Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1074
By: Krusee
Natural Resources


Currently, water and wastewater permit holders are required to inform the
Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) within 24 hours in
the event of a spill or accidental discharge. Beyond TNRCC notification
there in is no requirement to inform potentially affected citizens around
the spill site. 

H.B. 1074 requires that notice also be given (pursuant to TNRCC guidelines)
to the county judge and the county health department, and that a notice be
posted at the county courthouse of the affected county, and in the
newspaper with the largest circulation in the county.  This bill also gives
TNRCC more control in determining which spills must be reported. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill
expressly delegates additional rulemaking authority to Texas Natural
Resource Conservation Commission in SECTION 1 (Section 26.039 Water Code),
of this bill. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Section 26.039, Water Code, by adding Subsections (e)
and (f), as follows: 

(e) Requires the individual operating in charge of, or responsible for the
activity or facility, not later than 24 hours after an accidental discharge
or spill described by Subsection (b) (from any activity or facility which
may cause pollution) that  may adversely affect a public or private source
of drinking water, to post a public notice at the county courthouse, notify
the county judge, notify the county health department, and place a notice
in the newspaper with the greatest circulation in that county. 

(f) Requires the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) by
rule to specify the conditions under which an individual must comply with
Subsection (e) and prescribe procedures for giving the required notice.
Sets forth that the rules must require that the individual identify, by
location and type or segment, the water about which notice must be given,
and that the rules must state the volume and content of a discharge
requiring notice, and the manner of giving notice.  Requires TNRCC in
formulating the rules to consider regional information about the
susceptibility of a particular water to particular types of pollution. 

SECTION 2.  Effective date: September 1, 1999.
                       Requires TNRCC to adopt the rules required by
Section 26.039(f), Water 
                       Code, as added by this Act, no later than December
1, 1999. 
                       Makes application of this Act prospective to January
1, 2000. 

SECTION 3.  Emergency clause.