TCEQ Proposes Recycling Rules Affecting Municipalities and Special Districts

by Sam Ballard

Do you represent a governmental entity, such as a municipality or special district? If so, you need to be aware of TCEQ’s recently released Recycling Rule Package, a proposed TCEQ rulemaking that will require non-exempt governmental entities to establish a recycling program, create procedures for a recycling program, and give preference to purchasing products of recyclable materials.

TCEQ is issuing the rulemaking in direct response to the recent passage of Senate Bill 1376, which amended Texas Health & Safety Code sections 361.425 and 361.426. The Texas Health & Safety Code mandates that TCEQ adopt rules requiring governmental entities to establish a recycling program for all recyclable materials generated by the entity’s operations. This includes considering “how to collect and store recyclable materials, maintain containers for recyclable materials, create procedures with buyers of recyclable materials, evaluate and modify the recycling program, and create measures to encourage employee participation.”  In addition, governmental entities must give preference in purchasing to products made of recycled materials. These preferences must be applied in accordance with state procurement statutes and rules.

Perhaps most importantly, the rulemaking includes requirements for requesting exemptions from the requirements.

The rulemaking applies to governmental entities, including counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts. Lastly, the issue of enforcement and penalties for non-compliance remains an open question.

The deadline to file comments on the proposed rulemaking is March 3, 2020. If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking or would like to consider filing a comment, please contact Air and Waste attorney Sam Ballard at sballard@lglawfirm.com or 512.322.5825.

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