Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3117
By: Edwards
Environmental Regulation


Current law does not explicitly address public hearings for the operation
of  mobile rock crushers in a new location, regulate stockpiles of
aggregate materials from quarries or pits,  nor restrict the location of
mobile rock crushers.   There are public concerns that particulate matter
emitted from stockpile aggregate and mobile rock crushers pollutes the air
and could affect the health of nearby residents and the operation of nearby
businesses.  The absence of the requirement for a public hearing regarding
the location of a new mobile rock crusher and lack of regulation of
stockpiles of aggregate materials could convey that the interests of the
public are not being fairly represented.  House Bill 3117 requires the
Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission to adopt requirements
relating to the maintenance, location, operation, and health and safety
regulations of a mobile rock crusher. 


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 1 (Section 382.042, Health and Safety Code) in
SECTION 2 (Section 382.0585, Health and Safety Code) in SECTION 3 (Section
382.0592, Health and Safety Code) and SECTION 4 of this bill. 


House Bill 3117 amends the Health and Safety Code to require a person who
stockpiles aggregates  to saturate the aggregates with water to reduce the
amount of particulate matter released from the stockpiled aggregates in
accordance with guidelines and procedures imposed by Texas Natural Resource
Conservation Commission (TNRCC) rule not later than March 1, 2002.   

The bill requires TNRCC by rule to prohibit a mobile rock crusher from
operating in a new location until after a contested case hearing on the
rock crusher's permit to operate in a new location if a member of the house
of representatives or a senator requests the hearing.  TNRCC is required to
adopt these rules not later than March 1, 2002.  The bill requires that
rules adopted under these provisions must provide for notice of the hearing
to residents and businesses that might be affected by the location or
operation of the rock crusher, an opportunity for public participation at
the hearing, an opportunity for any person with a justiciable interest in
the location or operation of the rock crusher to be a party to the hearing,
and the presentation of evidence regarding the effects of the rock
crusher's operations on air quality and health. 

The bill prohibits a rock crusher from being operated less than one mile
from any recreational area, or a residence or other structure that is
occupied or used by a person other than the operator of the rock crusher or
the owner of the property on which the rock crusher is operated.  The bill
prohibits piles of any aggregates maintained in the vicinity of a rock
crusher from exceeding a height of 15 feet.  The bill requires TNRCC to
adopt rules to implement these provisions. 


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001.