With the onset of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the Governor’s Proclamation of a state of disaster in Texas, the TCEQ is aware that regulated entities may be experiencing an impact from a reduced workforce necessary to maintain normal operations at some facilities. All regulated entities are encouraged to take all available actions necessary to ensure compliance with environmental regulations and permit requirements to protect the health and safety of Texans and the environment. However, in the instance that noncompliance is unavoidable directly due to impact from the coronavirus, an email box has been established by TCEQ to accept requests for potential enforcement discretion. Regulated entities should email both [email protected] and [email protected] with specific information related to enforcement discretion requests. The OCE (Office of Compliance & Enforcement) email box is monitored daily by multiple TCEQ staff who will ensure the requests are expeditiously addressed. The TCEQ’s goal is to provide a response to the regulated entity’s request within 24 to 48 hours.
The email to OCE should at a minimum include the following:
- Concise statement supporting request for enforcement discretion
- Anticipated duration of need for enforcement discretion
- Citation of rule / permit provision for which enforcement discretion is requested
Regulated entities must maintain records adequate to document activities related to the noncompliance under enforcement discretion, including details of the regulated entity’s best efforts to comply.
Any questions regarding this guidance should be directed to the OCE email box and a response will be provided.
Ramiro Garcia, Jr
Deputy Director, Office of Compliance & Enforcement