Yesterday, the Texas Sunset Commission issued their decisions on the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The Commission began by severing recommendations 1.1, 4.3, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.3, and 8.1 and approving all other recommendations not severed. After further discussion on the severed items the Commission voted and supported the following recommendations:

1.1  Continue the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for 12 years.

4.3 Modified recommendation to specify that TCEQ cannot assess administrative penalties for dam safety violations related to dams that are classified as low-hazard by TCEQ at the time the violation occurred.

5.2 Modified recommendation to clarify that water rights holders would not be required to submit monthly water use reports to TCEQ, but only be required to maintain monthly water use information for the months that the water rights holder actually uses permitted water under the water rights permit. TCEQ would be able to request this information as needed in drought or other emergencies, but the water rights permittee would not be required to regularly submit it any more frequently than annually, as is currently required by statute.

6.3 Modified to reduce the PST fees as the cost of the program declines.

*5.3  was kept severed and not taken up after. 6.1and all modifications were discussed 6.1 was kept severed. 8.1 was kept severed.

Other key decisions:

The motion failed that would have required that one TCEQ Commissioner to have expertise in public health or medicine.

The motion passed as a management directive that would add “public health” to the TCEQ mission statement to the existing statement, “The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality strives to protect our state’s public health and natural resources consistent with sustainable economic development. Our goal is clean air, clean water, and the safe management of waste.”

Sunset hearing materials can be found at: