Emergency Preparedness Plans under Texas SB 3 Due March 2022
Water utility

In June 2021, Texas Senate Bill (SB) 3 was passed, introducing new regulatory requirements for public utilities related to emergency preparedness for weather emergencies, power outages, and other disasters. Under SB 3’s provisions, public water and wastewater utilities in Texas must develop and submit to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) an Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) that describes how service will be maintained during emergencies. As part of an EPP, utilities must describe how water service at a minimum pressure of 20 pounds per square inch (psi) will be delivered during an extended power outage (i.e., an outage lasting greater than 24 hours).

Background

SB 3 is a direct response to Winter Storm Uri, which led to significant disruptions in utility services throughout Texas in February 2021. The storm's aftermath spurred sweeping evaluations of reliability and weatherization considerations for public utilities, with “affected” utilities subject to the provisions of SB 3.

What’s an affected utility?

Per TCEQ, an affected utility is a “retail public utility, exempt utility, or provider or conveyer of potable or raw water service that furnishes water service to more than one customer, provides overnight accommodations, and is not an affected utility under Texas Water Code, Section 13.1395.”

Utilities that believe they may not be an affected utility are encouraged to email PDWEPP@tceq.texas.gov to confirm.

What type of information needs to be included in the EPP?

TCEQ has provided a detailed template (Form-20536B), with information prompts and required inputs in the following areas for public water systems and public wastewater systems:

Public Water Systems

Public Wastewater Systems

The location distribution system maps are stored

The location collection system plans are stored

Water system diagram

The location treatment and lift station plans are stored

Source information

Regulatory permit

Treatment information

Treatment information

Pressure planes

System size

System demand

Power provider(s)

System size

Electrical schematic

Power provider(s)

Alternate power options

Electrical schematic

Emergency communications

Alternate power options

Treatment information

Emergency communications

 


What’s the timeline for submitting an EPP?

EPPs, along with a timeline for implementation are due to TCEQ by March 1, 2022. By July 1, 2022, plans must be implemented.

Need help getting started?

Trihydro’s water and wastewater specialists are available to help you navigate the EPP development, submittal, and implementation process. Contact us to get started.

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