Legislation from the 82nd Session
During the 82nd Legislative Session, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) tracked 978 bills with the potential to affect the agency or its operations. Of those, the Legislature adopted approximately 180 bills that impact the agency and will require either rule making, revisions to guidance documents, operational or procedural changes, or some type of administrative action within the agency.
The 82nd Legislative Session Wrap-up report summarizes legislation of interest to the agency that passed during the regular session, impacting agency programs, employees, and stakeholders.
The Legislative Implementation table from the 82nd Regular Session provides TCEQ contact and schedule information on legislation that will impact the agency.
The Legislature addressed several of TCEQs programs and priorities. Below are examples of some key legislation that passed this session:
- HB 451 - Requires the TCEQ to establish a "Don't Mess With Texas Water" program to prevent illegal dumping that affects surface waters of the state.
- HB 1981 - Modifies the TCEQ’s current Air Pollutant Watch List (APWL) process, including changes to the requirements for publishing notice and allowing public comment.
- HB 2694 - Continues the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for 12 years, until 2023. Also makes changes to several program areas, such as focusing the Dam Safety Program on the most hazardous dams in the state, transferring the authority for making groundwater protection recommendations regarding oil and gas activities to the Railroad Commission, and increasing the maximum to $25,000 for almost all penalties and $5,000 for others, such as water rate penalties.
- SB 20 & SB 385 - Establishes three new grant programs under TERP: the natural gas vehicle rebate program, a program to fund natural gas fueling stations, and an alternative fueling facilities program.
- SB 329 - Creates a television equipment recycling program. Includes shared responsibility among consumers, retailers, manufacturers, and the state government for recycling covered television equipment.
- SB 1134 - Prohibits TCEQ from promulgating new or amending existing authorizations [Permits by Rule (PBR) or Standard Permits (SP)] for the oil and gas industry without performing a regulatory impact analysis (RIA), extensive monitoring, and correlated modeling.
- SB 1258 - Allows TCEQ to issue a Permit By Rule to enable counties or municipalities with a population of 10,000 or less to dispose of demolition waste from buildings that are abandoned or found to be a nuisance. Disposal could only occur on land that is owned by the county and would qualify for an arid exemption.
The Commission will be initiating the necessary actions to implement all legislation described here that requires rulemaking or other changes to agency operations. Any questions concerning legislation affecting the TCEQ can be directed to the Intergovernmental Relations Division at (512) 239-3500.