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Revising the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards

Summary of how the standards are revised.

Revision Process

The process to revise the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards (Standards) includes the public and is usually conducted  every three years. Revisions address new information about pollutants, additional data about water quality conditions in specific segments, and new state and federal regulatory requirements.

Stakeholders in the review and revision process include the TCEQ, EPA, the general public, other governmental agencies, industries, municipalities, environmental groups, and others. Much of the coordination is done through the Surface Water Quality Standards Advisory Workgroup. There have been revisions to the Standards in 1967, 1973, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2010, and 2014.

The Procedures to Implement the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards (RG-194) (Implementation Procedures), which explain how the Standards are used in wastewater permitting, are typically reviewed and revised along with the Standards.

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2018 Revision

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

The commission held a public hearing in Austin on October 16, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. in Building E, Room 201S, at the commission's central office located at 12100 Park 35 Circle. The October 16, 2017 hearing was webcastedExit the TCEQ and structured for the receipt of oral or written comments by interested persons. No individuals made oral statements regarding the proposed rule changes. The formal comment period ended on October 17, 2017.

The rule proposal was presented to the TCEQ commissioners and adopted as a final rule on February 7, 2018. The final rulemaking will be published in the February 23, 2018, issue of the Texas Register with an effective date of March 1, 2018.

Staff Contacts

For further information on the Standards, please contact Ms. Debbie Miller, Water Quality Planning Division, at (512) 239-1703. For further information on the Implementation Procedures, please contact Mr. Peter Schaefer, Water Quality Division, at (512) 239-4372.

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