Commissioners' Work Session (Closed Meeting)
Friday, July 30, 1999
Room 201S, Building E, Park 35, Austin
This is a closed meeting.
- Docket No. 1998-1154-EXE. The Commission will meet in closed session to deliberate the
appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of the
Commission's Executive Director, as permitted by Section 551.074 of the Texas Open
Meetings Act, Chapter 551 of the Government Code. The Commission may also meet in
open session to take action on this matter as required by Section 551.102 of the Texas
Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551 of the Government Code. No action taken on this item.
- Docket No. 1999-0024-EXE. The commission will conduct a closed meeting to receive legal
advice and will discuss pending or contemplated litigation, settlement offers, and/or the
appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of
specific commission employees, as permitted by Sections 551.071 and 551.074, the Open
Meetings Act, codified as Chapter 551 of the Government code. No final action, decision
or vote with regard to any legal or personnel matter considered in the closed meeting shall
be made in the absence of further notice issued in accordance with Chapter 551 of the
Government Code. No action taken on this item.
- Docket No. 1999-0025-EXE. The commission will conduct a closed session to discuss their
duties, roles, and responsibilities as commissioners of the TNRCC pursuant to section
551.074 of the open meetings act, codified as chapter 551 of the government code. The
Commission may also meet in open session to take action on this matter as required by
Section 551.102 of the Texas Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551 of the Government Code.
No action taken on this item.
Commissioners' Work Session
Friday, July 30, 1999
Room 201S, Building E, Park 35, Austin
This meeting is a work session for discussion between commissioners and staff. Issues 4,5, and 7 were
open for public testimony or comment.
- 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 agency's FY2000 Preliminary Operating Budget.This issue was not discussed. Glenn Shankle, Deputy Executive Director, commented that the
Commissioners will be provided with individual briefings relative to operating budget issues
prior to August 15. No action was taken on this issue.
- Discussion of enforcement issues concerning small businesses and local
governments and an update on enforcement orders issued to small businesses and local
governments for the first half of FY99. Israel Anderson, Division Director, SBEA,
presented this issue. The Small Business Assistance Program staff was tasked in October 1998
to continue analysis of the effects of the enforcement policy pertaining to small businesses.
Overall, the total number of enforcement orders against small business has been slowly
decreasing. The percentage of the total settled penalty which represents small businesses has
increased from 13% in FY96 to 53% in the first half of FY99. This could be a reflection of the
Commission eliminating the No Penalty Policy and the adoption of a uniform penalty policy that
raised penalties for those businesses with more severe violations. Israel presented data
indicating the number of default orders against small business for the first half of FY99 is
decreasing. This decrease is believed to be the result of calls that the Small Business and Local
Government Assistance Section makes to nonresponsive companies and as a result of the
completion of the enforcement guidance document titled, "The TNRCC Has Inspected Your
Business...What Does This Mean To You?" which is being distributed at every inspection.
Recommending additional actions to be taken to decrease the number of Default Orders, Israel
mentioned the agreement between SBEA and the Office of Compliance and Enforcement to
rewrite the NOE and NOV letters with more clarity as to what is required of entities and having
the enforcement coordinators make contact with the entities earlier than the current practice of
waiting ten days after mailing the draft order to contact the entity. The Commissioners directed
staff to continue with their efforts to evaluate ways to decrease the number of Default Orders
- Consideration of issues related to the draft "Self-Evaluation Report of the TNRCC for the Sunset Advisory Commission". Terri Seales, Office of Executive Director, presented this issue. Terri reviewed the specific changes made to the draft "Self-Evaluation Report for the Sunset Advisory Commission". Chairman Huston commented that the main point in the Sunset
Review process is one of openness. The final report is due to the Sunset Advisory Commission
on August 15. No action was taken on this issue.
- Docket No. 1999-0930-SIP. Consideration for publication of and hearing upon the proposed State Implementation Plan (SIP) concerning the 9% Rate of Progress (ROP) for the Dallas/Fort Worth ozone nonattainment area. This SIP revision would quantify
additional volatile organic compound (VOC) reductions not previously credited in order to
meet the 9% ROP requirement and establish a transportation conformity budget. (Brian
Foster) (Rule Log No. 99045-SIP-AI) Chuck Mueller, OEPAA, David Duncan, OLS, and Brian Foster, OEPAA presented this issue. The Commissioners' approved the request for publication and hearing.
- Consideration of activities associated with State Implementation Plans and Regional Clean
Air Strategy. Chuck Mueller, OEPAA, presented an update on public participation
concerning the SIP. The Houston/Galveston plan is scheduled for public hearing on August 2
and the public comment period ends August 16. The Beaumont/Port Arthur plan is scheduled
for public hearing on August 9 and the public comment period ends on August 23. The
Dallas/Ft. Worth plan is in development with completion expected by the end of September.
Chairman Huston mentioned he is very pleased with the amount of local involvement with the
SIP effort. No action taken on this issue.
- Consideration of activities associated with transfer of Low Level Radioactive Waste
Disposal Authority (LLWRDA) to the TNRCC. Jeff Saitas, Executive Director, presented
this item. Among the topics discussed were human resource issues. Agency efforts to find
TNRCC positions for previous LLWRDA employees has been successful for all except 6
former employees. Absent any other guidance, 30 day notice of separation will follow.
Concerning the physical property, utilities will continue to be provided to the site for security
purposes, some property has been moved to the Austin warehouse and other options are being
considered for donation to education agencies. With the addition of some former LLWRDA
staff to TNRCC some minor office space considerations at the Circle 36 Complex are being
examined. No action taken on this issue.
- Consideration of the Business Process Review recommendations. John Steib, OEPA, presented this issue. As of July 28, the status of the 24 BPR recommendations are as follows:
- Completely implemented and in practice: 8
- In process: (60% complete): 15
- Eliminated by consultant: 1
No action taken on this issue.
- Consideration of issues related to the expiration of the Compost Refund Program on
Septembe0r 1, 1999, as provided for by Texas Health and Safety Code, Sec. 361.0135(f).
Dale Burnett, Permits, Israel Anderson, SBEA, Alan Watts, SBEA, and Vic Ramirez, OLS,
presented this issue. Staff described the mechanism behind the program and that with the
Commission taking no action to sunset the program, it would continue. The program was
established in 1993 by the 73rd Legislature to put in place incentives for a composting program
that is capable of achieving at least a 15% reduction in the amount of the municipal solid waste
stream that is disposed of in landfills. The program entitles the operator of a public or
privately owned municipal solid waste facility to a refund, or credit of 15% of the state MSW
fees owed to the TNRCC for composting. The credit increases to 20% if the facility
implements a ban on the disposal of yard trimmings. Staff was directed to propose a
performance based program to the Municipal Solid Waste and Resource Recovery Advisory
Council and other stakeholders at their next meeting and use their response to develop a
skeletal program which meets the fundamental requirements. In addition, staff was directed to
return with this program to the Commissioners' Agenda scheduled for August 25.
- Consideration of legislation passed affecting the TNRCC and other issues related to
actions taken by the 76th Texas Legislature. 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 action was taken on this issue.
- Planning for the next Commissioners' Work Session. The next work session is scheduled
for August 13. Issues scheduled for that session include FY 2000 Preliminary Operating
Budget, NPDES Permitting Update, Water Quality Management Plans, and TMDL as well as
the standing issues.