Questions or Comments: tmdl@tceq.texas.gov
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Neches River Below Lake Palestine, Tributaries: A Community Project to Protect Recreational Uses

A project to reduce bacteria and protect recreational safety in watersheds in the Lufkin area. The stakeholders and TCEQ are developing a total maximum daily load (TMDL) and implementation plan (I-Plan), which together will be the road map for improving water quality.

photo of Cedar Creek in the Lufkin area
Cedar Creek in Lufkin
Photo courtesy of the Angelina and Neches River Authority
map of the Matagorda Bay watershed

County: Angelina
Parameter: Bacteria
Basin: Neches River
Segments: 0604A, 0604B, 0604C, 0604M
Assessment Units (AUs): 0604A_02, 0604B_01, 0604C_01, 0604M_03

On this page:

Background and Goal

In portions of four stream segments in the Lufkin area, bacteria concentrations are sometimes higher than the criteria set to protect the safety of recreation. High concentrations of bacteria, which are found in both human and animal waste, may indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in the water body—activities called “contact recreation” in the state’s standards for water quality.

The goal of this project is to improve water quality to protect recreational uses. Toward that goal, the TCEQ and stakeholders are developing a TMDL and an I-Plan to reduce bacteria in the creeks.

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Watershed Description

The watersheds lie in Angelina County in east Texas in the vicinity of Lufkin, and include the cities of Hudson and Lufkin. The project includes portions of Jack Creek, Cedar Creek, Hurricane Creek, and Biloxi Creek. The watershed area for this project is also referred to as Tributaries of the Neches River below Lake Palestine.

The project includes assessment units (AU) in four stream segments:

  • Jack Creek (Segment 0604C)
    From the confluence with Cedar Creek (0604A) upstream to confluence with unnamed tributary southwest of US Hwy 69 northwest of Lufkin.
  • Cedar Creek (Segment 0604A, AU 02)
    From the confluence with Jack Creek (0604C) to the confluence with unnamed tributary adjacent to State Loop 287. This assessment area is the only impaired portion of the stream.
  • Hurricane Creek (Segment 0604B)
    From the confluence with Cedar Creek (0604A) upstream to the headwaters near Groesbeck Ave in Lufkin.
  • Biloxi Creek (Segment 0604M, AU 03)
    From the confluence with One Eye Creek in Angelina County southeast of Lufkin upstream to FM 325 east of Lufkin. This assessment area is the only impaired portion of the stream.

The Jack Creek watershed, which includes portions of the city of Hudson, is about 29 square miles. The dominant land cover includes hay/pasture (33%), forest (33%) and developed (13%).

The Cedar Creek watershed is about 32 square miles. The dominant land cover includes forest (37%), developed (25%), and hay/pasture (19%). It includes portions of the cities of Hudson and Lufkin.

The Hurricane Creek watershed, which includes portions of Lufkin, is about 13 square miles. The dominant land cover includes developed (66%) and forest (22%). 

The Biloxi Creek watershed is about 19 square miles. The dominant land cover includes forest (37%), hay/pasture (31%), and developed (17%). It includes small portions of Lufkin.

Get Involved

Staff from the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) are working with communities, interest groups, and local organizations to distribute information about this project and involve stakeholders in developing the I-Plan for watershed improvement. All public meetings about this project are open to anyone interested. Watch for meeting announcements here and on the TWRI websiteExit the TCEQ.

Public Meeting

To Hear Comments on the Draft TMDLs
April 13, 2022
6:00 p.m.
Via online video conference
When joining the video conference, please place your computer’s microphone or telephone on mute so that background noise is not heard and turn your video off.

Please register your attendance at this meetingExit the TCEQ. You must register if you wish to provide oral comments at the meeting. But we ask that you register your attendance even if you do not plan to speak. Upon registration, you will receive details about how to join the meeting.

At this meeting, people will have the opportunity to present oral statements when called upon, in order of registration. An agency staff member will give a brief presentation at the start of the meeting and will be available to answer questions before and after all public comments have been received. See a link to the draft TMDL below, along with information about how to submit your comments.

Persons with disabilities who have special communication or other accommodation needs who plan to attend should contact TCEQ at (512) 239-6682. Please make accommodation requests as far in advance as possible.

Meeting Records

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Comment on the Draft Total Maximum Daily Loads

The public is invited to comment on the proposed TMDLs for bacteria in Tributaries of the Neches River below Lake Palestine. Community stakeholders advised TCEQ on development of the TMDL..

You may submit your comments in writing, or orally at a public meeting. 

Submit Comments in Writing

Written comments must be received at the TCEQ no later than midnight on April 25, 2022, and should reference Four Total Maximum Daily Loads for Indicator Bacteria in Tributaries of the Neches River below Lake Palestine.

By Mail:
Attn: Mr. Tim Cawthon
Water Quality Planning Division
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
MC 203
P. O. Box 13087
Austin, Texas, 78711-3087

By Fax:
Attn: Mr. Tim Cawthon
512-239-1414

Online at:
www6.tceq.texas.gov/rules/ecomments/ from March 25 through April 25, 2022 and should reference Four Total Maximum Daily Loads for Indicator Bacteria in Tributaries of the Neches River below Lake Palestine. File size restrictions may apply to comments submitted via the eComments system.

Submit Comments at a Public Meeting

TCEQ has scheduled a public meeting to receive comments on:

April 13, 2022
6:00 p.m.
Via online video conference
When joining the video conference, please place your computer’s microphone or telephone on mute so that background noise is not heard and turn your video off.

Please register your attendance at this meetingExit the TCEQ. You must register if you wish to provide oral comments at the meeting. But we ask that you register your attendance even if you do not plan to speak. Upon registration, you will receive details about how to join the meeting.

At this meeting, people will have the opportunity to present oral statements when called upon, in order of registration. An agency staff member will give a brief presentation at the start of the meeting and will be available to answer questions before and after all public comments have been received. 

Persons with disabilities who have special communication or other accommodation needs who plan to attend should contact TCEQ at (512) 239-6682. Please make accommodation requests as far in advance as possible.

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Reports

TWRI completed a technical report in March 2021 that compiled and analyzed all available bacteria data and considered sources of the bacteria and their relative contributions.

Contact the TMDL Program

Please e-mail tmdl@tceq.texas.gov, and mention the Lufkin Area Watersheds project in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.

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communities working together taking care of our rivers, lakes, and bays