monitoring by reading Preserving and Improving Water Quality.
The Houston-Galveston Area Council is coordinating public participation activities for this project as well as two related projects for dioxin and PCBs in their area. A stakeholder group is working on all three of those projects.
The H-GAC is also coordinating participation, as needed, with the Texas Clean Rivers Program Steering Committee and the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for the San Jacinto River Basin and associated coastal basins.
Documents are provided in PDF.
- Quality Assurance Project Plans
- Quarterly Project Reports from Contractor
1905 Map of Galveston Bay:
This 1905 map of Galveston Bay (9.9 MB) was originally produced by the Corps of Engineers. An old paper copy was scanned to produce digital images; that was the only known copy of this map. The file posted here was made by combining two overlapping partial images, merging to a single image, adjusting color to reduce yellowed effect of original, trimmed, and reduced to 4000 x 4000 pixel density to make a smaller but readable image. Larger format (6848 x 9584 pixels) files are available in TIF and JPG format, but require additional work to merge pieces or color correct the image. Contact the TCEQ TMDL program if the original files are desired.
For More Information
Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and reference the Galveston Bay System dioxin and PCBs project in the subject line. Or call Jim Neece at 512-239-1524.