87th Texas Legislature Regular Session Bills: January 11-29, 2021

Bills filed between January 11-29, 2021, relate to energy efficiency goals, the establishment of the Texas Environmental Justice Advisory Council, aggregate production operations, utilities, air quality permits, and more.

Monday, November 9, 2020, was the first day that Texas legislators and legislators-elect could begin filing bills for the upcoming regular session, which will last for 140 days from Tuesday, January 12, 2021 to Monday, May 31, 2021. Texas legislators may continue filing bills until Friday, March 12, 2021, 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 87th Texas Legislature filed the following bills relating to environmental issues and regulations from January 11th to 29th, 2021.

Senate:

  • SB 243: Relating to energy efficiency goals for electric utilities. This bill includes specific increasing goals for utility companies to save 1% of energy by the year 2025.
  • SB 304: Relating to a state goal for competitive zero-carbon electric generation.
  • SB 306: Relating to information on projected changes in weather, water availability, and climate variability in strategic plans of certain state agencies.
  • SB 365: Relating to applications for permits issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for certain new or expanded facilities in certain low-income and minority communities
  • SB 388: Relating to the reduction of methane gas flaring on land dedicated to the permanent university fund.
  • SB 398: Relating to distributed renewable generation resources.
  • SB 450: Relating to the jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission of Texas over the injection and geologic storage of carbon dioxide.

House of Representatives:

  • HB 714: Relating to the establishment of the Texas Environmental Justice Advisory Council. The Council would include representatives appointed by leaders from the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality, the Attorney General, Health and Human Services, and other offices. This bill would also establish a Environmental Justice Review Board, which would comprise of members from grassroots, non-profit, educational, business, or civil rights organizations.
  • HB 767: Relating to best management practices for aggregate production operations. The Commission’s website would be updated with information reflecting best management practices for production operations.
  • HB 783: Relating to the powers and duties of the Parks and Wildlife Department regarding wind-powered energy devices; providing a civil penalty. Would allow Parks and Wildlife Department to manage presence of wind-powered energy devices in a way that mitigates their disruption on protected lands.
  • HB 806: Relating to nonsubmetered billing for water or wastewater service. This bill requires an increase in transparency to apartment dwellers regarding water and wastewater utility structures.
  • HB 824: Relating to the exemption of certain property from municipal drainage service charges. Under this bill, individuals who are disabled veterans or members of the Armed Forces, or over 65 years of age would not have to pay service fees for municipal drainage.
  • HB 884: Relating to local government regulations based on utility service type.
  • HB 889: Relating to who may request a public hearing from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality related to construction of a concrete plant. This would potentially expand who is allowed to request these hearings to include individuals who do not reside in permanent residences.
  • HB 896: Relating to air quality permits issues by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for certain oil and gas facilities. This would set new guidelines for how permits are issued, and suggest the use of incentive based programs to facilities who use best practices.
  • HB 897: 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.