Commissioners' Work Session
Thursday, September 14, 1998
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.
- Consideration of activities of the agency’s environmental equity program. Jody Henneke (COMM/OPA) and Torin McCoy (EXEC) presented this item. Chairman McBee provided an overview of national activity since the Environmental Protection Agency released its Environmental Justice guidance document, including their formation of a Federal Advisory Committee and its activities and the discussions by the Environmental Council of States. The Commission directed staff to continue to develop a proposal for a cumulative exposure modeling pilot project with a way to document results and demonstrate real world effects of multiple pollutant sources. Chairman McBee suggested that the pilot project be implemented in an area with environmental equity concerns. Commissioner Marquez emphasized that monitoring needs to be conducted along with modeling in order to confirm our predictions. Staff was asked to return in late October after the next Federal Advisory Committee Act meeting where environmental equity will be discussed.
- Consideration of activities associated with State Implementation Plans and the proposed Regional Clean Air Strategy. Bill Jordan and Herb Williams (Office of Policy and Regulatory Development) presented this item. The Commission directed staff to develop rules to be finalized by mid-1999 which would require fuels to have a Reid Vapor Pressure of 7.8 psi by the ozone season of 2000 and a sulfur level of no more than 150 ppm by the ozone season of 2003. The TNRCC will solicit ideas from affected parties on incentives that would encourage the early introduction of the cleaner-burning gasoline.
- Consideration of issues related to Texas’ assumption of the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program and related issues. Gregg Cooke, representing EPA Region 6, delivered the final approval of the long awaited NPDES Delegation. Signing the Memorandum of Agreement with Gregg was Jeff Saitas. Chairman McBee was also presented with an EPA Resolution as “Chairman of the Year” commending his recent “newer” used vehicle purchase, as well as other accomplishments. Chairman McBee expressed the Agency’s commitment to ongoing cooperation with the EPA.
- Consideration of the agency's legislative proposals and other related issues to be addressed during the 76th Texas legislative session. The commission may also meet in closed meeting to receive legal advice regarding these matters, or any of the above 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 issues were presented.
- Planning for the next Commissioners’ Work Session. The next Commissioners’ Work Session is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, September 24, 1998, in E-201S, at 1:30 p.m. It will include the following issues: Business Process Review recommendations to improve the permit review process, legislative issues, enforcement reports, and the Commission's Regulatory Guidance Document for Implementation of Texas Water Quality Certification Rules (Wetlands Section 401). The following issue was scheduled for October 8, Enforcement Penalty Policy and other agency enforcement issues; for October 22, Texas Department of Transportation and TNRCC Memorandum of Understanding, issues relevant to the fall meeting of the Environmental Council of States, and Regionalization issues; and for a date to be determined Environmental Equity Program. The Commission dropped issues relating to Petition for Rulemaking: Emissions Fee and SB1: Field Citation Issuance from future consideration.