Environmental Affairs


Air Compliance

The Dallas-Fort Worth area, which includes Collin County and 10 other counties, has been designated as “non-attainment” for ground level ozone by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] ), and is under air pollution restrictions in an effort to mitigate its impacts on the stratospheric ozone.

Air pollutant emissions from a variety of sources are highly regulated by the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] . The most common sources are from the combustion of fuel from boilers, emergency engines, etc… This type of equipment requires air permits for operation, as well as continuous monitoring and control of their operations.

Environmental Affairs works to ensure that the University operates in compliance with applicable air regulations. Environmental Affairs maintains and updates the University’s air permit authorizations, tracks emissions sources, determines permit applicability, and prepares permit applications.

Please contact Environmental Health and Safety, Environmental Affairs at 972.883.6114/6111 prior to purchasing or installing any equipment that could be a potential source of air pollution.

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Storm Water Compliance

UT Dallas is located within the boundaries of the City of Richardson’s “urbanized area” (UA [Urbanized Area] ) and is regulated under the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ [Texas Commission on Environmental Quality] ) Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4 [Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System] ) permit. The overall goal of the MS4 [Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System] permit is to improve the water quality of Cottonwood Creek flowing through our campus into receiving waters, and to protect the US waterways from pollution.

Environmental Affairs manages the University’s storm water compliance programs, including permitting, spill prevention, above-ground storage inspections, and outfall inspections.

Understanding Storm Water Management

Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground without sinking in. Impervious surfaces like roofs, parking lots, and sidewalks prevent the stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground. As stormwater runoff flows over pedestrian walkways, landscaped areas, roadways, and parking lots, it picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants.

It is important to remember that anything entering a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into waterbodies that are used for recreation and eventual drinking water. Polluted runoff is the nation’s greatest threat to clean water. The resulting stream or river pollution can have a great effect on the aquatic life in all bodies of water.

By practicing health pollution prevention habits, campus community members can keep pollutants like dirt and common garbage that collect on paved areas from washing into storm drains.

Contractors who are involved with construction projects on campus must comply with all applicable regulations regarding stormwater protection.

Useful Links

Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures

The EPA’s oil spill prevention program is part of the Clean Water Act (33 USC § 1251), which includes the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC [Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure] ) and the Facility Response Plan (FRP [Facility Response Plan] ) rules. The SPCC [Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure] rule helps facilities prevent a discharge of oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines.

Environmental Affairs maintains the University’s SPCC [Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure] plan and tracks spill sources. We update the plan every five years.

Please contact Environmental Health and Safety, Environmental Affairs at 972.883.6114/6111 prior to purchasing oil drums over 55 gallons.

Understanding Illicit Discharge

Illicit discharge: Any discharge to Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4 [Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System] ) that is not composed entirely of storm water.

Direct illicit discharge examples —

  • Sewage cross-connections with storm drains
  • Straight pipe connections
  • Industrial and commercial cross-connections with storm drains

Indirect illicit discharge examples —

  • Groundwater seepage into the storm drain pipe
  • Spills that enter the storm drain system at an inlet
  • Dumping liquid into a storm drain inlet
  • Outdoor washing activities that create flow to a storm drain inlet
  • Non-target irrigation from landscaping or lawns that reaches the storm drain system

Please report any illicit discharges or spills to EH&S [Environmental Health and Safety] , Environmental Affairs at 972.883.4111/6114/6111.

Useful Links

Preserve Cottonwood Creek (PDF [Portable Document Format File] )