HBA-EDN H.B. 2572 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2572 By: McReynolds Natural Resources 8/8/2001 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Texas faces a difficult challenge to develop water policies that serve state and regional interests. The Texas Constitution authorizes the creation of groundwater conservation districts to plan, develop, and regulate the use of water. House Bill 2572 creates the Pineywoods Groundwater Conservation District in Angelina and Nacogdoches counties, subject to approval at a confirmation election, to manage Angelina and Nacogdoches counties' groundwater resources. 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. ANALYSIS House Bill 2572 creates the Pineywoods Groundwater Conservation District in Angelina and Nacogdoches counties, subject to approval at a confirmation election (SECTION 1). H.B. 2572 provides that the district is governed by a board of seven directors (board) and sets forth provisions regarding the administration of the board and the qualifications and terms of the directors. The bill requires the Angelina and Nacogdoches County commissioners courts to each appoint two directors and jointly appoint one director, the Lufkin City Council to appoint one director, and the Nacogdoches City Council to appoint one director (SECTIONS 6-8). H.B. 2572 authorizes the district, by rule, to require a person to obtain a permit for the transfer of groundwater out of the district and to regulate the terms on which a permit holder may conduct such a transfer. The bill provides that a retail public utility is not required to obtain a permit to transfer groundwater out of the district. The district is prohibited from requiring a permit for a well incapable of producing more than 25,000 gallons of groundwater a day. The bill prohibits the district from levying or collecting taxes, but authorizes the board, by rule, to impose reasonable fees on each well for which a permit is issued and which is not exempt from regulation by the district, but prohibits any fee from exceeding $0.01 per thousand gallons for groundwater withdrawn for any purpose. The bill also prohibits the district from exercising the power of eminent domain, issuing and selling any bonds or notes that pledge revenue derived from taxation in the name of the district, or purchasing groundwater rights unless the purchased rights are for conservation purposes and are permanently held in trust not to be produced (SECTION 5). The bill sets forth provisions regarding an election to confirm establishment of, and the addition of other counties to, the district (SECTIONS 10 and 11). EFFECTIVE DATE June 16, 2001.