Legislative update – Wise Report

Posted: March 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Wise Report

March 2, 2013

Henry M. Wise, P.G.

 

The following bills that may be of interest to Texas geologists have been filed. New information is listed in bold (one new bill listed):

 

The recently revised Construction General Permit for Stormwater becomes effective onTuesday, March 5, 2013, and all authorizations issued under the current CGP will expire. For coverage under the new permit, a Notice of Intent (NOI) should be submitted after March 5, 2013. Operators of large construction activities previously authorized under the expiring CGP have 90 days to submit a new NOI and application fee. The new CGP and the updated forms will be posted on the TCEQ website at: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/permitting/stormwater/wq_construction.html

Bloomberg reports the series of automatic Federal spending cuts will result in an estimated $154 million reduction in federal funding for state environmental programs, according to the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The news organization reports environmental funding for Texas would will be $8.47 million less. An estimated $46.2 million in anticipated cuts to federal fish and wildlife protection grants is also outlined in the e-mail. For the full story go to: http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/linktrack.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bloomberg.com%2Fnews%2F2013-02-27%2Fsequestration-cuts-154m-in-state-environment-funding-white-house-says.html.

Today, the Texas Senate unanimously confirmed the appointment of Toby Baker of Austin to serve as a Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Comm. Baker has been serving in that capacity since his appointment by Governor Rick Perry on April 16, 2012. His term will expire on Aug. 31, 2017. For the complete announcement go to:  http://www.tceq.texas.gov/news/releases/2-13BakerConfirmed2-27

———————————————————————————————————————

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. “A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis.” This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. Scheduled for formal meeting on 3/4/2013.  For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB86

 

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual’s occupation. “An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:

(1) substantially burdensome; and

(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.

(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual’s right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation. “

This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards.  2/25/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB87

 

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 2/18/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB100

 

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. “Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule.” 2/6/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB147

 

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. 2/11/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB340

 

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. “Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule.” 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=426

 

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren’t more stringent than Federal requirements. 2/14/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB569

 

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. Scheduled for formal meeting on 3/6/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB569

 

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it’s been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 2/18/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB788

 

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It’s not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works.Scheduled for formal meeting on 3/5/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB824.

 

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 2/19/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB878.

 

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 2/19/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB1079.

 

HB 2146, by Hilderbran, Relating to limits on mining of marl, sand, gravel, shell, or mudshell in certain protected freshwater areas. Allows for no more than 1,000 cubic yards from the area located east of IH-35. Filed 3/1/2013.  For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB2146.

 

HB 2166, by Bonnen and Dennis, Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. Among other things, changes the name of the RRC to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. Filed 3/1/2013.  For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB2166.

 

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/history.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB136

 

SB138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 2/5/2013 Committee report printed and distributed. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/history.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB138

 

SB 272, by Seliger, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 2/19/2013, left pending in Committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/history.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB272.

 

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB434.

 

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB467.

 

SB 536, by Hinojosa. Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB536.

 

SB 584, by Hegar. Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB584.

 

SB 873, by Hegar. Relating to the authority of a groundwater conservation district to require a permit for the drilling or operation of a water well used to supply water for the performance of a hydraulic fracturing treatment on an oil or gas well. Groundwater Districts may not provide an exemption to the requirement to obtain a permit. Filed 2/27/2013. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB873.

 

SB 941, by Davis. Relating to the adoption of rules by the Railroad Commission of Texas regulating the exploration for and production of natural gas in the unincorporated areas of certain counties. “Rules adopted under this section must promote gas exploration and production while securing the quality of life and  existing economic interests, including property values and development plans, in the unincorporated areas of the counties.”. Filed 2/28/2013. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB941.

 

I’ll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.

Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The Wise Report

March 2, 2013

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s