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Penalty Policy

These documents describe our policy on computing and assessing administrative penalties. They do not address when an enforcement action is initiated, but rather how we evaluate violations for the purpose of calculating administrative penalties.

Penalty Policy Documents

Penalty Policy, Jan. 28, 2021 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document
The effective date for the Fifth Revision of the Penalty Policy is January 28, 2021. Violations documented in investigations commencing on or after January 28, 2021 are subject to the new policy. If the violation occurred before September 1, 2011, then the Second Revision of the Penalty is applicable.
Penalty Policy, April 1, 2014 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document
Penalty Policy, Sept. 1, 2011 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document
Penalty Policy, Sept. 1, 2002 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Why did we revise the penalty policy?

The Penalty Policy was last revised on April 1, 2014. Since that time, statutory changes have occurred, and recent incidents have caused significant impacts to the public and the environment demanding accountability and deterrence within the bounds of TCEQ authority. The Penalty Policy revision includes statutory changes from the 86th Legislature (2019). The Executive Director has implemented these changes in practice, and this Penalty Policy update is required for consistency. The Penalty Policy revision also includes significant changes intended to promote a deterrence to future noncompliance by using additional tools within the Penalty Policy to impact the assessment of administrative penalties.

How are we implementing the policy?

We are implementing these documents as follows:

  • The Fifth Revision of this Penalty Policy (effective January 28, 2021) applies to all investigations conducted on or after January 28, 2021 documenting violations that occurred or began on or after September 1, 2011
  • For investigations conducted prior to January 28, 2021:
    • The Fourth Revision of the Penalty Policy (effective April 1, 2014) applies to violations that occurred on or after September 1, 2011, and that are included in Enforcement Action Referrals (EARs) assigned on or after April 1, 2014.
    • The Third Revision of the Penalty Policy (effective September 1, 2011) applies to violations that occurred on or after September 1, 2011, and that are included in EARs assigned before April 1, 2014.
    • The Second Revision of the Penalty Policy (effective September 1, 2002) applies to violations that occurred before September 1, 2011.