Marked Agenda
Commissioners' Work Session (Open Meeting)
Friday, February 11, 2000
9:30 a.m.
Room 201S, Building E, Park 35, Austin

New Business

  1. Consideration of the legal and policy issues related to municipal solid waste landfills or portions of landfills that are in inactive or closed status, permit revocation, permit conditions, and public participation requirements. Consideration of the responses to staff letters sent to facilities regarding their current status. The Commission may also consider expanding the scope of ongoing rulemaking projects to incorporate amendments to rules affecting inactive or closed sites, and provide guidance on needed statutory changes. This issue was presented by Irene Montelongo, Vic Ramirez, OLS, Dale Burnett, John Forehand and Dorca Zaragoza-Stone, Waste Permits. Staff provided an update of findings on the ongoing file review of approximately 1200 landfill sites identified as inactive or closed and summarized actions taken, or proposed to be taken to bring the status of facilities involved to a conclusion. Staff described responses to letters sent to permit holders who have completed post-closure care and who filed affidavits to the public for the entire acreage at the facility which informed them the following:

    Staff presented options explored as incentives for permit holders to bring the status of facilities to a conclusion such as:

    Staff discussed suggestions from stakeholder groups concerning inactive landfills status:

    Staff was directed to continue efforts to determine status of remaining closed or inactive landfills from permit holders who have not responded to the first letter by sending a second letter and follow-up phone calls. This letter will outline some of incentives the agency is considering and that failure to respond could result in an involuntary revocation of the permit. In addition, staff was directed to return to the May 19th work session to provide an update and definitions specific to landfill terminology. Staff will need to be able to address the process of re-opening an inactive site and any necessary changes to the permit. Office of Compliance and Enforcement/Field Operations will report on resource impacts necessary to conduct inspections of the 217 facilities identified as needing a field inspection in order to exit post closure and have their permit expire and for the 126 facilities found to require field inspections to enter post closure.

  2. Presentation and discussion of issues regarding agency's response to the drought. Charles Maddox, Water Permits/Water Utilities and Todd Chenoweth, Water Rights Permitting and Availability, presented this item. Staff described the various responses, planned and ongoing, to meet agency responsibilities in the event the state experiences continuing drought weather conditions. The Executive Director commented this drought will be a big challenge for the critical facilities team. We are looking for the necessary funding internally and will document the consequences to the agency. We do not want to request emergency funding. No action was taken on this issue.

  3. Consideration of activities associated with State Implementation Plans and update on the 8-hour ozone designation. Julia Rathgeber, OEPAA/Strategic Assessment presented this issue and provided the following brief of ongoing public participation related to the SIP:

    Julia commented we have urged the public to provide answers to the questions the SIP posed for the state and the public is participating. Staff will arrange a briefing in the future for the Commissioners. No action was taken on this issue.

  4. Consideration of legislative implementation 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 taken on this issue.

  5. Planning for the next Commissioners' Work Session. The work session previously scheduled for February 25th is canceled. New issues for March 10th are enforcement penalty policy issues, enforcement reports and proposed changes to the enforcement reports format, and an expanded SIP discussion, including an analysis of comments received, as well as the standing work session issues.