- Monitor ongoing efforts to improve air quality in Texas and review development and mplementation of the State Implementation Plan. Examine the effectiveness of the Low Income Vehicle Repair and Assistance Program and the Texas Emissions Reduction Program.
- Study and assess all issues related to ground and surface water law, policy and management, including, but not limited to:
Identify areas of the state where surface or groundwater was contaminated by petroleum operations. Determine the appropriate regulatory and technical requirements to remediate the contamination and prevent future contamination, and recommend appropriate agency jurisdiction for preventing, responding and remediating such incidents.
Study the increasing use of liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG) and propane. Examine the way those products fit into a diverse fuel mix. Review the current status of LNG terminals on the Texas coast. Study mineral owners and surface owners rights and obligations for the manner in which they enter and use property. Make recommendations on ways in which surface and mineral owners could communicate more effectively. Monitor the Railroad Commission study of competition in the Texas natural gas pipeline industry.
Review current regulations regarding landfills and sewer plants. Study areas of the state to determine where and why there may be significant concentration of these facilities in a particular area/region of the state. Examine siting procedures, notice requirements, and the implementation of TCEQ rules.
Study and make recommendations relating to investment needs and economic barriers to developing bio-diesel, bio-fuels, ethanol, and other renewable products in Texas. Compare agriculturally-developed renewable fuel initiatives in other states.
Study the permitting exemptions and water well regulations in Sec. 36.117, Water Code. Review the jurisdiction over the regulation of groundwater pumping in conjunction with drilling and production of oil and gas.
Review mineral owners and surface owners rights and obligations for the manner in which they enter and use property. Make recommendations on ways in which surface and mineral owners could communicate more effectively.
- the role of federal, state, regional and local governments, including river authorities and other water management entities, and their jurisdiction, authority, and coordination in setting consistent, nondiscriminatory water policies;
- the statutory, regulatory, and/or economic impediments to implementing key water management strategies recommended in the Regional and State Water Plans;
- the role of groundwater conservation districts;
- conjunctive use of both ground and surface water resources;
- rule of capture;
- historic use standards;
- water infrastructure and financing, including financing sources for new water resources;
- interbasin transfers;
- water rights, including environmental flows, junior water rights;
- the transition of water rights from agricultural to municipal and industrial uses and coordination among transitioning water management authorities;
- drought preparedness;
- and water marketing.
The Committee shall submit copies of its final report no later than December 1, 2006. The printing of reports should be coordinated through the Secretary of the Senate. Copies of the final report should be sent to the Lieutenant Governor (5 copies), Secretary of the Senate, Senate Research, Legislative Budget Board, Legislative Council, and Legislative Reference Library.
The final report should include recommended statutory or agency rulemaking changes, if applicable. Such recommendations must be approved by a majority of the voting members of the Committee. Recommendations should also include state and local fiscal cost estimates, where feasible. The Legislative Budget Board is available to assist in this regard.
The following reports are available for download:
Budget and Staff
Travel costs shall be paid from the operating budgets of Senate members. All other costs shall be borne be the Senate Natural Resources Committee’s interim budget, as approved by the Senate Administration Committee.
The Committee should also seek the assistance of legislative and executive branch agencies where appropriate.
Pursuant to Section 301.041, Government Code, it may be necessary to change the membership of a committee if a member is not returning to the Legislature in 2007. This will ensure that the work of interim committees is carried forward into the 80th Legislative Session.