Marked Agenda
Commissioners' Work Session
Friday, March 19, 1999
9:30 a.m.
Room 201S, Building E, Park 35, Austin

NEW BUSINESS

  1. 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 was taken on this issue.

  2. Consideration of issues related to the Commission's Regulatory Guidance Document for Implementation of Texas Water Quality Certification Rules. Ken Petersen (Deputy Director/Water) presented this item. Ken provided an overview of the progress made over the past several months concerning the 401 regulatory guidance document. He described the efforts of the 401 ad hoc work group, which met five times between October 1998 and March 1999, and which has resulted in extensive revisions to the guidance document. While consensus among the group was not achievable, considerable progress was made toward achieving a middle ground. Staff presented the commissioners with two options: Either begin the process of finalizing the guidance document by releasing the revised draft for a 30 day public comment period through notice in the Texas Register, or delay further action on the document until after the conclusion of the legislative session. Staff recommended moving forward with publication of notice. The commissioners concurred, but directed that a 60 day comment period be allowed, which would run until the beginning of June, rather than a 30 day comment period.

  3. Consideration of activities associated with State Implementation Plan and the proposed Regional Clean Air Strategy. Herb Williams (OEPAA/Policy and Regulations Division) presented this item. Herb pointed out that the new 8 hour ozone designations will be determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in July 2000 and noted that the Governor must submit his designation recommendations to the EPA by July 18, 1999. The commission would need to provide recommendations to the Governor prior to that time. Staff presented details concerning the process and presentation to be used for soliciting local area input from all nonattainment and near-nonattainment areas and establishing recommendations regarding the 8-hour ozone designation. Beginning in April in the affected areas, Staff will hold approximately 8 initial meetings of a two-meeting process to explain what the 8 hour standard means to the area, what decisions may need to be made, and what options the area may have, such as designations, classifications, and boundaries. Some areas which are currently not in danger of being nonattainment may not need a second meeting. The Commissionersí concurred with the presentation proposals and directed staff to develop designations based on the input from these meetings and return to a work session in June and present them for the Commissionersí consideration.

  4. 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. Most of the information presented is contained in the Management Report describing the previous weeks legislative activities. Virtually all of the initiatives that the commission initiated in June last year at the work session at Radian are contained in filed bills except as follows:

    Several hearings are scheduled for next week. No action was taken on this item.

  5. Planning for the next Commissionersí Work Session. Staff was directed to plan a Commissionersí Work Session for sometime in the second half of June. Beginning in July, the Commissioners will meet on a biweekly basis. A tentative schedule will promulgated when the dates are known.