On January 30, 2013, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) formally approved the BIG's Implementation Plan (I-Plan), titled "Implementation Plan for Seventy-Two Total Maximum Daily Loads for Bacteria in the Houston-Galveston Region". Over 100 organizations representing local governments, business, and environmental interests passed resolutions in support of the I-Plan.
The I-Plan is divided into eleven strategy areas. Each strategy area is further broken into implementation activities. There are thirty-eight implementation activities spread out among the eleven strategies. The BIG will revise the I-Plan over time. Rather than make edits to the original document, updates to the I-Plan will be carried out through addendums to the plan.
Success for the BIG will be achieved when the waters assessed by the state are no longer considered impaired, meaning they meet state water quality standards. Achieving that goal requires annually assessing progress to determine what is working and what is not working, looking critically at what each of the BIG partners is doing, and sharing information and coordinating future implementation activities. This Annual Report is meant to be that mechanism for annual assessment, encouraging efforts that appear to be working and redirecting implementation that seems to be falling short. It is also an opportunity to look at the I-Plan to see if expectations are being met or if some of the activities need further refinement.
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The BIG’s Top Five Most and Top Five Least Impaired Waterbodies Project was developed by H-GAC’s BIG in 2016 to address waterways that did not meet the state water quality standard for bacteria. Bacteria sources are investigated by H-GAC staff and reported to local jurisdictions for further action. The ultimate goal is to eliminate sources and potentially remove streams from the state’s list of bacteria-impaired waterways. The project is funded through grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) Galveston Bay Estuary Program (GBEP).
Steven JohnstonSenior Planner(832) firstname.lastname@example.org