HBA-SEP H.B. 2403 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2403 By: Lewis, Ron Natural Resources 3/16/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The United States Department of Energy recently published new energy efficiency standards for clotheswashing machines (machines). These federal standards, however, do not address water efficiency. In Texas, water conservation has emerged as an important issue and machines that use water inefficiently contribute to the problem. House Bill 2403 prohibits a person from selling, offering for sale, distributing, or importing a machine for use in this state unless the machine meets certain water and energy saving performance standards. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission in SECTION 4 (Section 372.003, Health and Safety Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 2403 amends the Health and Safety Code to prohibit a person from selling, offering for sale, distributing, or importing a clothes-washing machine for use in this state unless the machine meets certain water and energy saving performance standards (standards) and set forth provisions regarding the standards. The bill requires the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) by rule to prohibit the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or importation into this state a new commercial or residential clothes-washing machine unless the machine is labeled in accordance with rules adopted by TNRCC with a statement that describes the device's water and energy use characteristics, including the water consumption factor and modified energy factor. The bill exempts a clothes-washing machine with a capacity of more than 3.5 cubic feet or less than 1.6 cubic feet from these provisions. The bill requires TNRCC to make and maintain a current list of clothes-washing machines that are certified to TNRCC by the manufacturer or importer to meet the standards. The bill makes other provisions relating to water saving performance standards of plumbing fixtures applicable to washing machines. The bill requires TNRCC to employ, in addition to standards established by the American National Standards Institute, the standards established by the United States Department of Energy. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.