GCA Facilities Recognized by NACWA for Continued Operational Excellence in 2020

Four Gulf Coast Authority (GCA) waste treatment facilities were recognized this year (2020) by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) with Peak Performance Awards:

  • Blackhawk Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facility – Gold;
  • Forty Acre Industrial Wastewater Treatment Facility – Gold;
  • Odessa Municipal and Industrial Wastewater Treatment Facility – Gold; and
  • Washburn Tunnel Industrial Wastewater Treatment Facility – Silver.

This is the fifteenth consecutive year for GCA facilities to be honored by NACWA (with awards being received as far back as 1990 from AMSA, NACWA’s predecessor organization) for excellence in operational performance and permit compliance.
“Our facilities provide essential services for our communities, industry, and the environment,” said Liz Fazio Hale, GCA General Manage/CEO. “In a year with pandemic challenges, GCA is proud to be nationally recognized for its reliability and commitment to protecting the waters of the state of Texas.”

Peak Performance Awards are provided to outstanding clean water utilities that have demonstrated operational excellence with no more than five permit violations in a calendar year for Silver, and, for our Gold Award winners, zero violations.
For nearly 50 years, NACWA has been the nation’s recognized leader in advancing sustainable and responsible policy initiatives that help shape a strong and sustainable clean water future. NACWA seeks to fulfill this mission through its national recognition/awards program, its clean water advocacy and communications, and its peer-to-peer utility network to share best practices from coast-to-coast.

GCA is a governmental entity created by the Texas legislature in 1969 with the broad charge to protect the waters of the State of Texas. GCA has the authority to own and operate regional industrial and municipal wastewater treatment facilities, water systems, and solid waste facilities statewide, as well as the ability to provide bond financing services. For more information, please visit www.gcatx.org.

Media Contact:
Keith Hardcastle, Public Information Officer
(281) 488-4115 | khardcastle@gcatx.org

Fazio Hale Takes Helm as GCA General Manager/CEO

Elizabeth Fazio Hale today assumed the role of General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of the Gulf Coast Authority (GCA), a water and wastewater management authority in Texas. For GCA, having recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary, Fazio Hale takes the top leadership role at a time when essential workers are more critical than ever.

“With her broad background in the legal and financial aspects of water and wastewater management, Elizabeth is uniquely qualified to lead GCA into its next 50 years,” said Franklin D.R. Jones, Jr., Chairman of the GCA Board of Directors. “We’re confident that her expertise, combined with her boundless energy, keen intellect, and strategic insights, will far advance our mission to protect the waters of the state of Texas.”

Fazio Hale has served in numerous leadership roles on water and wastewater planning and management in Texas, most recently as the Assistant General Manager of GCA. As the youngest CEO appointed to the position and only GCA’s sixth general manager, Fazio Hale understands the high level of expectations for leading an organization deeply rooted in tradition and a commitment to the protection of the environment while supporting its local communities and industry. Fazio Hale joined GCA in May 2019 and, after a year of outstanding performance, she was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors in June 2020 to replace retiring Lori Traweek as General Manager/CEO.

“GCA has long been a leader in recognizing the value of combining environmental sustainability with economic development,” said Fazio Hale. “In today’s world, the importance of innovation in water management has only grown more vital. In order to advance our mission in these changing times, we must be intentional in our understanding of the new challenges that lie ahead, including the impacts to our employees and an uncertain regulatory future.”

Fazio Hale has a combined 20 years of legal, financial, legislative, and executive leadership with singular achievements such as contributing to the advancement and funding of the Texas State Water Plan – a goal more than 15 years in the making.

“As I step into my new role at GCA, I see many correlations to previous experience collaborating with experts in the environmental and industrial fields,” she said. “I look forward to working with our board and staff to continue GCA’s stellar reputation for reliability, innovation and teamwork set by the leaders that came before me.”

Fazio Hale serves as the vice president for the Gulf Coast Industrial Development Authority; treasurer for the Texas Conservation Fund; a member of the board of directors for the Texas Water Foundation; a member of the board of directors for the Texas Water Conservation Association; a member of the board of directors for the TWCA – Risk Management Fund; a member of the Galveston Bay Council; member of the Economic Alliance – Houston Port Region’s legislative committee; and member of the Economic Development Alliance for Brazoria County.

Gulf Coast Authority (www.gcatx.org) was created by the Texas Legislature in 1969 to protect the waters of the state of Texas through environmentally sound, economically feasible and technologically advanced wastewater and water management practices. GCA provides regional industrial and municipal wastewater treatment services, solid waste management, industrial water services, and financial services – all with the goal to protect the environment, preserve water resources, and promote industrial development for a strong economy.

TWDB Appoints First Regional Flood Planning Group Members; GCA’s Scott Harris Selected To Serve Trinity Region

AUSTIN, OCTOBER 1, 2020 – The board of directors of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) appointed its first members to serve on 15 regional flood planning groups (RFPGs), selecting Scott Harris, Chief Operating Officer of Gulf Coast Authority, to represent water authorities in the Trinity River region. Over 600 nominations were received by the TWDB Executive Administrator for the initial voting membership of the RFPGs.

“GCA is proud to participate in the flood planning process to help water utilities plan for and mitigate risks associated with flood damage,” said Scott Harris. “With many of our facilities located along the coast, I am thankful to the state of Texas for prioritizing these planning efforts and to the Texas Water Development Board for quickly implementing the process.”

In 2019, the Texas Legislature established a framework for regional flood planning across the state of Texas. Senate Bill 8 (86th Texas Legislature) required the TWDB to establish flood planning regions, appoint initial members of those regions, provide technical and financial assistance, adopt guidance principals, and create rules for a cyclical five-year flood planning process. The first regional flood plans will be due no later than January 10, 2023.

Gulf Coast Authority (www.gcatx.org) was created by the Texas Legislature in 1969 to protect the waters of the state of Texas through environmentally sound, economically feasible and technologically advanced wastewater and water management practices. GCA provides regional industrial and municipal wastewater treatment services, solid waste management, industrial water services and financial services – all with the goal to protect the environment, preserve water resources and promote industrial development for a strong economy.

GCA celebrates 50 years of protecting Texas’ waters

HOUSTON — Fifty years ago, prompted by deteriorating water quality in the Houston Ship Channel and Galveston Bay, the Texas Legislature established the Gulf Coast Authority
(GCA) to protect the waters of the State of Texas through regional wastewater treatment and waste disposal solutions. The organization was empowered to own and operate wastewater treatment and other waste management facilities. GCA is also authorized to issue bonds for qualified projects and has issued over $3 billion in such bonds statewide since its inception.

Today, GCA operates four industrial and one municipal wastewater treatment facilities, an industrial landfill, a central laboratory and two trucked-in waste disposal facilities. In 2013, Gov. Rick Perry signed legislation expanding GCA’s role to enable it to build, own and operate other types of water systems to help provide solutions to potable water shortages across the state.

For more information, visit www.gcatx.org or call (281) 488-4115.

GCA awarded for excellence in financial reporting

HOUSTON — Gulf Coast Authority (GCA) received notification from the Government Finance Officers Association that the GCA’s fiscal year 2017 Comprehensive Annual
Financial Report qualified for a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. The certificate of achievement is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. This is the 31st consecutive year GCA has received this award. Amanda Wilbert, GCA’s Director of Finance, is shown accepting this award.

GCA recognized with an Industrial Treatment Plant of the year award from WEAT

HOUSTON, May 2018 — Gulf Coast Authority’s (GCA) Washburn Tunnel Wastewater Treatment Facility (WT) was recognized by the Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT) with the Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant of the Year Award. The award was presented at the annual WEAT meeting in San Antonio. Present to accept the award were Phyllis Frank, WT Facility Manager; Scott Harris, Chief Operating Officer; Frank Jones, Chairman of the GCA Board of Directors; and Mark Schultz, GCA Board Member.  GCA was recognized with the award for consistent outstanding performance of daily activities beyond the normal call of duty. The Washburn Tunnel Facility is a regional treatment facility that treats the waste from: multiple industrial plants and one municipality via pipelines, one industrial plant via barge and the Vince Bayou Receiving Station (VBRS) via pipeline which accepts primarily septic tank and portable toilet wastewaters.
Chemical disinfection is achieved using peracetic acid (PAA). At the time of commissioning in 2016, WT’s PAA disinfection system was the largest system operating in the US.