Texas Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Privilege Act

Texas Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Privilege Act graphic

In the complex landscape of environmental regulation, the Texas Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Privilege Act (TEX. CIV. STAT. art. 4447cc) plays a pivotal role. This framework, as outlined by both the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRCTX) in Regulatory Guidance Document RG-175, offers valuable insights into managing voluntary environmental and health and safety audits.

Submission Documents:

Under this act, three critical documents come into play—Notice of Audit (NOA) letter, Disclosure of Violations (DOV) letter, and Request for Extension (RFE). Each serves a distinct purpose in ensuring compliance and reaping the benefits of immunity.

TCEQ Submission Guidelines:

Initiating an environmental audit requires a Notice of Audit (NOA) submission to the TCEQ. While not mandatory, failing to provide proper notice may negate the immunity provision of the Audit Act. Guidance includes a review of the TCEQ’s Central Registry for identification of Corrective Action Numbers (CN) and Regulatory Identification Numbers (RN).

RRCTX Submission Details:

Addressing submissions to the General Counsel at the Railroad Commission of Texas, with specific guidelines for certified mail and courtesy copies via email at audit.notice@rrc.texas.gov.

Outcomes of Environmental Compliance Audit:

Conducting an environmental compliance audit under this act can lead to various outcomes, including:

  • resolution and/or reduction of existing violation fines
  • assistance in setting up and maintaining an Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) audit program
  • sampling, analysis, Agency reporting
  • recordkeeping
  • follow-up environmental permitting.

Environmental Tips:

For those operating under TCEQ or RRCTX jurisdiction, maintaining necessary permits, records, and compliance with environmental regulations is essential. Seeking assistance or a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Audit from CRG Texas ensures smooth compliance with the Texas Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Privilege Act.