Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1309
By: Brown
Environmental Regulation


Current law consolidates the emergency order and enforcement authority of
the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (commission) into the
Water Code. The Senate Interim Committee on Natural Resources received an
interim charge to monitor the implementation of this order.  S.B. 1309
authorizes technical corrections necessary to complete the consolidation of
the commission's emergency order and enforcement 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 1. Amends Section 7.002, Water Code, as follows:

(a)  Includes orders, permits, and other decisions adopted under provisions
of this code along with the rules that the Texas Natural Resource
Conservation Commission (TNRCC) is authorized to initiate an action to

(b)  Authorizes TNRCC to call and hold a public hearing and issue orders on
an alleged violation under this code or the Health and Safety Code within
its jurisdiction or under a rule, order, permit, or other TNRCC decision,
or to take any other action authorized by this chapter as warranted. 

(c)  Authorizes TNRCC to administer oaths, receive evidence at the hearing,
issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of
papers and documents related to the hearing, and to make findings of fact
and decisions with respect to administering the provisions of this code and
the Health and Safety Code within TNRCC's jurisdiction or the rules,
orders, or other decisions of TNRCC. 

SECTION 2.  Amends Section 7.068, Water Code, to provide that payment of an
administrative penalty under Subchapter C (Administrative Penalties)
precludes any criminal penalty for the same violation unless TNRCC, before
payment of the administrative penalty, has provided notice to the alleged
violator of its intent to prosecute criminally. 

SECTION 3.  Amends Section 7.107, Water Code, to require the state to
deposit its part of a penalty recovered in a suit brought by a local
government for a violation of Chapter 371 (Used Oil Collection, Management,
and Recycling), Health and Safety Code, or a rule or order adopted under
that chapter to the credit of the used oil recycling account.  Makes
conforming changes. 

SECTION 4.  Amends Section 7.141, Water Code, to define the following terms
for the purposes of this subchapter:  "air contaminant," "Class I
industrial solid waste," "Class I nonhazardous industrial solid waste,"
"discharge," "hazardous waste," "industrial solid waste," "municipal solid
waste," "on-site sewage disposal system," "point source," "pollutant,"
"pollution," "processing," "release," "solid waste," "solid waste
facility," "underground storage tank," "used oil," "waste," and "water." 
SECTION 5.  Amends Section 7.173, Water Code, as follows:

Removes the provision that a person commits an offense if violating a
TNRCC-adopted rule under Chapter 366 (On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems),
Health and Safety Code, or an order or resolution adopted by an authorized
agent under Subchapter C (Designation of Local Governmental Entity as
Authorized Agent), Chapter 366, Health and Safety Code, if the offense is
committed only in a county that is contiguous to an international border. 

SECTION 6.  Amends Section 7.187, Water Code, to provide that a person
convicted of an offense under Chapter 7 (Enforcement) is punishable by
imprisonment, in addition to confinement, for a period as imposed by the
section creating the offense of no more than a certain amount of days in
jail.  Defines "institutional division" for purposes of this section. 

SECTION 7.  Amends Section 7.351, Water Code, to authorize an authorized
agent as defined in Chapter 366, Health and Safety Code, to institute a
civil suit under Subchapter D (Permits; Fees) in the same manner as TNRCC
by its own attorney for the injunctive relief or civil penalty, or both, as
authorized by this chapter against the person who committed, is committing,
or is threatening to commit the violation, if it appears that a violation
or threat of violation of Chapter 366, Health and Safety Code, under
TNRCC's jurisdiction or a rule adopted or an order or a permit issued under
that chapter has occurred or is occurring in the jurisdiction of a local

SECTION 8.  Amends Subsections (d) and (e), Section 361.017, Health and
Safety Code, to delete text requiring TNRCC to consult with the attorney
general's office for assistance in certain referral issues, as well as text
requiring TNRCC to consult with the attorney general's office in
determining whether criminal or civil action should be taken, if
appropriate.  Deletes text requiring TNRCC to use all available enforcement

SECTION 9.  Amends Section 366.016, Health and Safety Code, to authorize
TNRCC or an authorized agent to issue an emergency order concerning an
on-site sewage disposal system under Section 5.513 (Emergency Order
Concerning On-Site Sewage Disposal System), rather than 5.517, Water Code. 

SECTION 10.  Amends Subsection (d), Section 382.015, Health and Safety
Code, to entitle TNRCC to the remedies provided by Subchapter L (Emergency
and Temporary Orders), Chapter 5 (Texas Natural Resource Conservation
Commission), and Subchapters B (Corrective Action and Injunctive Relief), C
(Administrative Penalties), and D (Civil Penalties), Chapter 7
(Enforcement), Water Code, rather than Sections 382.082-283.085, Water
Code, if a member, employee, or agent is refused the right to enter public
or private property as provided by this section. 

SECTION 11.  Amends Subsection (b), Section 382.023, Health and Safety
Code, to authorize TNRCC, if it appears that Chapter 11 (Clean Air Act) or
a TNRCC rule, order or determination is being violated, or the executive
director if authorized by TNRCC or this chapter, to proceed under
Subchapter B, Water Code, rather than Sections 382.082-382.084, Water Code. 

SECTION 12.  Repealer:  Sections 5.117 (Mandatory Enforcement Hearing) and
26.2171 (Venue), Water Code, and Section 371.043 (Civil Penalty), Health
and Safety Code. 

SECTION 13.  Effective date:  September 1, 1999.

SECTION 14.  (a)  Makes changes in law made by this Act prospective to an
offense or violation committed or an action commenced on or after the
effective date of this Act.  Provides that the change in law relating to
court jurisdiction made by Section 7.351, Water Code, as amended by this
Act, prevails over an amendment to that section by any other Act of the
76th Legislature, Regular Session, 1999, regardless of the relative dates
of enactment. 

SECTION 15.  Emergency clause.