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TCEQ opens public comment period on revised penalty policy proposal and begins Compliance History rulemaking

Sept. 30, 2020 - Deadline for comments is Oct. 30, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ContactBrian McGovern
Phone512-239-5000
After Hrs512-239-5003

Beginning today, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is accepting comments on a proposal to revise the commission’s penalty policy.

The comment period will last 30 days. After the Oct. 30 deadline, received comments will be presented to the commissioners for their consideration at a future commission work session or commission agenda.

The penalty policy was last revised on April 1, 2014. Since then, statutory changes have occurred, and recent incidents have caused significant impacts to the public and the environment demanding accountability within the bounds of TCEQ authority.

The revision includes statutory changes from the 86th Legislature. The agency’s executive director has already implemented these changes in practice and this policy update is required for consistency.

The policy revision also includes significant proposed changes that are intended to promote a deterrence to future noncompliance by amending factors within the policy that may impact the assessment of administrative penalties.

The summary of the proposed changes and the proposed revised Policy can be found in this memorandum.

Comments may be emailed to penalty_policy@tceq.texas.gov.

In addition to the policy revisions, the commission is beginning the rulemaking process to revise 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 60, Compliance HistoryExit the TCEQ. The proposed revision would allow the executive director to change a site’s compliance history classification to a new classification if that site has caused, suffered, allowed, or permitted the creation of exigent circumstances, such as a major explosion or fire that impacts the surrounding community and environment. See more information on this rule project.