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Revising the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards

Summary of the way the standards are revised.

Revision Process

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

Stakeholders in the review and revision process include 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 Work Group. TCEQ revised Standards in 1967, 1973, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2010, 2014, 2018, and 2022.

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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2022 Revision

TCEQ published a notice in the March 8, 2019 issue of the Texas RegisterExit the TCEQ requesting preliminary written comments on the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards (30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 307) (Standards), which were adopted in 2018, and the Procedures to Implement the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards, TCEQ RG-194 (Revised), June 2010 (IPs). This request for written comments was in preparation for review and revision as needed of the Standards and IPs.

Staff recommendations regarding the revision to the Standards were presented to the TCEQ commissioners during the March 9, 2022 agenda. The commissioners approved to formally propose the rule revisions to the public for formal comment, and the proposed rule language and public notice were published in the Texas RegisterExit the TCEQ on March 25, 2022.

TCEQ held a hybrid in-person and virtual public hearing in Austin on May 2, 2022 to receive oral and written comments on the 2022 Standards rule package. Three attendees made oral statements about the proposed rule changes, and several attendees submitted written statements to TCEQ staff.

The projected timeline for revising the 2022 Standards is as follows:

  • Stakeholder workgroup meetings: March 9, June 29, and June 30, 2020
  • Proposal agenda: March 9, 2022
  • Public comment period: March 13, 2022 - May 2, 2022
  • Public hearing: May 2, 2022
  • Adoption agenda: September 7, 2022
  • Adoption published in the Texas Register: September 23, 2022
  • Effective date: September 29, 2022

For more information regarding stakeholder work group meetings, please visit the Surface Water Quality Standards Advisory Work Group webpage.

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Staff Contacts

For further information about the Standards, please email standards@tceq.texas.gov, call the Water Quality Planning Division at 512-239-6682, or send mail to TCEQ, MC-234, PO Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087. For further information on the Implementation Procedures, please email ipcommnt@tceq.texas.gov or call the Water Quality Division at 512-239-4372.

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