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2018 Texas Surface Water Quality Standards

Links to information about the 2018 revision of the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards.

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TCEQ Adopted Revisions to Standards

At the February 7, 2018 Commission Agenda meeting, the commissioners adopted revisions to the “Texas Surface Water Quality Standards,” as codified by rule in the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 30, Chapter 307. The 2018 Standards became effective as a state rule on March 1, 2018.

The 2018 Standards revisions and supporting documentation were submitted to the EPA for review and approval on February 27, 2018. The EPA provides notice to the TCEQ whenever approval or other actions are taken on portions of the revised standards. The EPA must approve the 2018 Standards before the TCEQ may use them for federal permitting programs and other Clean Water Act (CWA) purposes.


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Standards Acted on or Under Review

Portions of the 2000, 2010, and 2014 Standards have been disapproved or are still under review by the EPA. To see what the EPA has acted on, visit the links to each revision year. For the 2010 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document and 2014 Adobe Acrobat PDF Document revisions, there is a highlighted version of the rule language which shows what the EPA has approved or disapproved and what remains under their review.

If a portion is disapproved or still under review by the EPA, the language in the prior revision year remains in effect for CWA purposes. During the EPA’s review of the 2018 Standards, portions of the 1997, 2000, 2010, and 2014 Standards will continue to be used in federal permitting programs such as the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) program. For non-federal programs, the 2018 Standards are in effect unless specifically disapproved by the EPA.

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The 2018 Standards Background Information

Staff presented the draft rule package to the commissioners during their August 23, 2017 agenda meeting and received permission to formally propose the rule revisions to the public for comment.  The public notice was published in the Texas Register on September 8, 2017.

The TCEQ held a public hearing in Austin on October 16, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. in Building E, Room 201S, at the TCEQ central office at 12100 Park 35 Circle. The hearing was webcast and structured to receive oral or written comments. No individuals made oral statements about the proposed rule changes. The formal comment period ended on October 17, 2017.

The rule proposal was presented to the commissioners and adopted as a final rule on February 7, 2018. The final rulemaking was published in the February 23, 2018, issue of the Texas Register, and became effective as a state rule on March 1, 2018.

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EPA Review of the 2018 Water Quality Standards

On February 27, 2018, a submittal package in support of the adopted revisions to the 2018 Standards was sent to the EPA. The EPA has finalized the first round of approvals of the 2018 Standards in an action letter dated November 2, 2018. This letter does not address all outstanding portions of the rule requiring EPA review, and major sections still under consideration by the EPA include revisions to §307.2 regarding temporary standards; several revised site-specific criteria in Appendix A and D; and several site-specific recreational uses and criteria for unclassified water bodies in Appendix G. A highlighted version of the 2018 Standards rule language has been provided to clearly demonstrate which sections of the standards the EPA has taken action on pursuant to the action letter. A key is provided at the beginning of the document to specify what portions of the 2018 Standards the EPA has approved, disapproved, will take no action on, or is still reviewing.

*The rules the TCEQ makes available on this site as a public service are not a substitute for the official rules as approved and filed with the Office of the Secretary of State. See full disclaimer. The TCEQ assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any information provided on this site. Official copies of TCEQ rules may be obtained by e-mailing register@sos.state.tx.us.


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The 2018 Standards and Associated Documents

*The rules the TCEQ makes available on this site as a public service are not a substitute for the official rules as approved and filed with the Office of the Secretary of State. See full disclaimer register@sos.state.tx.us.

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Staff Contacts

For more information on the Water Quality Standards (30 TAC Chapter 307), contact Debbie Miller at 512-239-1703 or email standards@tceq.texas.gov. You can also contact Ms. Miller by fax at 512-239-4410 or mail at TCEQ, MC-234, PO BOX 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087.

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