HBA-MPM H.B. 1927 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1927 By: Geren Public Health 6/29/2001 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE New federal and state laws enacted in the 1980s focused on protecting schoolchildren and workers from asbestos in public buildings. In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of asbestos in almost all products manufactured in the United States. However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit later overturned the prohibition, stating that although no new products could be developed using asbestos, those already in commerce could still be manufactured. Therefore, certain asbestos products are still being used today. State law requires asbestos abatement from public buildings. However, prior to the 77th Legislature, there was no law prohibiting the installation or reinstallation of materials that contain asbestos in public buildings. House Bill1927 prohibits a person from installing building materials without first obtaining a material safety data sheet or from installing materials that contain more than one percent asbestos in public buildings and provides penalties for violations. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Board of Health in SECTION 1 (Section 161.402, Health and Safety Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 1927 amends the Health and Safety Code to require the Texas Board of Health to adopt rules designating the materials or replacement parts for which a person must obtain a material safety data sheet before installing the materials or parts in a public building. The person is prohibited from installing the materials or parts if the person does not obtain the data sheet, or the materials or parts, according to the data sheet, contain more than one percent asbestos and there is an alternative material or part. The bill authorizes the attorney general or the appropriate district or county attorney, in the name of the state, to bring an action for an injunction or a civil penalty against a contractor who is in violation of or threatens to violate these provisions. The bill authorizes the district court to grant any prohibitory or mandatory relief warranted by the facts, including a temporary restraining order or temporary or permanent injunction. The bill provides that a contractor who is in violation of these provisions is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 a day for each violation. The bill authorizes the party bringing suit to combine a suit to assess and recover civil penalties with a suit of injunctive relief, or file a suit to assess and recover civil penalties independent of a suit for injunctive relief. The bill authorizes the Texas Department of Health to impose an administrative penalty on a contractor who violates the provisions of this bill not to exceed $10,000 a day per violation. The bill sets forth conditions under which a penalty may be stayed during the time the order is under judicial review, and authorizes the attorney general to sue to collect the administrative penalty. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.