The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) released a memorandum detailing proposed rulemaking related to Title 30 of the Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC) Chapter 342 - Regulation of Certain Aggregate Production Operations. Consistent with House Bill (HB) 2582, 2017, which amended the Texas Water Code (TWC) Chapter 28A, new exemption criteria is proposed to be added to the 30 TAC Chapter 342 list of existing exemptions in the definition of an aggregate production operation (APO).
Sites that meet the exemption criteria will no longer be required to register as an APO or pay the registration fee. However, the site will still be subject to other air, water, and waste regulations and permitting.
The exemption applies to sites with the following characteristics:
- The site removes or extracts specialty or terrazzo-type stone from the earth.
- The extracted material is produced for commercial sale and used exclusively for decorative or artistic uses.
- The horizon that is exposed for current production does not exceed five acres.
The proposed rulemaking also includes replacing "regulated activity(ies)" with "extraction activity(ies)" throughout the chapter and amending 30 TAC Section (§) 342.25(e) for consistency with the TWC updates. The proposed rulemaking would also add definitions for "decorative or artistic uses", "extraction activities", "specialty stone", and "terrazzo-type stone" to improve understanding and enforceability.
The status of this rulemaking will be discussed at the quarterly Water Quality Advisory Workgroup meetings, and a public hearing will be scheduled during the rulemaking public comment period. Anticipated dates of the proposal rulemaking schedule are provided below:
- Anticipated proposal date: December 12, 2018
- Anticipated Texas Register publication date: December 28, 2018
- Anticipated public hearing date (if any): January 22, 2019
- Anticipated public comment period: December 28, 2018 - January 30, 2019
- Anticipated adoption date: May 22, 2019