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Office of the Public Interest Counsel

Under the Texas Water Code, the public interest counsel is an independent party to all agency proceedings. While this office cannot represent any other party, it can provide information to anyone with questions about the legal aspects of the TCEQ's rules, permitting procedures, contested case hearing procedures, and enforcement proceedings.

The Office of Public Interest Counsel (OPIC) (Address, Phone, Fax)

OPIC carries out its responsibilities as an independent party to all agency proceedings by:

  • participating as a party in contested case hearings regarding air quality, water quality, water rights, and applications for solid waste disposal permits;
  • reviewing and participating in proposed rulemakings;
  • reviewing and participating in enforcement matters; and
  • reviewing and participating in matters set for consideration at the commission's public meetings.

As a party to every contested case proceeding, the office strives to provide balance to the hearings process. The office also provides comments to the commission on proposed agency rules and policy, including rulemaking projects that have a significant effect on public participation. OPIC works independently of other TCEQ offices to bring forward relevant issues from a public interest perspective. The office's goal is to ensure that all relevant evidence is developed and made part of the record so that the commission may make informed decisions and issue permits that are protective of human health and the environment.