Environment in Dallas
starting a site or building search, use the following list of commonly asked
questions to create a portrait of potential environmental concerns. Below
are some useful questions to help you get started. Their focus is on the
most critical factors in an environmental evaluation. It is recommended
that you seek out both numeric and verbal responses to each:
Quality - Is the volume of air emissions generated by a business
considered a minor or major source by the regulatory agency?
Waste - What are the characteristics of the waste and the volume
generated? Issues to consider include volume, transport, storage and
- Noise, Vibration
and Odor Emissions - What are the regulatory requirements in the applicable
Storage - What amount and type of storage is permitted by area regulations?
- Process Effluent
- Is pretreatment required based on volume and chemical characteristics
of the effluent?
- Sanitation - What
are the requirements for businesses to discharge process effluent into
the sanitary sewer?
Factors - Examine the drainage, floodplain, soil structure, surface
and ground water, water table, and wetlands.
- Inquire about the climate in your proposed location, and find out
about historical weather patterns.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified the
Dallas-Fort Worth area (Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, and Denton counties) as a
serious non-attainment area for ozone. An attainment/non-attainment area
either meets or fails
federal air quality standards. Furthermore, non-attainment levels are
broken down into five sub-categories: marginal, moderate, serious, severe,
and extreme. The EPA categorizes areas by testing the concentration levels
for six air pollutants; the allowable limits will vary by industry. The
six pollutants are:
1. Carbon monoxide
3. Nitrogen dioxide
4. Ozone - Chiller refrigerants may have an effect.
5. Particulate matter
6. Sulfur dioxide
Although the EPA is charged with measuring
air quality, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is
responsible for air permits and developing the State Implementation
Plan (SIP). This plan details the efforts and commitments made by a
state in fulfilling its Clean Air Act obligations.
Permits Division TCEQ Air Permits Division is responsible for
processing permits for facilities emitting pollutants, and permits are
divided into two categories, New Source Review and Operating Permits.. The
City of Dallas' Environmental
Health Services Department
reviews all permit requests of the
TCEQ for construction and modification of operations (for facilities
within Dallas) that could become sources of polluting air emissions. All
facilities in the city that have the potential to contribute significantly
to air pollution are inspected annually. For more information please visit
Commercial and industrial hazardous waste is regulated by the Texas
Natural Resource Conservation Commission TCEQ. The yellow pages also has a
listing for waste collectors. More information is provided on
Industrial And Hazardous Waste Permitting on the TCEQ web site.
Above ground and Underground Storage Tanks
Above ground and underground storage tanks are regulated by the
TCEQ and must be registered.
The City of Dallas
Building Code provides specific information on water and wastewater service.
The City of Dallas web site provides the significant requirements
for establishing new water or wastewater service with Dallas Water Utilities.
Water Quality Section of the Department of Public Works and Transportation
at the City of Dallas is charged with the development and implementation
of a comprehensive storm water management program which includes pollution
prevention measures, treatment or removal techniques, storm water monitoring
of legal enforcement authority, and other appropriate means to control
the quality of storm water discharged to the Municipal Separate Storm
Flood Plain Management
Flood plain management information may be obtained from the City's
Works and Transportation Department.
Each state in the nation has an environmental agency which regulates water
re-sources. Water permits in Texas are regulated by the TCEQ.
Specific information about permits, drinking water, water quality
management, protection and water source assessment may be found on the Office
of Permitting, Remediation and Registration web page.
Ground water may become an issue to development contingent upon state
regulations. Check the U.S.
Geological Survey's website for information on local regulatory
Regulation of surface waters of the
United States will vary from state to state. Check websites
of local regulatory agencies.
These are regulated by the US Army Corps of Engineers in Texas.
Jurisdiction will vary from state to state and waterbody to waterbody.
Check the EPA
Wetlands web site and local or state regulatory agencies to confirm
If you feel that you have considerable
environmental concerns related to your selected site, the Economic
Program may perform a Phase I
Environmental Site Assessments for eligible properties. See below for
further explanation of the three phases of ESAs.
Phase I - Recognition
of Hazards. The Phase I ESA is a qualitative investigation which is
conducted prior to a property transaction (purchasing, leasing) and
includes a walkover of the site and a records search to determine if
there are recognized environmental concerns associated with the property
which may require additional investigation. This is a component of a
purchaser's/lessee's due diligence.
Phase II - Analysis
of Hazards. The Phase II ESA is a quantitative investigation triggered
if the findings in the Phase I ESA identify recognized environmental
concerns which require a subsurface (soil, water) investigation. There
may be several iterations of Phase II ESAs (Phase IIa, IIb, IIc, et
fully define the vertical and horizontal extent of contamination and
define the scope of work for site cleanup or remediation.
Phase III - Management
of Hazards. The Phase III ESA is a remediation feasibility study based
on information obtained from previous Phase I and II investigations
conducted at a site. The Phase III ESA may include continued Phase II
ESA activities to more fully define areas of contaminants; to fill in
data gaps; and/or to provide more detailed information required to define
the remediation requirements at the site.
A Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) should be conducted before
purchasing a site or facility. The American Society for Testing and Materials
(ASTM) has developed standards for Phase I and Phase II ESAs which are
accepted in the environmental consulting industry. Copies of the standards
in paper and electronic formats are available on the ASTM
Keep in mind that
land substrate (landforms, slopes, water depths and floodplain) will have
an effect on the design of a facility, foundation, roadbeds, waste disposal,
telecommunications, and pipelines. Furthermore, active geologic processes
(faulting, subsidence, erosion, salt domes, and accretion) may have profound
consequences on a development.
Potential hazards such as hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding should not
be forgotten. Additional information about weather and weather patterns
may be found at the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website.
to Remember about the Environment in the Development Process
- An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
should not be confused with a Phase I or II ESA. The EIS is required
by the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 for all projects which
cross federal lands, require a federal permit, or use federal dollars.
An EIS, or related environmental statements pursuant to NEPA, presents
and evaluates alternatives to a project's environmental and
socio-economic impacts to the human environment including, but not
limited to, traffic systems, county services, tax base, endangered
species, and cultural resources. Anyone requiring an environmental
statement pursuant to NEPA, should contact the responsible federal
agency for details.
- Environmental permits will require the land owner or holder to have an in-depth knowledge
of a project, as it is needed to give specifics to state regulatory agencies. Environmental issues of particular concern (depending on industry):
hazardous waste, air/water quality, soil contamination, and flood plains.