TCEQ Provides Update on General Permit Renewals

Kristina McLaren

TCEQ’s Water Quality Advisory Work Group (WQAWG) held a Stakeholder meeting on Tuesday to discuss updates regarding the Phase II MS4 General Permit (TXR040000) and the Stormwater Construction General Permit (TXR150000).

Phase II MS4 General Permit Renewal

The current Texas Phase II MS4 General Permit expires Dec. 13, 2018. The renewal permit will incorporate two federal rules. The Federal Remand Rule (effective January 2017) specifies permits must be clear, specific and include enforceable permit language. The Federal Electronic Reporting Rule (effective December 2015) requires small MS4 general permit applications and reports to be submitted electronically by Dec. 31, 2020. The EPA will start a work group this fall to develop tools for this reporting procedure.

TCEQ highlighted several new MS4 operator requirements for the Phase II MS4 General Permit:

  1. Once a year, the MS4 must check if it is discharging into an impaired water body.
  2. The MS4 must also review its Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) once a year in conjunction with when the annual report is submitted.
  3. The SWMP and annual reports must be published on the MS4’s public website, if such a website exists.
  4. In addition, a clarification has been provided that a notice of change will only be required for annexations if the new area that is annexed results in a small MS4 level increase or the new area discharges into an impaired water body.

Two additional new requirements are proposed for Level 4 MS4s (population 100,000 or greater in 2010 Census). Both requirements are similar to those in the Phase I MS4 permits.

  1. Level 4 MS4s must control the discharge of floatables into the MS4.
  2. Level 4 MS4s must also evaluate new and existing flood management projects to determine the impact on water quality.

The draft Phase II MS4 permit is currently undergoing internal review at TCEQ. It is scheduled to go through TCEQ management briefings in August 2017 and then undergo EPA review through December 2017. The public comment period is expected to be between April-May 2018.

Stormwater Construction General Permit Renewal

TCEQ received an objection letter from the EPA for the Stormwater Construction General Permit Renewal draft in May and stated that the permit needed to be more specific, more enforceable and needed an effective date of coverage. The objection letter was withdrawn on June 13 after TCEQ made their revisions. TCEQ expects to publish notice and begin the 30-day comment period on Aug. 18. This period will end on Sept. 18 with a public meeting at TCEQ headquarters located at 12100 Park 35 Circle; Building E; Conference Room 201S in Austin, Texas.

A recording of the WQAWG meeting can be watched here.