Questions or Comments:
You are here:

Letter From the Commission (FY2015-2016)

Below is the biennial report’s letter from the commissioners with the agency mission and philosophy. (Biennial Report to the 85th Legislature, FY2015-FY2016)

Our Greatest Assets

The TCEQ’s assets include 2,710 employees, 788,535 square feet under roof at headquarters, and 16 offices around the state; an air canister sample lab and a new water lab; almost 400 vehicles; and much more.

These are much more than numbers. These resources, and the employees who use them, enable the TCEQ to successfully pursue its mission of protecting our state’s public health and natural resources consistent with sustainable economic development.

We commissioners are always impressed and often amazed by the knowledge, and professionalism and dedication of the people that make up the TCEQ. They care deeply about their contribution to the State of Texas, its environment, and its citizens. They continue to successfully serve our growing population without an increase in staff. We wish to express our gratitude for their hard work and let them know their contributions are recognized.

Air Quality Improving

Thanks to the largest air toxics monitoring network in the United States, plus the support of the Legislature through programs like the Texas Emissions Reduction Program, air quality continues to improve in most areas of the state. From 2000 to 2015, large stationary source NOx emissions dropped 64 percent, while ozone levels decreased 28 percent. During this period, Texas population grew by almost 31 percent.

Water Planning Still a Priority

While most of the state was blessed with ample rainfall since 2015, the TCEQ continued to work with water systems to prepare for future droughts, and to ensure water quality. Addition of a Brazos River watermaster allows the agency to better engage water-right holders to conserve water in times of drought.


Commissioner Baker was appointed by Gov. Abbott to oversee the implementation of the RESTORE program, distributing funding made available from the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. There will be more than $550 million to help our coastal ecosystem and the Texas economy.

Back to the top

Actions Based on Sound Science

Gov. Abbott appointed Jon Niermann as commissioner on Oct. 1, 2015. Commissioner Niermann brings a wealth of knowledge of environmental issues. He represented the TCEQ at the state Attorney General’s office in both enforcement and defense cases, including a number of cases against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Where it is supported by sound science and common sense, the TCEQ will continue to oppose the EPA’s unnecessary and unlawful regulations.

Texans can be assured the TCEQ is taking these steps, and many more, to preserve the Texas environment and the health of Texas’ growing population for generations to come.

As our statewide conservation campaign states: Let’s Take Care of Texas—it’s the only one we’ve got.

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

Toby Baker, Commissioner

Jon Niermann, Commissioner

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.

Back to the top