Legislation from the 83rd Session
During the 83rd Legislative Session, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) tracked 774 bills with the potential to affect the agency or its operations. Of those, the Legislature adopted approximately 114 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 83rd 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 83rd Regular Session provides TCEQ contact and schedule information on legislation that will impact the agency.
The Legislature addressed several of TCEQ's programs and priorities. Below are examples of some key legislation that passed this session:
- HB 4 – Amends Texas Water Code 15, Subchapter G for the creation and funding of the state water implementation fund to assist the TWDB in funding certain water-related projects.
- HB 788 - Section 1 of HB 788 amends chapter 382 of the Texas Health and Safety Code (the Texas Clean Air Act, TCAA) to add new section 382.069 for GHG Emissions Permitting. Subsection (b) requires the TCEQ, by rule, to adopt a program to allow the TCEQ to assume authority to issue permits for GHG emissions in accordance with federal law. Subsection (c) requires the TCEQ, as part of the program created by subsection (b), to develop measures to streamline the permitting process, including the use of general permits, standard permits, and presumptive BACT. Subsection (d) provides that if it is determined that GHGs are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, the TCEQ shall immediately cease issuing and requiring permits that regulate GHG emissions, and immediately cease enforcing permit provisions regulating GHG emissions.
- SB 567 - The filed bill would transfer almost all of the water and wastewater utility regulation from TCEQ to the PUC on September 1, 2014. The bill also delineates three classes of utilities and has a different rate review process for each class to be administered by the PUCT. The bill requires a MOU between the TCEQ and PUCT to accomplish the transfer in a timely manner as prescribed by the bill and to cooperate on specific elements of technical and financial regulations involving water and wastewater utility systems.
- SB 1727 – The bill amends Chapter 386, THSC, dealing with TERP. The bill provides clean-up language to add four existing programs to the list of programs established under the TERP in THSC, §386.051. These programs are the Texas Clean Fleet Program under Chapter 390, Alternative Fueling Facilities Program under Chapter 393, and the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Incentive Grants Program and Clean Transportation Triangle Program under Chapter 394. The Clean Fleet Program was established in 2009 and the other programs were established in 2011, but language was not added to this section when those programs were created.
- SB 1756 -Senate Bill 1756 would modify Subchapter C of Chapter 382 of the Texas Health and Safety Code (TH&SC). The bill would add new § 382.05155, which would create requirements regarding expedited air permit reviews for the APD.
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.