Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas


What Is The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality?


The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ), known as the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission until 1993, is Texas’ state environmental agency. The agency was created by the Texas Legislature in 1991, after combining the Texas Water Commission and the Texas Air Control Board to provide synthesis and cohesion in environmental standards. The agency focuses mostly on promoting clean air and water and the safe management of waste in Texas. It also serves as a watchdog for the protection of the state’s natural resources.

Texas and the TCEQ have not always been in compliance with federal environmental standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has caused some friction between the two organizations. The TCEQ has also received complaints from other environmental groups in Texas. In 2010 they faced a lawsuit from The Aransas Project (TAP), a nonprofit focused on water conservation. TAP accused TCEQ of poorly managing the Guadalupe River Basin leading to the deaths of some whooping cranes. The birds are protected by the Endangered Species Act. The TCEQ also faced criticism from the Sunset Advisory Commission in its evaluation of the organization.

Latest Posts

Curious About Explosive Chemicals Near You? Texas Attorney General Says It’s Secret

Ever since a fertilizer plant blew up last year and killed 15 people in West, Texas, many Texans have wanted to know where dangerous chemicals are stored in their area. Until recently, it was pretty easy to find out. They could simply ask the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). But a string of recent rulings from Texas Attorney General […]

More Pipelines in Texas for a Smelly, Deadly Gas

Hydrogen sulfide — a gas that smells like rotten eggs — can be insidious in its lethality. Its odor will be unmistakeable to its victim. But the gas can quickly numb the sense of smell, leading to the belief that the threat has passed. Unconsciousness and death can follow. “Unfortunately, if you come in contact […]

Texas Got Millions From BP, But Lawmakers Didn’t Know Until Now

If $5 million falls into Texas’ lap in the wake of a massive oil spill, does it make a sound? That question was on the minds of lawmakers at the Capitol this week as they held a hearing to look into how the state will manage funds from the 2010 BP oil spill in the […]

TCEQ rejects LCRA Water Plan, Suggests Fewer Downsteam Releases

Citing the current drought, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) rejected the Lower Colorado River Authority’s (LCRA) most recent amendment to its water plan. TCEQ’s decision, announced in a letter from Executive Director Richard Hyde to the LCRA on Friday, comes as the latest unprecedented move in the agency’s attempts to combat persisting drought conditions. At […]

Plug-In Rebates Finally Come to Texas, But Not For Tesla

Starting this week, if you buy or lease a plug-in vehicle in Texas, you’ll finally be able to apply for a rebate from the state of Texas. Thanks to a bill passed by the state legislature last session, most plug-in cars (like the Chevy Volt, BMW i3 or Nissan Leaf), as well as those that […]

Lawmakers Again Consider Overhauling How Pollution Permits Are Fought

It’s a familiar story. A factory, a power plant, or maybe a landfill wants to open in Texas. People who live nearby worry about pollution, and protest the project. Their challenge goes to the State Office of Administrative Hearings and, eventually, to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Business groups have wanted to overhaul that process […]

It’s Aggie vs. Aggie on the Science of Climate Change

A massive new report on climate change got a lot of attention this past week. It’s message? Climate change is already happening and having an impact, and it’s going to get worse. The section of the report on Texas found that droughts, heat waves and flooding are all set to become even more extreme as […]

Wichita Falls Sees Wastewater Recycling As Solution To Drinking Water Shortage

From KERA News: Wichita Falls could soon become the first in the country where half of the drinking water comes directly from wastewater. Yes, that includes water from toilets. For some citizens, that’s a little tough to swallow. Mayor Glenn Barham says three years of extreme drought have changed life for 104,000 people living in […]

What a Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Could Mean for Fracking and Its Opponents

When a Dallas jury awarded a North Texas family $3 million for damages from natural gas drilling near their property last week, the Internet went wild. Opponents of hydraulic fracturing called it a landmark, a game changer, the first “anti-fracking” lawsuit to result in a jury award. In truth, the case involved not just fracking, but all the […]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »