Big Action in Texas

IN MARCH, THE TEXAS Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) approved updates to the state's landfill and waste regulations — contained in 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 330, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) — for the first time in 10 years. The code provides regulations on issues ranging from permit procedures to the management of used or scrap tires.

According to the commission, the adopted rules include adding new buffer zone requirements for landfills, adding new groundwater monitoring well spacing requirements for landfills and establishing an MSW standard air permit for landfills in addition to transfer stations.

Before the rules were adopted, changes were made to the originally proposed amendments. According to TCEQ, these included removing authorizations for bioreactor landfills; removing a provision that would have required permits or registrations to be reviewed by the executive director every five years; and eliminating a proposal for new requirements on groundwater sampling and monitor well spacing at Type IV facilities.

The commission added that applications for major amendments or modifications filed within 180 days after the rules go into effect will be considered under the former rules.

At press time, the regulations were scheduled for publication on March 24 and were supposed to go into effect on March 27.

The commission also announced that it will be holding public hearings in April to gather input on implementing the national Clean Air Interstate Rule and the Clean Air Mercury rule within the state. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopted the rules in 2005 to address interstate transportation of pollutants.