Texas Thermal Discharges regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Texas Thermal Discharges: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Thermal limitations: 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) 307.4(f)

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Classified stream segments: 30 TAC 307.10 Appendix A

Regulatory Agencies

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Office of Permitting, Remediation, and Registration Water Quality Division

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.

See national section for basic information and federal regulations.

Comparison: State vs. Federal

Rules. Texas has established thermal discharge limitations that follow the guidelines of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). Texas has developed temperature standards for stream segments of state waters and has established thermal discharge requirements as part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. See the state section EFFLUENT LIMITATIONS for more information on state water quality standards.

Administration and enforcement. TCEQ's Water Quality Division is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the state's thermal discharge regulations.

State Requirements


30 TAC 307.4(f)

Temperature in industrial cooling lake impoundments and all other surface water in the state must be maintained so as not to interfere with the reasonable use of such waters. Numerical temperature criteria have not been specifically established for industrial cooling lake impoundments.

The following table lists temperature criteria, expressed as a maximum temperature differential, that are established, except for industrial cooling impoundments, temperature elevations due to discharges of treated domestic effluent, and temperature elevations within designated mixing ...

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