Interim Charges Released for Natural Resources Committee
AUSTIN - During the 81st Legislative Session, it was an honor to serve on the Senate Natural Resources Committee at the request of Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. As an avid outdoorsman and lifelong hunter, I am proud of the work we did towards ensuring that future generation of Texans will be able to enjoy the same clean air and water that make Texas so special today.
Last week, the lieutenant governor's office released the list below of six interim charges that range from assessing drilling regulations to monitoring groundwater management. Until the 82nd Legislative Sessions convenes in January 2011, the Natural Resources Committee will meet periodically to study these items and discuss future legislation to be enacted.
- Analyze and compare the differences in cost between immediate implementation of the State Water Plan compared to staged development over time. Review the development of State Water Plan infrastructure projects that have been funded during the FY 08-09 and FY 10-11 biennia. Consider short-term and long-term dedicated sources of funding.
- Review the joint planning process for management of groundwater resources and monitor the progress of groundwater conservation districts' efforts to establish, before the statutory deadline, desired future conditions for aquifers.
- Monitor and review the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's rules on carbon dioxide and federal legislation on greenhouse gases.
- Study the need for the state to regulate the drilling of new wells within proscribed depths and distances of Texas rivers, in order to prevent the draining of surface water from alluvial plains of river basins.
- Determine whether the TCEQ should identify and evaluate cumulative effects on public health and the environment due to air toxics and ozone precursor emissions proposed in applications for new air permits, air permit amendments, and air permit renewals.
- Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, 81st Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation.
- Monitor implementation of SB 16, relating to air quality;
- Monitor the implementation of the New Technology Implementation Grant program and assess the program's effectiveness.
- Monitor the use of Texas Emissions Reduction Plan funds for the development of new strategies to reduce emissions; and
- Monitor the environmental impacts, including water usage, and role of the TCEQ and other agencies in oil and natural gas development in areas of the state such as the Barnett Shale.
As you can see, we have important work ahead of us to guarantee the protection of our state's most vital resources, and I look forward to it. If you would like more information about the Senate Natural Resources Committee or the full description of these charges, visit http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/Senate/commit/c580/c580.htm.
To contact Sen. Deuell about the legislative process, contact the Capitol Office at (512) 463-0102 or mail to Sen. Bob Deuell, Texas Senate, P.O. Box 12068, Austin, TX 78711. The website for the Texas Senate is www.Senate.state.tx.us. The e-mail address for Sen. Deuell is: firstname.lastname@example.org.