TCEQ LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is sometimes considered a “four-letter” word by city officials. That’s often because the only contact city officials have with the agency is during some type of enforcement action against the city.
But the TCEQ also offers valuable assistance to cities through its Small Business and Local Government Assistance (SBLGA) section. The purpose of SBLGA is to help local governments comply with environmental rules prior to any enforcement action. The program gives confidential technical assistance on air, water, waste, and pollution prevention issues without the threat of enforcement.
Local governments can request free, on-site multi-media environmental compliance assessments—and all information remains confidential. Environmental consultants under contract with the TCEQ conduct the voluntary audits for environmental compliance. If the audited site corrects the noted deficiencies and the consultant verifies compliance, the site becomes eligible for the Compliance Commitment (C2) Partnership. Through this partnership, a small local government (a city with a population of 50,000 or less) can earn a one-year exemption from routine TCEQ investigations.
In addition to providing one-on-one assistance, SBLGA offers a number of compliance assistance tools, regulatory guidance documents, and easy-to-follow checklists for various activities, such as operating wastewater treatment systems, public water systems, and fleet-refueling facilities.
SBLGA compliance assistance specialists in one of the TCEQ’s sixteen regional offices are available by phone at 800-447-2827 for free and confidential environmental compliance assistance. For more information on the program and tools, visit SBLGA’s Web site at www.sblga.info.