The Wise Report - February 4, 2017

The Wise Report

Henry M. Wise, P.G.

February 4, 2017


The 2017 version of Conducting Ecological Risk Assessments at Remediation Sites in Texas (ERAG, RG-263) is now available through TCEQ’s ERA Home Page at: . Links for the new Supporting Documentation for the TCEQ’s Ecological Benchmark Tables and the accompanying Excel file that houses the numeric screening-level benchmarks – the combination of which comprises RG-263B – are also available through the home page. A case study that will include examples of a Tier 1 Exclusion Criteria Checklist, a Tier 2 Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessment, and an Ecological Services Analysis will be RG-263C when it becomes available. TCEQ and its contractor – West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) – have developed an Ecological Protective Concentration Level (PCL) Database that provides default PCLs for soil and sediment for a variety of wildlife receptors and contaminants. A WTAMU link to the database appears on the home page, making it available for public use and citation, as appropriate.


The State Legislature is now in session. The following is a list of bills of potential interest to geologists. There are four new bills this week. New information is listed in bold:


HB 484, by Spring, Relating to training required to qualify for or renew a license issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ must provide a location within 100 miles of the place of employment of a person who is required to receive the training, reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses incurred if training isn't available within 100 miles, or online training. Filed 12/2/2016. For more information go to:


HB 815, by Burkett, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that considers the costs and environmental effects and benefits expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." Filed 1/4/2017. For more information go to:


HB 1515, by Elkins, Relating to the expiration of the dry cleaner environmental response program. "A corrective action, including any administrative duties associated with the action, for which remediation of a contaminated site has begun before September 1, 2050, shall be completed in accordance with this chapter using money from the fund, to the extent possible, but money may not be collected for or added to the fund on or after that date." Filed 2/2/2017. For more information go to:


HB 1519, by Mary Gonzalez, Relating to requirements for the construction of a natural gas pipeline. "A person seeking to construct a pipeline to which this chapter applies may not begin construction of the pipeline unless the person first performs an analysis to identify and assess potential impacts on the natural and human environment that could result from the construction and operation of the pipeline and submits the analysis to the railroad commission in writing." Filed 2/2/2017. For more information go to:


HB 1536, by Farrar, Relating to a study and report by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on the use of green stormwater infrastructure in this state. ""green stormwater infrastructure" means stormwater infrastructure that reduces and treats stormwater at the source using vegetation, soils, and other elements and practices to restore some of the natural processes required to manage stormwater. The term includes the use of rain gardens, rainwater harvesting systems, and permeable pavement." Filed 2/3/2017. For more information go to:


SB 177, by Van, Taylor, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production from depleting reservoirs or carbon dioxide storage; authorizing a fee. 1/25/2107 Referred to Natural Resources& Economic Development. For more information go to:


SB 189, by Uresti, Relating to notice of an application for a permit to drill certain injection wells within a certain distance of a groundwater conservation district. “A person making application to the railroad commission for a permit for an injection well to which this subchapter applies the proposed location of which is in the territory of or within 10 miles of the boundaries of a groundwater conservation district shall: (1)  submit a copy of the application to the governing body of each such groundwater conservation district; and (2)  submit with the application evidence showing that the applicant has complied with Subdivision (1). 1/25/2017 Referred to Agriculture, Water, & Rural Affairs. For more information go to:


SB 696, by Perry, Relating to a requirement that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality obtain or develop updated water availability models for certain river basins. "Not later than December 1, 2020, the commission shall obtain or develop updated water availability models for the Brazos, Guadalupe, San Antonio, and Trinity River basins. The commission may collect data from all jurisdictions that allocate the waters of the rivers, including jurisdictions outside this state."1/31/2017 Filed. For more information go to:


Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The Wise Report


Henry M. Wise, P.G.
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Government Update