Tribpedia: Texas Commission On Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is the state’s environmental agency. It enforces clean air, water, and waste management laws and issues air and water operating permits.

The TCEQ, which began operation as the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission in 1993, was established by the Legislature in 1991. The TNRCC consolidated the responsibilities of the Texas Water Commission and ...

State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, speaking at the Texas Public Policy Foundation legislative orientation session on Jan. 7, 2015.
State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, speaking at the Texas Public Policy Foundation legislative orientation session on Jan. 7, 2015.

Harris County in Crosshairs of Pollution Lawsuit Limits

In a session that's been kind to business interests, local control might be about to take another hit as the Senate tentatively approves legislation that could make it harder for counties to sue polluters.

 

EPA Closely Watching Bill to Speed State Permits

Texas appears poised to enact environmental legislation that could trigger an unintended consequence: more federal oversight. The Environmental Protection Agency, long the state’s political punching bag, says it has concerns with a fast-moving proposal to speed up environmental permitting by curbing public protests.

 

The nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants are the main target of President Obama's Clean Power Plan, his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.
The nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants are the main target of President Obama's Clean Power Plan, his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.

Lawmakers Move to Speed Permits, Limit Protests

Business-friendly Texas still isn't quite friendly enough, Republican lawmakers say, and they're pushing legislation to curtail public input and speed up permits issued by state environmental regulators.

The San Jacinto River Waste Pits, an EPA Superfund site that is contaminated with dioxins, is located on Interstate 10 east of Houston.
The San Jacinto River Waste Pits, an EPA Superfund site that is contaminated with dioxins, is located on Interstate 10 east of Houston.

Harris County Seeks Accounting for Decades of Pollution

State regulators did little as dioxin seeped into area waterways for decades, Houston officials say. So now the county is leading the charge with a lawsuit, set for opening arguments Thursday, seeking billions in fines from three companies.

Lake Texoma in October 2013. Once a major water supply for North Texas, it has been offline amid a zebra mussel infestation.
Lake Texoma in October 2013. Once a major water supply for North Texas, it has been offline amid a zebra mussel infestation.

Reservoir Plan to Be Focus of Contested Case Hearing

UPDATED: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality voted Wednesday to refer protests over the proposed Lower Bois d'Arc Reservoir in northeast Texas to the State Office of Administrative Hearings. The proposed reservoir could be one of the last to be built in the state in the coming decades.

 

John Ward, operations project task manager at Waste Control Specialists' facility near Andrews, Texas, walks over to inspect concrete canisters that will house drums of nuclear waste.
John Ward, operations project task manager at Waste Control Specialists' facility near Andrews, Texas, walks over to inspect concrete canisters that will house drums of nuclear waste.

Texas' Nuclear Waste Dump Gets Wiggle Room

UPDATED: Despite a last-ditch protest from a state lawmaker, Texas’ only radioactive waste site has permission to dramatically expand its capacity, take in new types of waste and reduce its financial liability should its owner suddenly close up shop.

 

 

Bloom of cyanobacteria ("blue-green algae").
Bloom of cyanobacteria ("blue-green algae").

Ohio Water Crisis a Warning for Texas, Other States

The harmful toxin found in Lake Erie that caused a water crisis in Ohio's fourth-largest city this weekend has raised concerns nationally. That's because no states — including Texas — require testing for such toxins, which are caused by algal blooms. Texas has battled blue-green algae at several of its lakes, but the spokesman for the state's Commission on Environmental Quality said surface water data has "not demonstrated levels of algal toxins that show any cause for alarm."  

 

 

Pump systems for the Freer Water Control and Improvement District's arsenic removal system facility in Freer, Texas.
Pump systems for the Freer Water Control and Improvement District's arsenic removal system facility in Freer, Texas.

Drinking Water Systems Draw Federal Concerns

More than 310 public drinking water systems in Texas have quality issues that have not been adequately addressed, the Environmental Protection Agency told the state in recent correspondence obtained by the Tribune. TCEQ officials say that the federal estimate is outdated and that the agency has dramatically stepped up enforcement related to the issue.

Texas remains one of the most significant contributors to global warming in the world. Year after year, Texas spews out more greenhouse gases than any other state in the country.
Texas remains one of the most significant contributors to global warming in the world. Year after year, Texas spews out more greenhouse gases than any other state in the country.

Climate Scientists: Texas is Missing an Opportunity

Texas-based climate scientists — some of the world's most renowned — say that Texas could be a global leader in protecting against climate change. But if state agencies continue to fail to take climate change into account when planning for the state’s future, the scientists argue, Texans will suffer a direct impact.

 

 

BP Wants Unspent Spill Recovery Money Back

Nearly four years after BP awarded Gov. Rick Perry's office $5 million for recovery projects in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, most of the money remains unspent. The company is now asking Texas for its money back. Meanwhile, environmental advocates and local governments say Texas is lagging behind in the recovery effort.

The decreasing water line on Lake Arrowhead, one of three lakes the city of Wichita Falls gets its water from, is pictured here on Jan. 25, 2013.
The decreasing water line on Lake Arrowhead, one of three lakes the city of Wichita Falls gets its water from, is pictured here on Jan. 25, 2013.

Wichita Falls Considering Chemical for Drought Relief

Desperate to keep what precious little water remains in its reservoirs, Wichita Falls may turn to an "evaporation suppressant" for help. The state environmental agency says the substance is safe, but the city must still figure out how to use it effectively to limit evaporation from its quickly drying lakes.

Gov. Rick Perry has said that a new federal proposal to cut carbon emissions is "the most direct assault yet on the energy providers that employ thousands of Americans."
Gov. Rick Perry has said that a new federal proposal to cut carbon emissions is "the most direct assault yet on the energy providers that employ thousands of Americans."

What Texas Could Do to Follow Climate Change Rules

Gov. Rick Perry and other Texas leaders say a federal proposal to combat climate change is a direct assault on energy providers. This Tribune analysis examines what Texas and its energy providers would have to do to reach the goals set forth in the proposal — if that proposal stays as is.