Tribpedia: Texas Commission On Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

Tribpedia

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 ...

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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.

In Texas, Underground Reservoirs Take Hold

Amid continued worries about reservoir levels statewide, several Texas communities are exploring the concept of underground storage reservoirs, which do not lose water to evaporation and do not flood agricultural land. Proponents say it may be the smartest water technology you've never heard of.

Roy Thornhill Sr. (center) voices his concern as residents of the City of Blue Mound, Texas, gather at their community center, on Monday, March 4, 2013.  The small North Texas City of Blue Mound held a town hall meeting on Monday, March 4, for its residents to sign a petition against what they say are unjustifiably high water rate increases.
Roy Thornhill Sr. (center) voices his concern as residents of the City of Blue Mound, Texas, gather at their community center, on Monday, March 4, 2013. The small North Texas City of Blue Mound held a town hall meeting on Monday, March 4, for its residents to sign a petition against what they say are unjustifiably high water rate increases.

Blue Mound Residents Boiling Over Water Rate

In the North Texas town of Blue Mound, the water system is owned by a private corporation. Residents say this results in painful rate hikes. Private water companies say their rates reflect the high costs of providing water to far-flung areas. The Legislature is considering ways to make it easier for communities to challenge rate increases.

Odor Control tanks stand outside the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Wichita Falls, on Friday, January 25, 2013.
Odor Control tanks stand outside the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Wichita Falls, on Friday, January 25, 2013.

Water-Reuse Projects Move Forward, Despite Concerns

Several Texas cities are planning potable reuse projects, which put treated wastewater through extra chemical and biological processes before it eventually becomes part of the drinking supply. Critics have doubts about such projects, though officials say the process is safe.

 

A view of the Red River looking east, north of Bonham, Texas. Texas is to the right, and Oklahoma is on the left. The border between the two states runs along the south (right) bank of the river.
A view of the Red River looking east, north of Bonham, Texas. Texas is to the right, and Oklahoma is on the left. The border between the two states runs along the south (right) bank of the river.

Amid Drought, Water Wars Pick Up on Borders

Battles over water along state borders can increase during times of drought, and Texas is no stranger to such conflict. As the state's drought wears into its third year, it is locked in a legal conflict over water with New Mexico. And a North Texas county is suing the state of Oklahoma to get access to a vast amount of water.

Court Faults EPA's Rejection of Flexible Permits Program

The 5th U.S. Circut Court of Appeals has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency unfairly disapproved of a Texas air emissions permitting program. The court ruled the EPA's decision was based mainly on language, and did not give substantial evidence as to why it violates the Clean Air Act.

Hobson Uranium Processing Plant, Hobson.
Hobson Uranium Processing Plant, Hobson.

Texas Sees Renewed Push for Uranium Mining

Texas is one of the nation's only producers of uranium. And mining companies are gearing up for expansion in anticipation of long-term demand from countries like China and Saudi Arabia. That's causing concern among environmental groups, some of which have been battling uranium mining in Texas for decades.

National Parks Are Focus of Planned Haze Rule

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The Environmental Protection Agency is rolling out nationwide rules aimed at improving air quality above national parks like Big Bend by focusing on industrial plants. In a twist, the plan's final form may hinge partly on the fate of a different rule — the hot-button cross-state air pollution rule — which is being argued Friday in a federal court.

When digging gets underway, the substandard coal will be carried by train from the site in rural Maverick County through the center of Eagle Pass, Texas, and across the US Mexico border where it can be sold. Tracks run about a mile from E.K. Taylor's property, Saturday, February 4, 2012.
When digging gets underway, the substandard coal will be carried by train from the site in rural Maverick County through the center of Eagle Pass, Texas, and across the US Mexico border where it can be sold. Tracks run about a mile from E.K. Taylor's property, Saturday, February 4, 2012.

Texas Border Battle Over Mexican Company's Coal Mine

A brawl is brewing in South Texas, but this one has nothing to do with cartels or drug smuggling — it's an environmental fight over a proposed surface-mining site that some Eagle Pass residents worry will ruin their way of life. The Mexican mining companies say it's a smart energy investment that will create hundreds of much-needed jobs.

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.

On Refinery Row, an Effort to Expose Health Problems

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A Corpus Christi neighborhood sits right in the middle of several plants that have appeared on federal environmental watch lists. Terrence Henry of KUT News and NPR's StateImpact Texas spoke with one longtime resident of the area trying to get families to speak out about the health problems they've faced living on what some call Refinery Row.