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August 20, 2002     (512) 463-0300

Joint Committee on Natural Resources Public Interest Counsel approves recommendations

AUSTIN - The Joint Committee on Natural Resources Public Interest Counsel held its third meeting today, Tuesday, August 20, 2002, in the State Capitol. The committee's charge is to review the office of Public Interest at the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC).

The committee discussed and approved its final recommendations, to be presented to both chambers of the 78th Legislature, including some issues recommended by the Sunset review. The tentative budget assigned to the counsel to carry out its functions is $100,000 a year. Other recommendations issued by the legislative panel include the authority of the office to appeal decisions of the TNRCC, its relationship with other public assistance efforts in the agency, and the need for an agency ombudsman.

Senator J.E. "Buster" Brown and State Representative Fred M. Bosse co-chair the committee. Members include Senators Gonzalo Barrientos, David Bernsen, Chris Harris and Leticia Van de Putte, along with Representatives Warren Chisum, Dawanna Dukes, Robert Puente and D.R. "Tom" Uher. The committee recessed subject to the call of the chair. This was its last scheduled meeting.

You can access the archived audio webcast from the Senate's web page of the Joint Committee on Natural Resources Public Interest Counsel.