October 26, 2020

Volume X, Number 300

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October 26, 2020

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TCEQ Issues Instructive Email on Enforcement Discretion

On March 18, 2020, TCEQ’s Deputy Director of the Office of Environmental Enforcement (OCE), Ramiro Garcia, Jr., issued an instructive email on how regulated entities can request enforcement discretion in situations of unavoidable noncompliance as a direct result of the coronavirus. The email provides that the regulated entities should email both OCE@tceq.texas.gov (OCE inbox) and Ramiro.Garcia@tceq.texas.gov with specific information regarding the request. “The email should contain at a minimum:

  • 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”

The email further provides that “regulated entities must maintain records that adequately document activities related to the noncompliance under enforcement discretion, including details of the regulated entity’s best efforts to comply. The OCE inbox will be monitored by multiple TCEQ staff, and the goal is to provide a response within 24 to 48 hours.

The email concludes with a statement that any questions can be directed to the OCE inbox. Additional regulatory guidance from TCEQ can be found on their website at this link. Read Jones Walker’s summary of previous TCEQ announcements regarding COVID-19.

© 2020 Jones Walker LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 111
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About this Author

chernekoff, partner, Jones Walker
Partner

Mike Chernekoff is partner in the firm's Business & Commercial Litigation and Real Estate Practice Groups. He also participates in the Energy, Environmental, and Natural Resources Industry Group. Since 2007, he has been based in the firm's Houston office. Prior to that, he was based in the firm's New Orleans office since joining the firm in 1982. His practice focuses on the areas of environmental law and related areas of environmental litigation and toxic tort defense. He also actively handles commercial and energy litigation. His practice is principally centered on...

713-437-1827
Alex Prochanska, Jones Walker Law Firm, Business and Real Estate Attorney
Special Counsel

Alex Prochaska is special counsel in the firm’s Business & Commercial Transactions and Real Estate Practice Groups in the Lafayette and Baton Rouge offices. Mr. Prochaska’s practice focuses on environmental law, including regulatory issues involving permitting and compliance, transactions, and environmental litigation.

Prior to joining Jones Walker, Mr. Prochaska spent six years as an attorney with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) with the last two as Special Counsel to the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Environmental Services.  In this role, he represented LDEQ in dealings with permit applicants and consultants from the initial pre-permit meetings and through other stages of the application review process, decisions, and defense of judicial challenges to LDEQ permit decisions.  Mr. Prochaska frequently attended public hearings related to draft permits and reviewed Environmental Assessment Statements and associated "IT Questions."  He worked with LDEQ permit writers and legal staff in drafting Responses to Comments (RTCs) and Basis For Decisions (BFDs) in connection with permits for both "greenfield" projects and major modifications and expansions of existing facilities. 

337-593-7616
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