The 86th Texas Legislature formally began on January 8th, 2019. Legislatorss could begin pre-filing bills on November 12th, 2018, for the current session.
Legislators have filed environmentally-relevant bills, including bills relating to the disposal of pesticides, the protection of public freshwater areas, and the creation of a Global Climate Change Commission.
Texas legislators may continue filing bills until Friday, March 8, 2019, which is the deadline for the unrestricted filing of bills and joint resolutions – other than local bills, emergency appropriations, and emergency matters submitted by the governor.
The 86th Texas Legislature has filed the following bills pertaining to environmental issues throughout the state:
House of Representatives:
- HB 26: Relating to the creation of an alert system to notify affected persons of certain releases of water from certain dams.
- HB 70: Relating to a strategic plan goal by the Department of Agriculture to prevent crop diseases in this state.
- HB 100: Relating to information on projected changes in weather and water availability in strategic plans of certain state agencies.
- HB 136: Relating to pollinator health.
- HB 137: Relating to reports by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality about dams that have certain hazard classifications.
- HB 191: Relating to the disposal of pesticides.
- HB 223: Relating to the funding through greenhouse gas emissions fees of energy efficiency programs administered by certain utilities; authorizing a fee.
- HB 225: Relating to the analysis of inspection and maintenance requirements for air quality permits issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for certain oil and gas facilities.
- HB 286: Relating to the promotion of the use of recyclable materials as feedstock for manufacturing.
- HB 481: Relating to the storage and recovery of water in a portion of the Edwards Aquifer.
- HB 488: Relating to the protection of public freshwater areas.
- HB 522: Relating to the consideration of the cumulative effects of air contaminant emissions in the emissions permitting process.
- HB 654: Relating to the definition of “affected person” for purposes of a contested case hearing held by or for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality regarding certain environmental permit applications.
- HB 722: Relating to the development of brackish groundwater.
- HB 723: Relating to a requirement that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality obtain or develop updated water availability models for certain river basins.
- HB 724: Relating to the authorization by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality of the discharge, diversion, and transfer or other reuse of treated brackish groundwater and return flows derived from treated brackish groundwater.
- HB 726: Relating to the regulation of groundwater.
- HB 792: Relating to the use of land in the William Goodrich Jones State Forest.
- HB 798: Relating to plot plan requirements for an application for a standard permit for a concrete batch plant issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
- HB 801: Relating to the establishment of a task force to conduct a comprehensive study on flood control infrastructure for Harris County.
- HB 807: Relating to the state and regional water planning process.
- HB 817: Relating to a restriction on permits authorizing direct discharges of waste or pollutants into water in certain areas of the Edwards Aquifer.
- HB 825: Relating to the notice of intent to obtain an environmental permit sent to certain state legislators.
- HB 845: Relating to the eligibility of property used for a water desalination project for ad valorem tax benefits under the Texas Economic Development Act.
- HB 856: Relating to local government prohibitions or restrictions on the sale or use of a container or package.
- HB 865: Relating to the maintenance of records concerning pipeline incidents.
- HB 893: Relating to the carcinogenic risk level used in the development of certain environmental remediation benchmarks.
- HB 907: Relating to the penalty for failure to register certain aggregate production operations with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
- HB 928: Relating to establishing the Texas Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission to study and address the impacts of climate change in this state.
- HB 942: Relating to the creation and duties of the Global Climate Change Commission.
- HB 944: Relating to the posting of notice of intent to obtain a permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality at the site of the facility or proposed facility for which the permit is sought.
- HB 990: Relating to a study by the Texas Water Development Board and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality regarding the effects of the construction of a border wall on storm drainage and other environmental matters in this state.
- HB 997: Relating to testing for lead contamination in public school drinking water.
- HB 999: Relating to who may request a public hearing from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality related to the construction of a concrete plant.
- HB 1006: Relating to changes to an application for an environmental permit before a contested case hearing on the application.
- HB 1066: Relating to extensions of an expired permit for the transfer of groundwater from a groundwater conservation district.
- HB 1267: Relating to civil and administrative penalties assessed or imposed for violations of laws protecting drinking water, public water supplies, and bodies of water.
- HCR 15: Urging the United States Congress to conduct a cost-benefit analysis regarding the risks of climate change and appropriate measures to address them.
- HCR 24: Requesting the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the House of Representatives to direct the appropriate house and senate committees to conduct an interim study regarding the feasibility of integrating the Northeast Texas Trail into the state park system.
- HJR 11: Proposing a constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas.
More information about the 86th Texas Legislature session can be found on their website: https://capitol.texas.gov/Home.aspx