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Implementing the Surface Water Quality Standards in Permitting

The TCEQ establishes procedures that describe how surface water quality standards are applied in wastewater permitting.

Request for Stakeholder Comments for Thermal Procedures

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) hosted a public stakeholder meeting to continue discussions on the development of temperature screening procedures for use in Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permits. Since an earlier stakeholder meeting in 2015, the TCEQ sent draft, high-level procedures to and received comments from EPA Region VI. The purpose of the July 2017 meeting was to discuss revisions to the draft procedures in response to EPA comments.

At the October 16, 2017 meeting the group discussed further revisions to the draft procedures as well as several action items listed below in which the stakeholders have until November 20, 2017 to provide comments or suggestions. TCEQ plans to submit a final draft procedure for EPA review by early 2018. Stakeholder comments will be listed below.

All interested parties/stakeholders are asked to review the literature provided and to submit suggestions and comments for:

  • Create standard default language for thermal plume Other Requirement language;
  • Input on how to calculate temperature limits;
  • Determine whether to include daily average requirements and how to calculate limits;
  • Create option to delineate thermal wastestreams in the industrial permit application;
  • Option to express thermal requirements as loading limits and how to calculate them;
  • How site-specific ambient temperature can be calculated;
  • Thresholds for when temperature screening is or is not needed where thermal wastestreams are a small proportion of overall discharge;
  • Default background temperature assumption of 30.5 degree celsius.

Please send comments to the Standards Implementation Team by November 20, 2017, at ipcommnt@tceq.texas.gov. You may also send a fax to 512-239-4420 or a letter to TCEQ, Attn: Standards Implementation Team, MC-150, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087.

View Stakeholders Comments - Received between 07/27/2017 - 11/20/2017

10/19/2017 TRC Solutions Adobe Acrobat PDF Document
09/29/2017 Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA)Adobe Acrobat PDF Document
08/01/2017 American Electric Power (AEP)Adobe Acrobat PDF Document
07/27/2017 TenaskaAdobe Acrobat PDF Document

Additional Resources:

Listed below are the temperature citations from the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards (TSWQS) and some links on where to find temperature data from the SWQMIS with the associated parameter codes.

Official and accessible version of the 2014 Standards (Texas Administrative Code, Title 30, Chapter 307)Exit the TCEQ is where you may locate the Definitions and Abbreviations under §307.3Exit the TCEQ and General Criteria under §307.4Exit the TCEQ in which temperature is covered under 307.4(f).

Parameter Code Parameter Description
  • 00010
  • 00011
  • 00209
  • 00210
  • 00211
  • 00221

Other Data Resources:

Thermal Procedures Summaries and Handouts

(Most of the files linked below are in Portable Document Format (PDF). Adobe Acrobat PDF Document (Help with PDF).


Date Notification Agenda/Attendees Summary Handouts (PDF) Handouts (PPT) Organization
Oct 16, 2017

Draft IP Evaluating Temperature Oct 2017Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Application Waste Stream Contributions - ThermalAdobe Acrobat PDF Document


July 27, 2017


Aug 15, 2016
Sharing of EPA Comments with Stakeholders - No meeting
July 15, 2015
Sharing of Texas Tech Report with Stakeholders - No meeting

Texas Tech University, The Institute of Environmental and Human Health. Department of Environmental Toxicology


Feb 25, 2015

Flowchart Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

WQS Suggestions Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Dec 17, 2014

Summary Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Stakeholder Comments Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Aug 20, 2014


SummaryAdobe Acrobat PDF Document

PurposeAdobe Acrobat PDF Document


Kansas Dept. of Health & Environment Bureau of Water.

North American Journal Of Fisheries Management.


What Are The Implementation Procedures?

The TCEQ is responsible for maintaining and enhancing water quality in the state. One aspect of that responsibility involves implementation of the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards when issuing permits for wastewater discharges to surface waters of the state. The TCEQ issues Wastewater Permits under a program called the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES).

The TCEQ maintains a document entitled “Procedures to Implement the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards” (Implementation Procedures) that explains procedures used to apply water quality standards to permits issued under the TPDES program. This guidance document is updated as needed to reflect changes in the water quality standards and in agency policy and procedures. The implementation procedures are subject to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review and approval.

Current 2010 Implementation Procedures

On June 30, 2010, the Commission approved a revision to the Implementation Procedures. The EPA has reviewed the June 2010 Implementation Procedures and has approved all but the following sections for use in TPDES permitting: whole effluent toxicity testing, dechlorination requirements for minor domestic wastewater treatment facilities, and variances. The TCEQ continues to work with the EPA to resolve these remaining issues.

Previous Implementation Procedures

For More Information

For information on the Implementation Procedures, contact Standards Implementation Team at 512-239-4671 or ipcommnt@tceq.texas.gov. You may also send a fax to 512-239-4420 or a letter to TCEQ, Attn: Standards Implementation Team, MC-150, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087.

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