Marked Agenda
Commissioners’ Work Session
Thursday, October 2, 1997
1:30 p.m.
Room 201S, Building E, Park 35, Austin


This meeting is a work session for discussion between commissioners and staff. No public testimony or comment will be accepted except by invitation of the commission.

  1. Consideration of the commissioners’ priorities on rule and policy development. The commissioners chose to discuss this item in conjunction with item #8

  2. Consideration of issues related to regionalization of water and wastewater facilities. Ken Petersen (Office of Water Resource Management), Sally Guitierrez (Water Quality Division), and Steve Walden (Water Utilities Division) presented this item. The commission directed staff to move vigorously to push regionalization of water and wastewater systems where it will clearly benefit the public. Initial actions could include: increase use of receivership actions to shut down systems, especially water supply entities, that are clearly not providing safe water to the public, emphasize the need and use of regionalization information in permit applications and contested case hearing, and require entities to show why they would NOT want to be part of a regional plan even after it has been shown to be more cost-effective. The commission asked that staff prepare two lists within the next 30 - 60 days. One list would identify short-term, ad hoc actions to be taken to encourage regionalization; the other list would identify long-term, rulemaking actions. Staff was asked to coordinate with the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and to bring these issues back to a future Work Session for further consideration. Staff noted that the commission should expect a request from the TWDB for another joint meeting to discuss regionalization issues.

  3. Consideration of issues related to municipal solid waste management, such as historical perspectives of municipal solid waste management, public participation, public notice, and technical considerations of municipal solid waste management and regulation. Land use and certain related issues will be considered at a later date. Barry Willaims (Office of Waste Management), Bryan Dixon (Municipal Solid Waste Division), Susan Janek (Municipal Solid Waste Division), Marianne Baker (Legal Division), Vic Ramirez (Legal Division), Diane Parker (Legal Division), and David Schanbacher (Office of Air Quality) presented this item.

    Remaining items including, Permit Renewals and Amendments and Co-Disposal, will be discussed at the October 21, 1997 Work Session. The staff was directed to use the MSW Advisory Council plus other interested parties to obtain input on these issues from as broad a set of stakeholders as possible. The proposed economic item will not be discussed since the commission has determined that these issues are outside the jurisdiction of the TNRCC. Land use and other related issues will be discussed at a future Work Session yet to be determined.

  4. Consideration of enforcement policies and procedures, including the No-Penalty Policy for Small Entities and Minor Sources. Joe Vogel (Office of Compliance and Enforcement), Ann McGinley (Enforcement Division), John Young (Field Operations), Tamra-Shea Oatman (Small Business Assistance Program), and Israel Anderson (Local Government Assistance Program) presented this item. Chairman McBee moved to rescind the existing policy, putting the new policy into force. Commissioner Baker seconded the motion which was approved unanimously. Implementation of cases currently in the process will be handled according to the pre-existing policy while cases submitted after October 1 will be processed under the new policy.

  5. Discussion of an agency report on enforcement actions for various media including agriculture, air, industrial and hazardous waste, municipal solid waste, occupational certification, petroleum storage tanks, public water supply, water quality, and multi-media. Anne Dobbs (Litigation Support Division) presented this item. No action was taken.

  6. Consideration of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s promulgation of revised national ambient air quality standards, implementation of these and the prior national ambient air quality standards, and related issues. The commission chose not to consider this item.

  7. Consideration of the agency's implementation of legislation enacted by the 75th Texas Legislature and the agency's efforts to work with the Interim Legislative Committees. The commission may also meet in closed meeting to receive legal advice regarding these matters as authorized by Section 551.071 of the Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551 of the Government Code. Any commission action, decision, or vote on these matters will be made in open meeting in accordance with Section 551.102 of the Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551 of the Government Code. No briefing or action was required for this item.

  8. Planning for the next Commissioners’ Work Session. The next Commissioners’ Work Session is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, October 21, in E-201S, at 1:30 p.m. It will include the following issues: Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Policy Issues, Promulgation of Revised NAAQS (standing item), the State Implementation Plan Process, NOx Waivers, and Legislative Implementation Report (standing item). Land-use issues relating to the MSW Policy Issues will not be discussed pending further direction from the General Counsel. Implementation of SB1228, Consolidated Permits, was added to the schedule for November 6, 1997.