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Harris County Pollution Control Services' Permits and Technical Services Section (P&TS) reviews Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) air, wastewater, and solid waste permitting applications for facilities that operate in Harris County.  Facilities such as petrochemical plants, landfills, and sewage treatment plants must obtain preconstruction permits from the TCEQ.  Smaller facilities may qualify for authorization under permit-by-rule or de minimis status.

Purpose of the permit application review program?

The review program helps ensure that the final permit conditions are protective of human health and the environment, local interests, and that the permit provisions are enforceable.  The goal of the permit review program is to permit a facility that will not adversely impact adjacent neighborhoods by creating nuisance conditions or emitting air contaminant levels or other environmental conditions that are unacceptable.  

How is a permit application reviewed?

The permit application review process involves conducting site reviews, reviewing facility compliance and inspection histories and analytical data, as applicable.  The permit review program also includes reviewing draft permits and notices of deficiencies and submitting comments to the TCEQ based on the review. Public hearings and public meetings related to the permitting process are attended as part of the review.

What rules and regulations does a facility have to comply with in order to obtain authorization?

Facilities requesting TCEQ permit authorization need to comply with the applicable air, water or solid waste permitting requirements found in Title 30 (Environmental Quality) of the Texas Administrative Code.

What happens if a facility does not meet the TCEQ permitting requirements?

In instances where a permit application is seriously deficient or the applicant has an unsatisfactory compliance history, Pollution Control Services (PCS) can recommend that the permit application be denied.  Additionally, through the County Attorney’s Office, PCS can request a contested case hearing to hear the merits of the application. 

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