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 ...

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.

Court Thwarts Sierra Club's Hazardous Waste Challenge

UPDATED: A state appeals court has thwarted the second of two challenges to a hazardous and low-level radioactive waste disposal site in West Texas in rulings that signal growing difficulties for those trying to scrutinize the decisions of Texas' environmental regulators.

 

 

An overhead view in 2012 of Waste Control Specialists' low-level radioactive waste storage facilities near Andrews, Texas. The site is poised to get 420 truckloads of waste from New Mexico.
An overhead view in 2012 of Waste Control Specialists' low-level radioactive waste storage facilities near Andrews, Texas. The site is poised to get 420 truckloads of waste from New Mexico.

Los Alamos Waste Arrives in West Texas

UPDATED: A radioactive waste site in West Texas has received its first truckload of transuranic waste from the federal government’s nuclear weapons program, following wildfires and a radiation leak in New Mexico.

 

 

 

Workers with Bee Cave Drilling install a jackhammer bit on the drilling rig while putting in a water well on a private lot in Spicewood, Texas on February 6, 2012.
Workers with Bee Cave Drilling install a jackhammer bit on the drilling rig while putting in a water well on a private lot in Spicewood, Texas on February 6, 2012.

Texas Could Lead on Methane Reduction, Report Says

A report released this week says oil and gas companies could help slash methane emissions. But Texas, the nation’s top energy producer, is unlikely to lead the way. State regulators dispute the dangerousness of greenhouse gases, and some in the industry say another methane culprit is just as bad — bovine flatulence.

A natural gas compressor station located near La Grange, Texas, on Jan. 29, 2014.
A natural gas compressor station located near La Grange, Texas, on Jan. 29, 2014.

Anti-Regulation Politics May Have Hurt Energy Industry

Texas' anti-regulation stance may have hurt business when the state refused to issue required greenhouse permits for almost two years. Energy companies had to delay large industry facilities that needed the permits. As a result, they say, they have been unable to take full advantage of the area's shale boom.

Texas Regulators Air Concerns on Greenhouse Gas Rules

Texas appears to be headed for another clash with the Environmental Protection Agency over greenhouse gas limits — this time, for existing power plants. A letter from Texas regulators to the EPA about a new plan raised concerns about the federal rule-making process and a potential strain on the state's electric grid.

 

 

 

Seen is the Longhorn Pipeline petroleum tank storage terminal in the Montana Vista community in far East El Paso, Texas on April 1, 2013. El Paso Electric plans to build a natural gas power plant that will be able to provide electricity to 80,000 homes in the area.
Seen is the Longhorn Pipeline petroleum tank storage terminal in the Montana Vista community in far East El Paso, Texas on April 1, 2013. El Paso Electric plans to build a natural gas power plant that will be able to provide electricity to 80,000 homes in the area.

El Paso Electric Reaches Deal on Proposed Power Plant

A West Texas utility company and a coalition of neighborhood activists have reached an agreement that paves the way for the construction of a natural gas power plant in far east El Paso County. 

Steam rises from the stacks at the Martin Lake Coal-Fired Power Plant in Tatum, TX March 30, 2011.
Steam rises from the stacks at the Martin Lake Coal-Fired Power Plant in Tatum, TX March 30, 2011.

State: Judge is Wrong to Say It Must Protect Atmosphere

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is appealing a lawsuit that it has already won — and that was filed by children. For environmental advocates, the appeal shows just how strenuously the state will resist suggestions that it should address climate change.

 

Environmental Concerns Rise as Brazos Levels Fall

The 840-mile Brazos River is a key water source for several municipalities and industries. And as the river's levels continue to be impacted by drought, debate has increased over who gets to use water from the Brazos, how much water should be used and how much water should be left to keep the river healthy.

 

Obscure Agency Could Gain Power With Water Measure

Before drought plagued the state and became a major issue on lawmakers' minds this year, the Texas Water Developent Board was an obscure agency that doled out loans for water projects. But new legislation has focused attention on the board by overhauling its leadership. And the new agency's power is set to grow, especially if voters approve $2 billion in new financing for water infrastructure this November. 

Debate Intensifies Over How to Save San Saba River

About 140 miles long, the San Saba River in Central Texas is not considered one of the state’s major waterways, but it illustrates — in a state still dealing with a serious drought — the sensitivities surrounding the use of a limited resource. In April, it ranked third on a national conservation group's list of the country’s most endangered rivers.

State Rep. Wayne Smith, R-Baytown, votes to table an amendment to HB2694, the TCEQ sunset legislation on April 19, 2011.
State Rep. Wayne Smith, R-Baytown, votes to table an amendment to HB2694, the TCEQ sunset legislation on April 19, 2011.

Bill Would End TCEQ Compliance History Program

A program that gives the public information — albeit limited — about the compliance history of facilities overseen by the state's environmental agency would end under a bill House lawmakers will consider this week. In the aftermath of the deadly fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, environmental groups say the measure is a mistake. 

 

A vehicle near the remains of a fertilizer plant burning after an explosion in West, Texas, near Waco.
A vehicle near the remains of a fertilizer plant burning after an explosion in West, Texas, near Waco.

Texplainer: Who Oversees Texas' Fertilizer Plants?

Hey, Texplainer: Which state and federal agencies were responsible for overseeing and regulating the fertilizer plant in West that exploded last week? 

TribLive: A Conversation About the Environment

Full video of Kate Galbraith's 4/22 TribLive conversation about the state of the environment in Texas with Laura Huffman, state director of The Nature Conservancy of Texas, Jim Marston, director of the Texas regional office of the Environmental Defense Fund and Bryan Shaw, chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.