The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has announced a change in its enforcement process regarding collection of delinquent fees.  Effective September 1, 2012, the TCEQ will redefine delinquent accounts to include those entities that owe at least $25 in delinquent penalties or fees.  The previous threshold for delinquency was $200.  Any permit application submitted by a city that is delinquent on a fee and/or penalty will not be considered complete until the fees or penalties are paid. 

There are a few notable exceptions to this protocol, however, that cities should be aware of: (1) if monies owed are being paid on a payment plan and installment payments are current, a city will still be granted permits; (2) at the discretion of division directors, an applicant may be granted more than 30 days to pay monies owed if the applicant can show good cause (good cause may include a governmental entity that must hold a council meeting to vote/authorize additional expenditures); and (3) at the discretion of division directors, an applicant may be exempt from this protocol if the approval of the pending application is crucial to address an immediate economic or environmental concern or health hazard (an example includes a small local government that is financially unable to produce fees before the permit is reviewed, but must provide drinking water or waste water services to the community).

For more information, contact the TCEQ Financial Administration Division at 512-239-0300 and ask to speak to a collection coordinator.  

TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.

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