On December 1, 2017, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) published proposed rules in the Texas Register to amend its underground storage tank (UST) and aboveground storage tank (AST) rules in order to be consistent with federal UST requirements. 42 Tex. Reg. 6709 (Dec. 1, 2017). On July 15, 2015, the EPA published updates to its UST regulations (40 C.F.R. Part 280) and state program approval regulations (40 C.F.R. Part 281). See KEAG Bulletin No. 2015 53 (June 24, 2015). The 2015 EPA rule changes increased the emphasis on proper operation and maintenance of UST equipment, addressed UST systems deferred in EPA’s 1988 UST regulations, and incorporated current technological advances and practices. Id.; 42 Tex. Reg. 6710. The proposed TCEQ rules will incorporate the federal UST rule updates from 2015. Further, separate from the federally-mandated rule changes, the TCEQ rulemaking also proposes minor rule revisions related to the fee on delivery of petroleum products and the funding of the Petroleum Storage Tank Remediation (PSTR) account, which are required by the Texas Water Code. 42 Tex. Reg. 6710. Additional minor rule revisions relate to the fee on delivery of certain petroleum products and are proposed to implement an amendment to the Texas Water Code to change the term “operator of a bulk facility” to “supplier,” such that the “supplier” would now collect the fees on the delivery of a petroleum product. Id.
The public comment period for the proposed rules ends January 9, 2018. Further, a public hearing is scheduled to take place on January 9, 2018, in Building E, Conference Room 201 S (Agenda Room), at the TCEQ’s Headquarters Office at 12100 Park 35 Circle in Austin, Texas. 42 Tex. Reg. 6724. The rules are projected to be adopted on May 9, 2018, the adoption published in the Texas Register on May 25, 2018, and the rulemaking to become effective on May 31, 2018.