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  • declared the preservation and conservation of the state’s natural resources to be the duty of the state, and authorized the legislature to pass all laws necessary to achieve those ends.
  • declared the preservation and conservation of the state’s natural resources to be the duty of the state, and authorized the legislature to pass all laws necessary to achieve those ends.
  • declared the preservation and conservation of the state’s natural resources to be the duty of the state, and authorized the legislature to pass all laws necessary to achieve those ends.
  • declared the preservation and conservation of the state’s natural resources to be the duty of the state, and authorized the legislature to pass all laws necessary to achieve those ends.
  • declared the preservation and conservation of the state’s natural resources to be the duty of the state, and authorized the legislature to pass all laws necessary to achieve those ends.
  • declared the preservation and conservation of the state’s natural resources to be the duty of the state, and authorized the legislature to pass all laws necessary to achieve those ends.

Transcript

  • 1. Legislative Review Stacey A. Steinbach Texas Water Conservation Association Mid Year Conference June 21, 2013
  • 2. Session Generally • Total house and senate bills filed: 5868 (5796) • Total house and senate bills passed: 1437 (1379) • Number of bills referred to HNRC: 214 bills • Number of bills referred to SNRC: 196 bills • Number of “water” bills: 128 (Texas Tribune) • Number of bills tracked by TAGD: 164
  • 3. Additional Passed Bills
  • 4. Groundwater-Related Bills • HB 1563: fees of office for GCD Board increased from $150 to $250/day; cap still $9,000 • SB 1282: DFC proposal deadline extended to May 1, 2016
  • 5. New/Revived GCDs • Calhoun County GCD (confirmation election date extended) • Reeves County GCD • Deep East Texas GCD (Shelby, San Augustine, and Sabine)
  • 6. SB 1: Appropriations • $1 million in 2014 for water conservation education grants • $1.8 million/year in 2014 and 2015 to TAWC for Ogallala demonstration project • $1.5 million/year in 2014 and 2015 to GCDs for agricultural water conservation (GCD must require meters; funds offset 50% of meter costs)
  • 7. Water Conservation Bills • HB 857: retail public utilities serving > 3,300 connections/receiving financial assistance from TWDB must conduct annual water loss audit (other RPUs still on 5 year schedule) • HB 1461: required notification of water loss to customers
  • 8. Water Conservation Bills • HB 3604: required implementation of WCPs and DCPs when emergency declared; TCEQ can enforce • HB 3605: – Portion of assistance must mitigate water loss, if applicable – TWDB to review WCP compliance for financial assistance applications from retail public utilities serving > 3,300
  • 9. Water Conservation Bills • SB 654: municipality may bring civil action for enforcement of ordinance relating to water conservation • SB 198: HOAs may not prohibit xeriscaping • HB 2781: rainwater harvesting systems
  • 10. More Water Bills • HB 252: RPUs must notify TCEQ when < 180 days of water • HB 1973: municipality may adopt TCEQ fire flow standards for an IOU or WSC providing service in city/ETJ • HB 2362: LBB may review river authorities
  • 11. Open Meetings Bills • HB 2414/SB 984: General videoconference meetings (different language; presiding member present) • SB 293: “water districts” covering 3+ counties may hold a meeting via telephone or video conference • SB 471: betamax bill • SB 1297: public officials may communicate via message boards visible to public (also HB 2414)
  • 12. Public Information Bills • SB 983: In camera review of information at issue in a public information lawsuit • SB 1368: Public information as related to contracts between non-government entities and government entities
  • 13. Notable Vetoes • HB 3509: Endangered species habitat conservation (vetoed) • SB 1: $1.5 million to HARC for “water aquifer research” • HB 1160: transfer of CCN (Blue Mound water system condemnation)
  • 14. What DIDN’T Pass (Groundwater Edition)
  • 15. Groundwater Desalination • Definition of brackish groundwater • Original bills would have eliminated or constrained GCD jurisdiction • CSHB 2578 addressed major issues; questions remained for some stakeholders
  • 16. Oil & Gas Groundwater Exemption • 36.117(b)(2): solely to supply water for a rig that is actively engaged in drilling or exploration operations for an oil or gas well... • Three bills filed (Hegar, Uresti, Keffer) • CSSB 873 added “interim permit” concept and addressed many stakeholder concerns; made it to HNRC
  • 17. Long-Term Permitting • Three main components: – Automatic renewals if no conditions change – GCDs can “open up” permits if certain conditions change – GCDs cannot implement cutbacks arbitrarily • Devil’s in the details
  • 18. Well Construction/Well Drillers • SB 1387: codified TDLR apprentice program; contemplated third party inspectors (including GCDs) to assist with enforcement • SB 1249: Well driller must notify TDLR/landowner of problematic wells; report re corrective action must be filed with TDLR and GCD board
  • 19. Questions? Stacey Steinbach stacey@texasgroundwater.org (512) 522-8243