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FY2013-2014 Biennial Report: Letter from the Commission

Below is the biennial report’s letter from the commissioners with the agency mission and philosophy. (Biennial Report to the 84th Legislature, FY2013-FY2014)

Letter from the Commission

Keeping the Texas Miracle Alive

It’s no secret that Texas is the envy of people across the world.

Over 1,000 people move to Texas each day in hopes of finding their own piece of the American Dream.

We are blessed with one of the most successful economies of the 21st Century, and to keep the Texas Miracle alive, we must continue to be good stewards of our abundant natural resources in balance with the needs of our state’s diverse population and thriving business climate.

Working in stride with the Legislature, the men and women of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have fostered a safe, healthy environment that will be a blueprint for our state’s success story for the future.

Each Texan will play a role in building the framework for success. That’s why the TCEQ redoubled its efforts with the Take Care of Texas campaign to highlight what Texans – big and small – can do to conserve.

With landmark innovations in technology, the growth of the energy sector shows no signs of slowing. The TCEQ will continue to play an integral role in ensuring that the air we breathe and water we drink are safe for our families, our children and grandchildren.

With far more air toxics monitors than any other state in America, Texas has built upon its success in improving air quality and holding bad actors accountable. From 2000 to 2012, NOx emissions dropped 63 percent, while ozone levels decreased 23 percent. In fiscal 2013, the TCEQ issued almost 2,200 administrative orders resulting in more than $12.6 million in penalties and another $2.7 million for Supplemental Environmental Projects.

In the shadow of this historic drought, the TCEQ worked proactively and responsibly to administer water rights, protect water quality, and collaborate with municipalities and water districts to develop contingency plans before it is too late.

The agency will also rely on sound scientific data and research to oppose any unnecessary overreach by the EPA.  The EPA’s new greenhouse gas rules will cause the shutdown of coal-fired plants and decimate their workforce, increase electric rates, and endanger the state’s electric grid – without significant health benefit to the citizens of Texas.

Lastly, should a natural disaster or catastrophic event happen – the TCEQ will be ready.

Each employee of the TCEQ plays a part in the success that Texas has achieved in protecting our natural resources. From executive leadership to engineers, from hydrologists to administrative staff, from emergency teams to regional directors – the TCEQ will continue to protect our health and environment first and foremost because we are Texans too.

Texas is the greatest state in the greatest nation in the world. We will continue to serve her and ensure that the Lone Star State remains the best place to live, work, and raise a family.

Bryan W. Shaw, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman

Toby Baker, Commissioner

Zak Covar, Commissioner

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Agency Mission and Philosophy



The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality strives to protect our state’s public health and natural resources consistent with sustainable economic development. Our goal is clean air, clean water, and the safe management of waste.


To accomplish our mission, we will:

  • base decisions on the law, common sense, sound science, and fiscal responsibility;
  • ensure that regulations are necessary, effective, and current;
  • apply regulations clearly and consistently;
  • ensure consistent, just, and timely enforcement when environmental laws are violated;
  • ensure meaningful public participation in the decision-making process;
  • promote and foster voluntary compliance with environmental laws and provide flexibility in achieving environmental goals; and
  • hire, develop, and retain a high-quality, diverse workforce.

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