The Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council (LRGVDC) is the state-designated agency for Solid Waste Management issues in the region. The Solid Waste Management program, funded by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), includes the development of the Regional Solid Waste Management Plan carried out under the guidance of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC). The main focus of the Solid Waste Department is to assist local governments and communities with Solid Waste Management issues important to the region.
1. Regional Solid Waste Management Plan Amendments & Plan Updates
As directed in the Texas Health and Safety Code and TCEQ rules, the Council of Governments (COGs) must amend the Regional Solid Waste Management Plans to conform to the requirements outlined in the Texas Health & Safety Code. In FY 2002-2022 LRGVDC Regional Solid Waste Management Plan amendment was completed and approved by the LRGVDC Board of Directors on August 22, 2002 and approved by TCEQ. The LRGVDC is currently working to update the Regional Solid Waste Management Plan and should be completed by the end of 2021. Information and updates will be posted when available. The two major goals addressed in the Regional Solid Waste Management Plan are:
- Reduce waste generation/disposal and develop responsible waste disposal practices
- Plan for and provide adequate regional waste disposal capacity
2. Grant Programs
LRGVDC administers the Regional Solid Waste Grants Program with funding provided by TCEQ. Projects or services funded must promote cooperation between public and private entities and must not be otherwise readily available or create a competitive advantage over a private industry. Projects must also conform and address goals in the LRGVDC Regional Solid Waste Management Plan.
3. Review of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Management Facilities Permit & Registration Applications
LRGVDC with assistance from the SWAC shall review permits and registration applications for the municipal solid waste management facilities. The review of these permits and applications is to streamline and resolve issues and local concerns. Determination of conformance with LRGVDC Regional Solid Waste Management Plan shall be provided to TCEQ in writing within the review period requested. For more information on how the Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) can review your application, please email Brenda Salinas at email@example.com.
4. Regional Education Outreach
LRGVDC is the central point of contact for TCEQ. LRGVDC maintains a resource center on regional solid waste information and reference materials. LRGVDC also conducts educational outreach in the region to support the implementation of the goals and objectives of LRGVDC's Regional Solid Waste Management Plan.
5. Landfill Inventory
In 1993, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill (HB)2537, which required COGs to develop an inventory of Closed Municipal Solid Waste landfills to be included in the Regional Solid Waste Management Plans. TCEQ contracted with Southwest Texas State University (SWTSU) to coordinate with the COGs to identify the closed landfills.
In 1999, Senate Bill (SB) 1447 was passed and required COGs to further document and map the exact boundaries of each closed landfill or approximate the boundaries if exact boundaries could not be identified. The full requirements of SB 1447 may be found in the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 363-064. LRGVDC inventoried closed and unauthorized landfills within the three-county area as part of a contract with the TCEQ. The project entailed sorting through the list to identify missing data and additional data sources and verifying all sites. The survey identified a total of 36 closed landfills. The inventory documents each site, including a data summary site and a site map.