The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced this week that it is ready to start receiving and processing permit applications from oil and gas facilities that will treat and discharge wastewater effluent in compliance with federal and state regulations. The announcement comes on the heels of U.S. EPA’s action last week granting TCEQ authority to administer the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program, making TCEQ the permitting authority for the discharges of oil and gas activities, pipelines, and natural gas processing plants under the Clean Water Act. These responsibilities were previously under the jurisdiction of Railroad Commission of Texas.
TCEQ says it is well-suited for wastewater permitting, as it has water quality staff who currently issue wastewater permits under the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program that have state and federal requirements for other industrial and municipal facilities, and TCEQ is the air permitting agency for oil and gas.
“TCEQ looks forward to working on permits pursuant to this program delegation,” said TCEQ Commissioner Emily Lindley said. “For the past year and a half, staff worked tirelessly to make sure our application was complete and accurate. This delegation will serve Texans well.”
Added former EPA Regional Administrator Ken McQueen, “This action will help Texas administer a process for the regulated community without unnecessary and duplicative permitting processes and ensure the best environmental and economic outcomes.”
Tune in to the ECOS Oil & Gas Caucus side session of the 2021 Spring Meeting on March 16 at noon-1:15 p.m. Eastern to learn more about the delegation from TCEQ Chair Jon Niermann.