TCEQ Provides Updates on Stormwater, Construction General Permits

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Trey Shanks

Environmental Scientist

Update on Stormwater General Permit TXR040000

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) continues to negotiate with the EPA regarding provisions for the upcoming renewal of the Phase II (Small) MS4 5-year permit, which requires cities and other public entities in populated areas to implement a stormwater quality program. The current permit is scheduled to expire in December, and the draft renewal permit’s scheduled April release for public review and comment this month appears to be pushed back to at least July. Continuing dialogue between TCEQ and EPA about more stringent provisions desired by EPA for TCEQ’s MS4 permit are delaying the process. 

If EPA’s proposed requirements are included in the TCEQ MS4 permit language, it is anticipated by TCEQ to have a significant financial impact on the regulated community. Freese and Nichols will continue to provide relevant updates as new information becomes available, as this may impact upcoming fiscal year budgeting and staffing needs for cities, counties and other regulated entities.

For questions about the anticipated MS4 permit renewal, contact Trey Shanks at 214-217-2200 or


Update on Construction General Permit TXR150000

The TCEQ renewed the Texas Pollutant Elimination System (TPDES) Construction General Permit TXR150000 on March 5, which authorizes the discharge of stormwater runoff from construction sites. 

Requirements for Ongoing Construction Activities

With the renewal of a general permit, all Operators of large construction sites (greater than 5 acres) with ongoing construction activities authorized under the 2013 General Permit must apply to renew their coverage.  To renew authorization, Operators must submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) within 90 days of the March 5th effective date of the 2018 General Permit.  This 90-day grace period for authorization renewal ends June 3, 2018.  If submitting the NOI online, the application fee is $225.  If submitting a paper NOI via mail, the application fee is $325. 

With the renewal of TXR150000, the following significant changes should be noted:

  • By Sept. 1, all NOIs, Notices of Termination (NOT) and Low Rainfall Erosivity Waivers (LREW) must be filed electronically.
  • The 2018 permit includes the 2014 and 2015 amendments to the federal effluent limitation guidelines (Code of Federal Regulations Chapter 40 Part 450) requiring specific minimization of pollutants in discharges, channel and streambank erosion, soil compaction, and topsoil disturbance.
  • The benchmark monitoring level for Total Suspended Solids (TSS) was reduced to 50 mg/L for stormwater discharges from concrete batch plants to be consistent with the 2016 Multi-Sector General Permit (TXR050000) for Industrial stormwater discharges.
  • The definition of impaired waters was clarified to include both waters listed in the 303(d) list and Category 4 and 5 water bodies in 305(b) of the Integrated Report of Surface Water Quality.

Additional revisions to the 2018 General Permit include clarifications to definitions, requirement language and formatting of the Sections.

For assistance with obtaining authorization under the renewed Construction General Permit TXR150000, contact Katie Leatherwood  at 817-735-7503 or

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Trey Shanks, CFM, IAM, leads Freese and Nichols’ Asset Management services. He is a Principal in our Fort Worth office.