Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority:
An Inventory of Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority Minutes and Agenda at the Texas State Archives, 1987, 1990-2015
The Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority (GCWDA) was established in 1969 for the purpose of preventing water waste pollution in Chambers, Galveston, and Harris counties and providing a regional water quality management program (Senate Bill 225, 61st Texas Legislature, Regular Session). Enacted prior to amendments to the Federal Clean Water Act of 1972, the GCWDA was created due to the widespread concern over the increasingly poor water quality in the Houston Ship Channel and Galveston Bay. Originally intended as a wide-ranging regulatory agency, similar to a local version of the federal regulatory authorities, the GCWDA had the authority to acquire or build and operate wastewater treatment plants and other waste management facilities. During the 1970s, the GCWDA began to implement a regional waste management system. Instead of multiple waste treatment plants operated by many different entities for a region, specialized facilities would handle waste water or solid waste from several locations. This ensures that specialized technicians can focus on making sure the treatment plant is working, allows resources to be used on supporting high-tech laboratories, and improves the cost efficiency of waste management. As enforcement of waste water laws is primarily done at the federal, state, county, and municipal levels, the GCWDA focuses on helping cities and industries comply with waste water standards and improve Galveston Bay waters. The GCWDA works with local water districts, local governments, state governments such as the Texas Water Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and waste facilities to remediate waste sites. During the 66th Legislature, Regular Session (Senate Bill 666 and House Bill 2151), GCWDA's role was further defined and expanded to include the ability to negotiate for facilities and systems which recover resources from solid waste. This legislation also granted the GCWDA the authority to issue bonds for water pollution, solid waste disposal, and water projects. In 2013, GCWDA's role expanded beyond municipal and industrial waste treatment and solid waste operations (Acts 2013, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session, chapter 1113, General and Special Laws of Texas) to include additional water systems. This legislation authorized the agency to build, own, and operate other types of water systems such as brackish water treatment, desalination, and effluent reuse projects in an effort to help provide solutions to potable water shortages across the state. This legislation also authorized the GCWDA to build, own, and operate waterwaste facilities outside the Gulf Coast region. As of 2015, GCWDA operates the 40-Acre Industrial Wastewater Treatment Facility, Bayport Industrial Wastewater Treatment Facility, Blackhawk Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility, Campbell Bayou Industrial Solid Waste Facility, Odessa South Industrial Wastewater Treatment Facility, Vince Bayou Receiving Station, Washburn Tunnel Wastewater Treatment Facility, and a central lab.
The GCWDA prescribes penalties for non-compliance and issues tax-exempt bonds to governments and industries in the Gulf Coast region projects including the construction of waste management operations. GCWDA can issue two types of bonds: Government Municipal Bonds and Private Activity Bonds. Government Municipal Bonds are issued when 90% of use is by government entities. Private Activity Bonds can be used for water supply facilities, sewage facilities, solid waste disposal facilities, local furnishing of steam or electricity, dock and wharf facilities, airports, water pollution control facilities, and air pollution control facilities. GCWDA's finance department provides for the issuance of private activity bonds to fund solid waste facilities or industrial development facilities as provided by IRS rules. These bonds can be issued either directly by GCWDA or through its industrial development corporation, the Gulf Coast Industrial Development Authority (GCIDA), depending on the structure of the financing. Created under the Development Corporation Act of 1979 (Senate Bill 1275, 66th Legislature, Regular Session), the GCIDA focuses on issuing taxable bonds for the creation of jobs within research and development facilities, military facilities, transportation facilities, distribution centers, small warehouse facilities, primary job centers used by higher education institutions, and regional or national corporate headquarter facilities as well as for transportation, telecommunications, Gulf of Mexico beach remediation, and Coast Guard projects.
GCWDA's board of directors comprises of nine members who meet on the second Thursday of each month. The board consists of members each from Harris, Galveston, and Chambers counties, which adjoin Galveston Bay. From each county, one member is appointed by the governor, one by the county's commissioner's court, and one by a consortium of the county's mayors. Board members serve two-year staggered terms. The GCIDA board consists of three members, who meet in special sessions. GCWDA's board appoints and may remove members of the GCIDA. Since its creation, the GCIDA has been comprised entirely of the GCWDA board members and/or management staff.
(Sources include: GCWDA's website (http://www.gcwda.com/), accessed September 14, 2015; GCWDA annual and financial reports from various years; various laws and statues; GCWDA, Twentieth Anniversary Report (1989); and the records themselves.)
The Gulf Coast Hazardous Substance Research Center (GCHSRC) was created by Section 118(1) of the federal Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986. These amendments aimed to "reduce the risk to public health and the environment from hazardous materials by the research, development, and demonstration of new or more cost effective technological and related methods to eliminate the generation, to detoxify, or to destroy these materials." The GCHSRC strives to conduct an integrated research program to improve the quality of the environment in order to reduce risk to human and ecosystem health in the Gulf Coast region through environmental technologies for pollution prevention, waste treatment, and site remediation for hazardous substances associated with petroleum, chemical and other Gulf Coast Industries. The GCHSRC's research program concentrates on waste minimization, alternate treatment technology development, toxicity reduction, and other technology-support areas. It is a consortium of nine universities: Lamar University – Beaumont, Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, Rice University, Texas A&M University, the University of Alabama, the University of Central Florida, the University of Houston, and the University of Texas at Austin. The central administrative offices are located on the Lamar University – Beaumont campus.
(Sources include: GCHSRC's website (http://engineering.lamar.edu/research/gchsrc/index.html), accessed September 14, 2015; and the records themselves.)
The Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority (GCWDA) aims to prevent water waste pollution in Chambers, Galveston, and Harris counties by providing a regional quality water quality management program. Records primarily consist of minutes, agenda, and agenda attachments of the GCWDA, its industrial development corporation - Gulf Coast Industrial Development Authority (GCIDA), and the Gulf Coast Hazardous Waste Research Center (GCHWRC). Also included are a brochure and mass mailing correspondence from the GCWDA. Records date from 1987 and 1990 to 2015. GCHWRC minutes date from 1987 and GCWDA minutes date from 1990-2015. Prior to 2007, minutes concerning GCIDA's activities were occasionally within GCWDA minutes. Agenda inform the public as to what will be discussed and/or decided at each meeting. Minutes document in a thorough but summary fashion the official actions of the board in its meetings. Records focus on waste management in the Gulf Coast region, especially Texas. Subjects discussed include various waste disposal and recycling methods, water waste management recommendations, evaluation of landfill operations, collection and disposal of solid waste, alleged solid waste violations, summaries of procedures, discussion of bids for upgrades and new treatment facilities, and the agency's relationships with government and non-government entities in regard to water pollution. GCIDA minutes primarily document the issuance of bonds for waste management projects. GCHSRC minutes outline the goals and policies of the center as well as research conducted at the consortium's universities in relation to hazardous substances.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
Restrictions on Access
Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.
Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
(Identify the item), Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority minutes and agenda. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession numbers: 1998/138, 1999/013, 2000/031, 2001/009, 2002/039, 2003/050, 2004/028, 2005/070, 2006/021, 2006/188, 2007/034, 2008/022, 2009/041, 2010/015, 2011/012, 2012/008, 2013/014, 2014/023, 2015/044
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority on May 29 and September 29, 1998; September 29, 1999; September 28, 2000; October 9, 2001; October 21, 2002; October 6, 2006; September 25, 2007; October 10, 2008; September 14, 2009; September 17, 2010; September 20, 2011; September 24, 2012; September 19, 2013; and November 12, 2014; and by the Texas Legislative Reference Library on January 26, 2006.
Accessions processed by Tony Black, September 2005
Finding aid encoded by Tony Black, May 2008
Descriptions, DACS-compliance, and new accessions added by Anna M. Reznik, September 2015
The Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority transfers copies of meeting records to the Texas State Archives regularly.
The record copies of meeting agenda and minutes are maintained by the Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority.
Detailed Description of the Records