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SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS (SEPs) PowerPoint Presentation
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SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS (SEPs)

SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS (SEPs)

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SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS (SEPs)

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  1. SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS (SEPs) Natalie Bell Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Total Maximum Daily Load Program

  2. What is a SEP? • SEP – A Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) is an environmental enhancement project that offsets an administrative or civil penalty in an enforcement matter. • Through a SEP, a respondent in an enforcement matter can choose to invest penalty dollars in a project that improves the environment, rather than paying into the Texas General Revenue Fund.

  3. Criteria for SEPs To adequately meet the TCEQ’s standards, the project must… • Be environmentally beneficial - directly beneficial projects preferred • Be done as a result of a Settlement - may not precede enforcement action • Go beyond what is required for Compliance - can not include legal compliance requirements

  4. Additional Criteria… • SEPs should match the environmental media of the violation Wastewater violation = Water quality improvement project • Projects should benefit the community in which the violation occurred Community = Trinity River Basin

  5. Two Basic Types of SEPs Pre-Approved SEP Custom SEP Third Party Operated: Performed by a 501(c)(3) non-profit or governmental organization Respondent Operated Respondent designs, proposes and implements a custom SEP Must have a significant, enduring, and quantifiable benefit to the environment

  6. Examples of Third Party Administrators • Keep Texas Beautiful • Bayou Land Conservancy • Lower Colorado River Authority • City of Fort Worth • Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission • The Trust for Public Land • Texas State University • Jefferson County • University of Texas at Arlington

  7. $$ What about the Money? $$ • There are varied percentages of a penalty that can be offset through a SEP. • Offsets are based on: 1. Types of business (for profit or not) 2. Environmental benefit (direct, indirect, or mixed )

  8. Penalty percentage Offset Direct Benefit Mixed Benefit Indirect Benefit

  9. Allowable Expenses • Direct costs that are reasonable and necessary for the proper performance of the project, such as: • Monitoring equipment • Purchase of conservation easements • Disposal fees • Restoration/Tree Planting

  10. Non-Allowable Expenses • Administrative costs (salaries, buildings, rent) • Organizational operating costs • Gratuities or refreshments for volunteers • Legal defense costs

  11. SEP Performance Requirements • Contract or Agreed Order with TCEQ • Project timeline of 1-3 years • Estimated project budget • Separate bank account to receive SEP funds • Quarterly Progress Reports • Completion of SEP and Final Report

  12. FOR MORE INFORMATION Becky Combs TCEQ SEP Attorney 512-239-6939 becky.combs@tceq.texas.gov www.tceq.texas.gov/legal/sep