TNRCC Permit Applications

The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission is authorized to prescribe the form of permit applications, make reasonable requirements in that regard, and lay down "the procedures for processing" such applications. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. 361.064 (West Supp. 2000). An application is deemed "administratively complete" when submitted to the Commission together with any required reports and fees, at which point the application becomes ready for "technical review in accordance with" agency regulations. Id. 361.068(a)(1), (2). After the Commission determines that "an application is administratively and technically complete," the application becomes "the subject of a contested case under Section 2001.003, Government Code," and "the commission may not revoke the determination that an application is administratively or technically complete." Id. 361.068(b)(1). After an application is determined to be "administratively complete," the Commission's executive director must "commence a technical review as necessary and appropriate"; the technical review must be completed within a specified period of time that may be adjusted for specified reasons and eventualities. See 30 Tex. Admin. Code 281.19(a) (1999). The executive director must notify the applicant promptly if "additional technical material" is necessary for a complete review and give the applicant time to furnish the material. If essential additional information is not timely furnished, the executive director may return the application to the applicant, such decisions to "be made on a case by case basis." Id. 281.19(b). The applicant may elect, however, to have "the question of sufficiency of necessary technical data referred to the commission for a decision instead of having the application returned." Id. If the technical review proves satisfactory, the executive director prepares a draft permit and technical summary, with specified contents, to accompany the application. Id. 281.21. These documents are referred then to the Commission for filing and setting. Id. 281.22.