If you are considering developing land over the Edwards Aquifer, you will need to receive approval form the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). You can look at a map of the aquifer here to determine if your site is over the Contributing, Transition, or Recharge Zone of the Edwards Aquifer.
Depending on the location and type of construction of your project, you will have to provide a different type of permit application to the TCEQ.
Which Plan Do I Need?
The Water Pollution Abatement Plan (WPAP) is the most common of the three applications, as it is required for any type of construction over the Recharge Zone. Moreover, if the construction includes waste water improvements with two or more lateral connections, a Sewage Collection System (SCS) plan must be submitted for review as well. Lastly, any project that is proposing new construction over the Contributing Zone will require a Contributing Zone Plan (CZP) for TCEQ approval.
Each of these three plans have their own requirements and design guidelines that have to be followed. The submittal will require plan sets, fees, and a WPAP, SCS, or CZP report with the appropriate forms and documents of each. You can click on the links above to view previous BIG RED Blog posts on the various requirements for these plans.
Submitting The Application
It is important to submit your application for review as soon as possible, as the TCEQ review process can be long and might delay your project. Once you are ready to submit your report, you will have to schedule an appointment and meet with a TCEQ member in order to ensure that your report is sufficiently complete to initiate the review process.
How Long Does The Review Process Take?
After the report has been accepted by TCEQ, it will require up to three months for TCEQ to complete their review of your application. When the reviewer completes their review, he or she will issue an approval letter or comments with changes that must be made to the report or construction plans in order to proceed. The update process is much quicker, as the reviewer and applicant will have two weeks each to address the comments.
I’ve met all of the TCEQ’s Requirements. Now what?
After you have addressed all comments in the form of updates, you will receive an approval letter from TCEQ stating that your project is compliant with the design guidelines.