On January 6, 2011, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will hold a public hearing to accept oral and written comments on amendments to the agency’s proposed pesticide application general permit.  The permit will create a general permit for any pesticide application over “waters of the United States,” as defined by the federal Clean Water Act.  Those include creeks, ponds, lakes, and most other bodies of water.  The general permit would cover any applications up to a certain cumulative area in a year.  (Any application of pesticides/herbicides over water beyond that would require an individual permit.)

TCEQ staff is particularly seeking input on the following issues: (1) whether the limits proposed by TCEQ are appropriate and feasible for Texas stakeholders; (2) whether the waters covered by the permit should be extended beyond “waters of the United States” to “waters of the state” (the state definition of “waters” is broader and includes playa lakes and stock ponds, for example); (3) whether the proposed notice of intent requirements (the information provided to TCEQ by pesticide applicators who go beyond the limits set for the general permit) are reasonable; and (4) the fees associated with the permit. 

Because TCEQ is proposing changes that would make the permit less stringent than what the Environmental Protection Agency has requested, TCEQ staff is specifically requesting that the regulated community provide comments that are very specific and that include data and other quantifiable information. 

More specific information, including the draft permit language, is available here.

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