Commissioners' Work Session
Friday, January 29, 1999
Room 201S, Building E, Park 35, Austin
- Discussion of 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 (Enforcement Division) presented this item. No action taken on this issue.
- Consideration of issues related to the Commission's Regulatory Guidance Document for Implementation of Texas Water Quality Certification Rules. Ken Petersen (Deputy Director/Water) and Carol Kim (OPRD/Water Policy) presented this item. Staff presented the Commissioners with three questions concerning the Commissions’ draft Regulatory Guidance Document for Implementation of Texas Water Quality Certification Rules. Because of significant interest by the Ad Hoc Work Group to provide input in the draft guidance document, staff recommended they be allowed to complete a final working draft of the document as soon as February 19 but no later than February 26 and present it to the Ad Hoc Work Group at their meeting in early March. Staff was directed to prepare the final working draft, as recommended, and return to the March 19 Commissioners’ Work Session to present an update on events of the Ad Hoc Work Group meeting and their comments regarding the final working draft.
- Discussion of enforcement default orders and use of Alternative Dispute Resolution to address these and other enforcement actions. Carl Forrester (ADR) and Blas Coy (PIC) presented this item. As a result of the Commissioners’ concern that many enforcement cases go into default, staff presented a proposed informational document that could be delivered by hand to the respondent by each inspector at the conclusion of each inspection. The function of the document would be to educate the respondent as to their responsibilities and the significance of what enforcement means and what the enforcement procedures are. Staff was directed to implement the distribution of the informational document. Additionally, appropriate data would be gathered that demonstrates the effectiveness of this action on the number of default orders issued. Lastly, staff was directed to return at a work session in November to present this data.
- Consideration of activities associated with State Implementation Plan and the proposed Regional Clean Air Strategy. Herb Williams (OPRD/Air Policy) and Bill Jordan (OPRD/Air Policy) presented this item. Staff provided an update regarding the finalized delivery schedule and details concerning the national low emission vehicles. As a result of public interest, the proposed rules comment period addressing the Clean Air Strategy and State Implementation Plan has been extended to February 15. Still under review are the two final components of the Clean Air Strategy, the CARE Program and what reductions we might need from the remaining point sources. After considering the concerns raised in regard to the Strategy and reviewing the interest in hearings and comments regarding the proposed rules, the Commissioners directed staff to draft a letter, to be signed by the three Commissioners, which would, in simple language, outline what the Regional Clean Air Strategy is and is not intended to be. This letter would be sent to the Legislature, other appropriate government and non-government organizations.
- 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. Steve Minick (Director/IGR) presented this item. Steve reported there is substantial turnover of membership in both the Senate Finance Committee and House Appropriations Committee which is of significance to TNRCC. In this regard, TNRCC’s first briefing with new members of the House Appropriations Committee is scheduled for the morning of February 3rd and the first hearing with the Senate Finance Committee is to occur on the morning of February 9th. Steve also reported IGR had received two requests from legislators, who either attended or had staff in attendance, at the informational meeting held in Gainesville where the TNRCC Regional Clean Air Strategy was a topic. These requests were for IGR to arrange informational meetings for other areas in the 95 county areas of east and northeast Texas similar to the one in Gainesville. Representative Barry Telford, new Chair of House Calendar Committee, has also asked for an informational meeting for his district. Staff will revisit this issue with Commissioner Marquez for his possible participation in future such meetings.
- Planning for the next Commissioners’ Work Session. Beginning February 26, the Commissioners will begin meeting on a monthly basis and, where necessary, some Work Sessions may be combined with the Commissioners’ Agenda.