Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Headquarter complex for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is the environmental agency for the U.S. state of Texas. The commission is headquartered at 12100 Park 35 Circle in Austin.[1]

The agency was formed by act of the Texas Legislature in 1993 by consolidating the Texas Air Control Board (1965–1993) and Texas Water Commission (1985–1993) with the aim of increasing efficiency in enforcement of environmental laws, statutes, and regulations. Originally known as the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, it acquired its present name in 2002.[2]

It is the primary state agency charged with enforcement of environmental regulations and with issuing air and water operating permits to businesses operating in Texas. These permits typically specify the types and maximum amounts of pollutants a permit holder may legally discharge into the air or state waterways.

The agency also spearheads Take Care of Texas, a personal responsibility campaign to help Texans decrease their negative impact on the environment.[3][4] The Take Care of Texas website offers suggestions on ways Texans can save money by making smarter environmental choices.[5]

TCEQ has also been widely criticized by environmental groups for having close ties to the industries that it regulates. Many top agency managers, appointed by the governor, go on to work for major polluters. [6] The federal Environmental Protection Agency has also been critical of TCEQ's air permitting program. [7]

In March 2011, Texas ranked as a bottom-ten "Worst" state (tied with Montana and North Dakota) in the American State Litter Scorecard, presented at the American Society for Public Administration national conference. Public landscapes across the Lone Star State suffer from an overall poor quality of cleanliness, attributed to ineffective roadside and adjacent property litter/debris abatement standards, politicized procedural efforts, and other public performance indicators. [8]

The current 2010 TCEQ commissioners are Bryan W. Shaw, Buddy Garcia, and Carlos Rubinstein. [9]

See also


  1. ^ "Contact Us." Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Accessed August 31, 2008.
  2. ^ "TCEQ History". Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/about/tceqhistory.html. Retrieved 2008-07-05. 
  3. ^ Take Care of Texas
  4. ^ Earthwise Living Day scheduled Saturday. San Antonio Express-News. Feb 22, 2006
  5. ^ Weatherford Democrat - Maintenance key to better gas mileage
  6. ^ The Texas Observer - Agency of Destruction
  7. ^ The Austin Chronicle - EPA Flexes Federal Muscle on Texas Air
  8. ^ S. Spacek, 2011 American State Litter Scorecard: New Rankings for an Environmentally Concerned Populace
  9. ^ [1]

External links

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