TCEQ Permitting Process Timeline


  • ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW: Some 'deficiencies' in the application found & corrected


  • NOTICE OF INTENT MAILED: Sent to landowners within a 1/4 mile of the site. Didn't get a notice? Let us know!


  • TECHNICAL REVIEW: Checks that State and federal regulatory requirements have been met

  • NOTICE OF APPLICATION AND PRELIMINARY DECISION: May come before or after the public meeting

  • PUBLIC MEETING: May come before or after the Technical Review is completed

  • COMMENTS CLOSED: The comment period closes either 30 days after the Notice of Application and Preliminary Decision is issued, or at the conclusion of the public meeting, whichever occurs later.

  • RESPONSE TO COMMENTS: All issues are addressed by TCEQ on public record

  • CONTESTED CASE HEARING (CCH): Opened on referral from the TCEQ commissioners

  • PROPOSAL FOR DECISION (PFD): 180 days after a CCH is opened. Sent back to the Commissioners for the Final Decision

  • FINAL DECISION: Made by TCEQ Commissioners who can adopt, reject or modify the PFD


Administratively complete: All information required by the permit has been submitted.

Affected party: A legal determination that a person, organization, or agency would be particularly affected by a project. Affected party status is automatically granted to those living within a 1/4 mile of this project. Other individuals or organizations may also request affected party status.

Contested Case Hearing (CCH): A special hearing, very much like a civil court case, that presents evidence and testimony to an Administrative Law Judge about whether a permit is factual and legal. At the end of the case, the judge issues a Proposal for Decision (PFD) about the permit.

Notice of Receipt of Application: A notification sent to nearby landowners and other interested parties (and published in the newspaper) which says that an application for a permit has been made.

Preliminary Decision: The initial decision by TCEQ staff and commissioners whether or not to approve a permit. It is most often an approval. With no public protest, this is usually the final decision.

Public Comment Period: The period during which people can register their support, opposition, or other perspectives on a permit application. Any comment received after this period closes is disregarded. Any issue not raised during the public comment period cannot be considered during a contested case hearing (CCH).

Public Meeting: Usually held on a weekday evening, this is an opportunity to hear directly from the applicants and to lodge formal concerns about the application. TCEQ only calls public meetings when there is strong public pressure or when a legislator requests one. Calling the meeting automatically extends the public comment period. Note that the meeting features an "informal" question and answer section which is completely off the record. To have your comments on record you must present them during the formal commenting part of the meeting.

Response to Comments: A document answering each specific concern raised during the public comment period. The commissioners cannot set a contested case hearing before this document has been issued.

Technically Complete: All of the plans in the permit application conform to state and federal law. "Legal" does not mean that obligations laid out in the permit are actually being implemented on-site. The TCEQ does not independently confirm the status of compliance.

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