HBA-DMD H.B. 480 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 480 By: Seaman Energy Resources 3/19/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, a person seeking a permit for a commercial surface disposal facility must only notify adjacent landowners of the permit application. This may not provide county officials and affected citizens adequate notice of the person's application, even when that facility could threaten drinking water supplies or the local environment. H.B. 480 requires a person who files an application for a permit for a treatment and disposal facility to publish notice of the application in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the proposed treatment would occur. This bill also requires the staff of the Railroad Commission of Texas (commission) to conduct a public comment hearing, upon receiving a request for such, before the commission makes a determination on an application for a permit. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter D, Chapter 91, Natural Resources Code, by adding Sections 91.116 and 91.117, as follows: Sec. 91.116. NOTICE OF LAND TREATMENT PERMIT APPLICATION. Requires a person who files an application for a permit for a treatment and disposal facility for land treatment or for land spreading of oil and gas waste or waste related to a geothermal resource to publish notice of the application in accordance with this section. Provides that the notice must include the date the application was filed, a description of the site and the name of the owner, the name of the applicant, the type of waste to be treated or spread, and the treatment method proposed. Provides that the notice must be published at least once a week during a consecutive four-week period, with the first publication occurring no later than seven days after the application is filed, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the proposed treatment would occur. Sec. 91.117. PUBLIC INFORMATION HEARING ON LAND TREATMENT PERMIT APPLICATION. Requires the staff of the Railroad Commission of Texas (commission) to conduct a public comment hearing upon receiving a request for a public comment hearing before the commission makes a determination on an application for a permit. Provides that the hearing must be held in the county in which the treatment would occur and specifies that comments received at the hearing be part of the record of the contested case hearing on the application. SECTION 2.Effective date: September 1, 1999. Makes application of this Act prospective. SECTION 3. Emergency clause.