TCEQ Rules Suspended in Wake of Hurricane Harvey

Posted on 8/30/2017 by Roger Marks

The governor of Texas has approved a request from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to suspend a number of environmental compliance requirements in 30 TAC. Suspending these regulations will help ensure facilities in Texas can take steps necessary to respond to and recover from Hurricane Harvey, without administrative impediment.  

The suspension of these rules is in place until the hurricane disaster declaration is lifted or expires.

Suspended Texas Industrial and Hazardous Waste Rules

TCEQ-logo-big.jpgThe list of suspended TCEQ rules includes a number of provisions that apply to hazardous and industrial waste generators in the state, including:
  • Suspending the 90-day hazardous waste accumulation time limit; 
  • waiving the notification requirement for disposing, processing, or recycling industrial solid waste on-site; and
  • allowing Hazardous Waste Transfer Facilities and Nonhazardous Industrial Solid Waste (NHISW) Transfer Facilities to store waste for more than ten days.
See the official approval letter from the Office of the Governor here.

Other TCEQ environmental rules now suspended in the wake of Hurricane Harvey include:

  • Certain air quality emissions reporting and recordkeeping requirements;
  • 24-hour spill reporting requirements for treated or untreated wastewater;
  • visible emissions requirements for particulate matter;
  • emissions limits on Nonagricultural process;
  • prohibitions and requirements for open burning of waste and debris;
  • storage, wastewater, and municipal landfill rules for volatile organic compounds;
  • emissions control requirements for petroleum refineries, natural gas processing, and petrochemical processes;
  • rules for de-gassing storage tanks, transport vessels, and marine vessels;
  • allowing UST operators to deliver fuel gasoline to USTs even when their delivery certificate is scheduled to expire;
  • UST and AST release reporting, cleanup, and response requirements; and others.
The full list of TCEQ suspended TCEQ rules can be found here.

Natural Disasters and Regulatory Compliance in TX

The Texas Water Code section 7.251 provides for a defense against enforcement for violations “caused solely by an act of God, war, strike, riot, or other catastrophe.” TCEQ advises regulated entities to keep records of all activities they believe are covered under this defense.

TCEQ has posted a hurricane response information page to keep the regulated community informed.

In addition, TCEQ provided waste management guidance for generators and authorized facilities impacted by Hurricane Harvey. See the guidance document here.  

Hazardous Waste Workshops for Industry in Texas 

Meet your Federal and State annual hazardous waste training requirements at Lion Technology’s complete, three-day RCRA and Texas hazardous waste workshops. Be confident you know not only the rules that apply to generators nationwide, but also the unique, state-specific standards imposed by TCEQ. You’ll leave the workshop with the confidence and knowledge to identify and manage your facilities solid and hazardous waste in full compliance with Federal and State regulations.

Dallas - October 24—26
Houston - October 30—November 1

Tags: hazardous, TCEQ, Texas, waste

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