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Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

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Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

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  1. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality An Organizational Overview Tony Walker Director, DFW Region

  2. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality • Mission Statement: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality strives to protect our state’s human and natural resources consistent with sustainable economic development. Our goal is clean air, clean water, and the safe management of waste.

  3. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality • To accomplish our mission, we will: • Base decisions on the law, common sense, good science, and fiscal responsibility; • Ensure that regulations are necessary, effective, and current; • Apply regulations clearly and consistently; • Ensure consistent, just, and timely enforcement when environmental laws are violated; • Ensure meaningful public participation in the decision-making process; • Promote and foster voluntary compliance with environmental laws and provide flexibility in achieving environmental goals; and; • Hire, develop, and retain a high-quality, diverse workforce.

  4. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality • Organizational Structure • Commissioners - three full-time commissioners appointed by the governor • Executive Director • Six Offices • Office of Administrative Services • Office of Compliance & Enforcement • Office of Legal Services • Office of Air • Office of Waste • Office of Water

  5. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioners - Chairman Bryan W. Shaw, Ph.D. - Commissioner Carlos Rubinstein - Commissioner Toby Baker Executive Director – Zak Covar Deputy Executive Director – Richard A. Hyde P.E.

  6. Office of Administrative Services This office serves and supports agency personnel and external customers, supplying the essential administrative infrastructure required to maintain business operations. The Office of Administrative Services includes the following divisions: Budget and Planning, Financial Administration, Human Resources and Staff Development, Information Resources, and Support Services.

  7. Office of Compliance & Enforcement • Enforcement • Critical Infrastructure • Field Operations Support • Field Operations Border & Permian Basin Area Area Director: David Ramirez • Field Operations Central Texas Area Area Director: Susan Jablonski • Field Operations North Central & West Texas Area Area Director: Randy Ammons • Field Operations Coastal & East Texas Area Area Director: Kelly Keel

  8. Office of Legal Services This office manages legal services for the agency in environmental law, enforcement litigation, bankruptcy, and general agency operations. The office gives legal counsel and support to the executive director, the agency programs, and—along with the general counsel and the public interest counsel—the commissioners. The office ensures that commission decisions follow the law, and that rules we develop comply with statutory authority and are applied consistently. The Office of Legal Services includes the following divisions: Environmental Law, General Law, and Litigation.

  9. Office of Air This office oversees all of our air permitting activities. The office also implements plans to protect and restore air quality in cooperation with local, regional, state, and federal stakeholders, and tracks progress toward environmental goals, adapting plans as necessary.

  10. Office of Waste This office implements federal and state laws related to the regulation of aboveground and underground petroleum storage tanks (PSTs); generation, treatment, storage, and disposal of municipal, industrial, low-level radioactive, and hazardous wastes; and the recovery and processing of uranium and disposal of byproduct. It also oversees state cleanup of contaminated sites. The Office of Waste includes the following divisions: Permitting and Registration Support, Remediation, Radioactive Materials, and Waste Permits.

  11. Office of Water This office works toward clean and available water and is responsible for all aspects of planning, permitting, and monitoring to protect the state's water resources. The Office of Water includes the following divisions: Water Availability, Water Supply, Water Quality, and Water Quality Planning.

  12. DFW Region Office • Consists of three program areas (Air, Water & Waste) as well as Administration and Administration Support. • Limited resources considering the large geographic area covered and population served • Must be extremely efficient in the allocation and use of resources

  13. RBIS Introduction • In December of 2003, the Executive Director of the TCEQ initiated the Enforcement Process Review. • This was an extensive review of the Commission’s entire Enforcement policies and procedures. • One of the many recommendations was for the Commission to focus its investigative resources on those areas that pose the greatest risk to the public and the environment. • RBIS represents the entire investigation strategy and process for Texas.

  14. Texas Challenges • 261,797 square miles • Population (2010): 25,145,561 • 254 counties • 4 counties with over 1.5 million people • Approximately 400,000 regulated entities • Around 500 field investigators

  15. RBIS Concept and Approach Two pronged approach • Departure from routinely scheduled investigations. • The first prong is the assessment of risk for facility selection. • The second prong is determining and conducting the appropriate investigations based on risk. • Full Compliance Evaluation, or • Focused Investigation to address the noted risk • Focused investigations at high-risk facilities or at high-risk areas within a facility can have a greater resultant impact on the environment than routinely scheduled investigations such as Full-Compliance Evaluations and Comprehensive Compliance Investigations.

  16. RBISCriteria 1 – Risk Based • Consists of 6 elements with weighted risk measures • Nature of Business • Nature of Pollutant (media specific) • Location • Unauthorized Emissions/Discharges and Spill History • Investigation Frequency • Focused Interest

  17. RBISCriteria 2 – Performance Based • Based on a review of the current TCEQ Compliance History rating, the following adjustments will be applied to the overall risk ranking. • High Performer (downward adjustment) • Average Performer (no adjustment) • Poor Performer (upward adjustment)

  18. RBISCriteria 3 – Commitment Based • Represent a subset of the entire universe. These facilities will be inspected by the TCEQ within the required agency frequency and communicated to EPA. • Legislative Budget Board Commitments • EPA Commitments

  19. RBIS Process • Annually, using the risk-based criteria, each region will assess the risk of the facilities in their respective region by program. • Regions will use this assessment to select facilities for investigation. • Generally, the facilities which are identified as the highest risk will be scheduled for investigation first. However, staff availability, complexity and other factors will affect this. • Facilities selected for investigation are further assessed for possible focused investigation.

  20. Risk Ranking and Customized Investigation Strategies • Applies resources to address the highest risk • Identify entities that have a measurable negative impact • Provide investigators greater insight • Focus investigative resources • Expand coverage of the regulated universe • Increases the agency’s on-site presence • Emphasizes sample collection • Emphasizes the use of monitoring equipment

  21. Waste Program Investigative Interest in FY12 • Waste acceptance investigations at Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills • The DFW Region has 23 permitted MSW Landfills and over 5,000 generators of industrial and special solid wastes. • By investigating waste acceptance at landfills, we are indirectly investigating how industrial and special solid waste generators are classifying their wastes for disposal. • When we conduct 23 landfill waste acceptance investigations, we are regulating greater than 5,000 generators of industrial and special solid wastes.

  22. Air Program Investigative Interest in FY12 – Barnett Shale • Keeping lines of communication open with all affected parties • Maintaining Master Sampling Database • Continuing to respond timely to citizen complaints • Identifying sites for in-depth investigation • Continuing to respond to requests for monitoring • Deploying additional AutoGCs

  23. Water Program Investigative Interest in FY12 – Drought/Water Rights • Increased temporary water rights permit applications for irrigation and Barnett Shale related activities • Statewide Water Rights Tiger Team participation • Regional water rights investigations for unauthorized use of state water • Increased on-demand activity related to PWS water shortages • Increase on-demand activity related to water and wastewater line breaks

  24. Conclusion • RBIS is a logical, common sense approach for Texas to address environmental risks and use our limited resources wisely. • RBIS allows TCEQ to focus on those facilities that pose the greatest risk to the public and the environment.

  25. Contact Information Tony Walker, R.E.M. Region Director DFW Region Office 817-588-5800