HBA-RBT H.B. 1654 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1654 By: Maxey Natural Resources 3/27/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Prior to 1996, criminal prosecutions were authorized for violations of state or county regulations regarding on-site sewage disposal systems. The local county health and human services department enforced the rules by approving the design, inspecting the installation, and responding to complaints involving the operation of these systems. Enforcement was through the filing of criminal complaints in justice of the peace courts. In 1996, sections of the Water Code and the Health and Safety Code were repealed, and criminal prosecutions were no longer possible. H.B. 1654 reinstates the authority of county attorneys to prosecute violations of these regulations. 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 E, Chapter 7, Water Code, by adding Section 7.1735, as follows: Sec. 7.1735. VIOLATION OF RULE OR ORDER RELATING TO SEWAGE DISPOSAL SYSTEM. Provides that a person commits a Class C misdemeanor if the person violates a rule adopted by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission under Chapter 366, Health and Safety Code (On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems), or an order or resolution adopted by an authorized agent under Subchapter C, Chapter 366, Health and Safety Code (Designation of Local Government Entity as Authorized Agent). SECTION 2. Amends Section 7.189, Water Code, to provide that venue for prosecution of alleged violations described by Section 7.1735, Water Code, is in justice court. SECTION 3. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 4. Makes application of this Act prospective. SECTION 5. Emergency clause.