Legislative Review, Stacey Steinbach, TAGD

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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.
  • Legislative Review, Stacey Steinbach, TAGD

    1. 1. Legislative Review Stacey A. Steinbach Texas Water Conservation Association Mid Year Conference June 21, 2013
    2. 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. 3. Additional Passed Bills
    4. 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. 5. New/Revived GCDs • Calhoun County GCD (confirmation election date extended) • Reeves County GCD • Deep East Texas GCD (Shelby, San Augustine, and Sabine)
    6. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 14. What DIDN’T Pass (Groundwater Edition)
    15. 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. 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. 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. 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. 19. Questions? Stacey Steinbach stacey@texasgroundwater.org (512) 522-8243

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