Mark Your Calendars!

Join us on August 23rd for a conference call about the upcoming comment period on TCEQ Sunset implementation. This is the public’s big opportunity to ensure that all the hard work we did during the legislative session pays off through better enforcement and penalty policies at TCEQ. Anyone is welcome to attend the call. Please e-mail us for call-in information. ACT and its member groups will go over key issues and help you get others in your community involved!

Submit Your Comments

The Alliance for a Clean Texas is submitting comments to the TCEQ on the implementation of part of the TCEQ Sunset bill. A summary of ACT’s comments may be read online. You can learn more and submit your own comments supporting a stronger TCEQ by clicking here. Comments will only be accepted through August 30, 2011.

TCEQ Sunset Process (2011)

Links for additional reference:

Rulemaking for HB2694, TCEQ Sunset Legislation. (Dates subject to change.)

“TCEQ Sunset Implementation and Legislation” Memo, July 5, 2011: Go to http://www.texasimpact.org/files/SunsetJuly2011ED.pdf

“TCEQ Legislative Update” Memo, July 5, 2011 – Bills Passed During 82nd Legislature: Go to http://www.texasimpact.org/files/LegislatureJuly2011ED.pdf

How is ACT involved?
In summer 2009, ACT began its review of TCEQ programs and policies in preparation for the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission review of the agency which was scheduled for the 82nd Legislative Session in 2011. ACT established a TCEQ Sunset Review Policy Working Group to analyze TCEQ effectiveness in achieving its goal of clean air, clean water and the safe management of waste. We crafted recommendations which were offered and debated at every stage of the sunset process, going through the end of the session in June.

Now the TCEQ must implement new rules and policies mandated by the Sunset bill. ACT is attending meetings and work sessions with TCEQ staff to ensure that the progress we made at the state capitol does not get lost or watered-down along the way.

What are the current issues with TCEQ?
While the TCEQ Sunset bill was far from perfect, ACT was able to ensure the inclusion of several key provisions which, if properly implemented, will improve air pollution penalties and enforcement. However, if these provisions are overly-influenced by industry, what was intended by our Legislature to protect human health and the environment could make bad behavior more profitable.

What are ACT’s recommendations?
The working group has identified the following priority issues areas for the TCEQ Sunset implementation:

·       Establish the penalty policy as a set of clear rules instead of a loose set of “guidelines”

·       Count and penalize polluters for each instance where they violate the law, for each day they continue to pollute, and for each pollutant involved separately

·       The economic benefit of polluting, including the deferred cost of compliance, must be accounted for in penalties to ensure businesses that comply with the law compete on an even playing field with those who don’t.