Honorable Allan Ritter, Chair, House Committee on Natural Resources
Ursula Parks, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB1519 by Sheffield, J. D. (Relating to the extent and management of the John Graves Scenic Riverway.), As Introduced
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
The bill would amend the Water Code to require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to amend its rules as necessary to include the area added to the John Graves Scenic Riverway in the John Graves Scenic Riverway pilot program. The bill would require TCEQ to begin enforcement on the area added to the John Graves Scenic Riverway on January 1, 2014 and to amend existing rules as soon as practicable.
Currently, TCEQ, the Brazos River Authority (BRA) and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) are required to coordinate inspections and water testing in the John Graves Scenic Riverway water quality protection area that would need to be expanded to include the river area in Somervell and Hood counties. The BRA collects and tests the water samples with funds provided from TCEQ under the Clean Rivers Program. The BRA currently has a routine water quality sampling site in the expanded area which would fulfill the requirement for water quality testing in the expanded area.
Under the provisions of the bill, approximately 28 additional quarries currently permitted under the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) would be subject to the John Graves rule (four in Somervell County and 24 in Hood County) and would be required to obtain either an individual permit or would be required to seek coverage under the general permit depending on their proximity to the water body protection area. Based on preliminary assessment, approximately nine quarries in Hood County and at least two quarries in Somervell County may require individual permits. Even though these quarries are permitted under the MSGP, they may require new permits specific to the John Graves Scenic Riverway. Any additional permitting revenue received by TCEQ is estimated to be minimal.
TCEQ indicated that any additional work resulting from the passage of the bill is not anticipated to result in significant fiscal implications for the agency.
The bill would take effect September 1, 2013.
Local Government Impact
Because the bill would not have statewide impact on units of local government of the same type or class, no comment from this office is required by the rules of the House/Senate as to its probable fiscal implication on units of local government.