At its mid-October Fall 2019 conference in San Antonio, the Texas Water Conservation Association’ Risk Management Fund (RMF) presented with an RMF Safety Award to (left to right) GCA Chairman Frank Jones, Assistant General Manager Liz Fazio Hale, General Manager Lori Traweek, and Chief Operating Officer Scott Harris. GCA was recognized specifically with an Outstanding Safety Record in Liability Award for working safely and minimizing liability.

“The best recognition comes from one’s peers, who truly understand our business and what is entailed in running a safe workplace,” said General Manager Lori Traweek. “We are honored to have been selected for this award, as safety is a non-negotiable value at GCA.”

GCA’s Brianna Morales Elected Secretary of TACWA

Blackhawk Facility Manager Brianna Morales was elected Secretary of the Texas Association of Clean Water Agencies (TACWA) on January 31. She will serve in that capacity for two years before transitioning to the role of Vice President.

Morales entered the wastewater industry as an operator with GCA 12 years ago and is currently the Facility Manager of the Blackhawk Facility. She holds a BS in Environmental Management from the University of Houston Clear Lake, an MS in Industrial Management from the University of Texas in Tyler, and a TCEQ Class A Wastewater Operator License. Morales currently serves as the Texas Water Utilities Association Liaison for The Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT).

TACWA’s national group, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), is a nationally recognized leader in environmental policy and a sought-after technical resource on water quality and ecosystem protection issues. NACWA was established in 1970 by a group of individuals representing 22 large municipal sewerage agencies. They came together to secure federal funding for municipal wastewater treatment and discuss emerging national interest in improving the quality of the nation’s waters. Based on the shared goal of effectively representing the interests and priorities of publicly-owned treatment works (POTWs), they formed what is now known as NACWA.

Elizabeth Fazio Hale Joins Gulf Coast Authority

GCA is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Fazio Hale has joined GCA’s leadership team as Assistant General Manager. Prior to joining GCA, Liz served as the Executive Director/CEO of the Riverbend Water Resources District, a water and wastewater treatment district serving 12 cities, three counties, and industry, located in New Boston, Texas, where she served since 2015. Prior to Riverbend, she was the Director of Natural Resources for the Texas House of Representatives where she formulated groundbreaking legislation creating a water infrastructure bank, the $2 Billion State Water Implementation Fund of Texas (SWIFT) and State Water Implementation Revenue Fund of Texas (SWIRFT) that helps communities develop and optimize future water supplies at cost-effective rates. Liz is an attorney, having earned her law degree and legal master’s in taxation from the University of Denver and having received a B.A. in Government and a B.S. in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.

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 or call (281) 488-4115.

GCA Facilities Receive Prestigious NACWA Awards for Stellar Compliance

In 2017 for the second year in a row, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) recognized all five Gulf Coast Authority (GCA) wastewater treatment facilities, which earned a combination of Platinum, Gold, and Silver Peak Performance Awards, for consistently outstanding permit compliance. The Platinum7 Award represents seven consecutive years of 100-percent compliance, while Gold Awards represent one calendar year with no permit violations and Silver Awards celebrate facilities for having no more than five violations within a calendar year.

GCA’s 40-Acre Facility was awarded a Platinum7 Peak Performance Award in recognition of seven years of exemplary National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit compliance.

GCA’s Bayport, Washburn Tunnel, and Blackhawk Facilities were awarded Gold Peak Performance Awards, in recognition of their collective stellar permit compliance.

GCA’s Odessa South Facility received a Silver Peak Performance Award in recognition of its collective and consistent permit compliance last year.

All five of these GCA wastewater treatment facilities were also awarded Peak Performance Awards in 2016. This outstanding accomplishment signifies GCA’s and NACWA members’ commitment to environmental protection and represents the diligence and hard work of each agency’s employees.

“GCA is honored to be a part of this level of excellence in environmental protection, for which all NACWA members strive,” said Lori Traweek, general manager of GCA.

In addition to the NACWA awards, GCA’s Washburn Tunnel Facility was recognized by the Water Environment Association of Texas with the Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant of the Year Award. This award is based on compliance and safety performance during a two-year period and was recently presented to GCA at the annual Water Environmental Association of Texas meeting in San Antonio. The award was given to GCA because of its consistent and outstanding performance of daily activities that go beyond the call of duty. GCA Washburn Tunnel Facility Manager Phyllis Frank, GCA COO Scott Harris, GCA Chairman of the Board Frank Jones, and GCA Board Member Mark Schultz accepted the award.

Since its inception, GCA’s primary focus has been regional industrial wastewater treatment that serves the petrochemical industry. GCA currently operates several regional facilities — like its Bayport facility — that serve primarily chemical companies and two municipalities. The Washburn Tunnel Facility, located on the Houston Ship Channel, serves both refineries and chemical companies in addition to other facilities.

“We collaborate with industry and municipalities to provide the highest level of wastewater treatment, industrial water supply, financial and other waste management services,” Traweek said.

For more information, visit 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.

For more information, visit or call (281) 488-4115