March 2012
98 San Jacinto Boulevard, Suite 1420
Austin, TX 78701-4296
(512) 391-8040
98 San Jacinto Boulevard, Suite 1420
Austin, TX 78701-4296
(512) 391-8010
98 San Jacinto Boulevard, Suite 1420
Austin, TX 78701-4296
(512) 391-8020
98 San Jacinto Boulevard, Suite 1420
Austin, TX 78701-4296
(512) 391-8030


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Texas Developments

TCEQ Commissioner and Executive Level Staffing Changes

In a series of fast-paced but anticipated changes, TCEQ ushers in a new executive team and a new Commissioner this month.

Fifth Circuit Vacates and Remands EPA SIP Disapproval of Pollution Control Project Standard Permit

In the first of a series of state and industry challenges to EPA’s rejection of marquee Texas New Source Review ("NSR") programs for SIP approval, the Fifth Circuit has vacated and remanded EPA’s disapproval of the Texas Pollution Control Project  Standard Permit NSR minor source rules.

TCEQ Issues Test Compliance History Scores

Following proposed changes to compliance history rules to conform to legislative mandates in 2011, TCEQ has now posted sortable "test compliance history scores" intended to reflect how compliance history scores might be calculated under the proposed new formula.

EPA Authorizes Changes to Texas Hazardous Waste Program

On March 6, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published in the Federal Register an immediate final rule authorizing changes to Texas’ hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Environmentalist Groups Sue EPA in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

On March 13, 2012, a coalition of non-governmental organizations filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana asserting violations of the Administrative Procedure Act by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its administrator, Lisa Jackson, on account of the EPA’s denial of plaintiffs’ July 30, 2008 petition requesting the establishment of revised state water quality standards to address nutrient pollution in the waters of the Mississippi River Basin and Northern Gulf of Mexico pursuant to the Clean Water Act.

Upcoming TCEQ Meetings and Events

  • TCEQ will host a Stakeholder Meeting About TMDL Projects for the Houston Ship Channel and Upper Galveston Bay on April 4, 2012 in Houston.
  • TCEQ will host a Stakeholder Meeting About a TMDL Project for Beaches in Corpus Christi on April 12, 2012 in Corpus Christi.
  • TCEQ will host its annual Environmental Trade Fair & Conference at the Austin Convention Center on May 1-2, 2012. A banquet will be held on the evening of May 2 during which the 2012 Texas Excellence Awards will be accepted.

TCEQ Enforcement Orders

TCEQ announcements for enforcement orders adopted in March can be
found on the TCEQ website at and

Recent Texas Rules Updates

For information on recent TCEQ rule developments, please see the TCEQ
website at

Previous Issues of the Texas Environmental Update


National Developments

OSHA Revises Its Hazard Communication Standard to Implement GHS

Warnings about chemical hazards will never be the same. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration just drastically changed its hazard communication standard, which has been in effect for nearly 30 years.

Supreme Court Rules Property Owners May Challenge EPA Compliance Orders

In a closely-watched case, the U.S. Supreme Court on March 21 told the Environmental Protection Agency to stop “strong-arming . . . regulated parties” who wish to go directly to court to contest compliance orders that assert jurisdiction over wetlands as well as other waters under the Clean Water Act.

Update on TSCA Developments in Congress and at EPA

The Toxic Substances Control Act remains a focus of political attention, particularly with respect to the authority it gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to manage “existing” chemicals that are already on the market in the United States. 

EPA Targets Articles Containing Action Plan Chemicals

Under the Toxic Substances Control Act, EPA has mostly given articles containing chemicals a free ride by exempting them from regulatory requirements otherwise applicable to those chemicals. EPA took a sharply different direction in three proposed rules released on March 20, 2012, which would subject manufacturers and processors of articles containing the chemicals at issue to full obligations. Some of the chemicals are used in consumer products.

New Rules for Lithium Battery Air Transport

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Working Group on Lithium Batteries has agreed to new, more stringent requirements for shipping lithium ion and metal batteries and cells by air. 

EPA Proposes New Notice and Reporting Requirements for Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Exporters as Part of Broader Effort on E-Waste

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to expand the requirements for cathode ray tube exports to “allow the Agency to better track exports of CRTs for reuse and recycling” and to “gather more information in shipments of CRTs that are sent for reuse.”

CEQ Finalizes Guidance to Improve NEPA Reviews

On March 12, 2012, the White House Council on Environmental Quality published final guidance entitled “Improving the Process for Preparing Efficient and Timely Environmental Reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act.”

Firm News & Events

Bryan Moore Selected as “Texas Rising Star”

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. is pleased to announce that Bryan J. Moore, a Principal in the Firm’s Austin office, has been named a 2012 “Texas Rising Star” in environmental law by Texas Monthly. 

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