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2018 Texas Surface Water Quality Standards

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

TCEQ Adopted Revisions to Standards

On February 7, 2018, 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.

TCEQ submitted the 2018 Standards revisions and supporting documentation to EPA for review and approval on February 27, 2018. EPA provides notice to TCEQ whenever approval or other actions are taken on portions of the revised standards. EPA must approve the 2018 Standards before 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

EPA is still reviewing portions of the 2000, 2010, and 2014 Standards. See what EPA has approved, disapproved, or is still reviewing for the two most recent of the three revision cycles at the following links: 2010 revision Adobe Acrobat PDF Document and 2014 revision Adobe Acrobat PDF Document.

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

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The 2018 Standards: Background Information

The Commissioners approved staff’s recommendation to propose the 2018 Standards rule package for public comment on August 23, 2017. TCEQ published the request for comments in the Texas Register on September 8, 2017. The formal comment period ended on October 17, 2017.

TCEQ held a public hearing in Austin on October 16, 2017, which was also webcast, to receive oral and written comments on the 2018 Standards rule package. The hearing was structured to receive oral or written comments. No one made an oral statement about the proposed rule changes, but several people submitted written statements to TCEQ staff.

The Commissioners adopted the final rule on February 7, 2018. TCEQ published the final rulemaking in the February 23, 2018 issue of the Texas Register. The rule became effective for state programs on March 1, 2018.

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EPA Review of the 2018 Water Quality Standards

On February 27, 2018, TCEQ submitted a package in support of the adopted revisions to the 2018 Standards to EPA. EPA has completed several action letters, which are linked below. However, these letters do not address all outstanding portions of the rule requiring EPA review. Major sections still under consideration by EPA include revisions to Table 1 in Section 307.6 regarding toxic criteria for the protection of aquatic life; 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.

Disclaimer: The user-friendly rule documents that TCEQ makes available on this site are not a substitute for the official rules as approved and filed with the Office of the Secretary of State. See full disclaimerEmail the Secretary of State’s office to request official copies of final TCEQ rules.

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The 2018 Standards and Associated Documents

Disclaimer: The rules that TCEQ makes available on this site are not a substitute for the official rules as approved and filed with the Office of the Secretary of State. See full disclaimerEmail the Secretary of State’s office to request official copies of final TCEQ rules.

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Contact the Standards Group

For more information about the Water Quality Standards (30 TAC Chapter 307), please email standards@tceq.texas.gov, or call the Water Quality Planning Division at 512-239-6682. You may also send a fax to 512-239-4410 or mail to TCEQ, MC-234, PO BOX 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087.

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