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June 16, 1998     (512) 463-0300

SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE CONTINUES HEARINGS IN DALLAS

DALLAS - The Texas Senate Interim Committee on Natural Resources met on Tuesday, June 16, in Dallas. The committee is considering invited and public testimony on the implementation of House Bill 3019 which places restrictions on factories and other facilities in conjunction with the Clean Air Act. The committee heard that the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission is working to categorize various sources of pollution. The members were also warned about existing "grandfathered" sources who should be made to live up to the same standards as are new businesses. Also, local citizens and representatives of environmental organizations cited examples of what they considered pollution sources, saying that voluntary plans to reduce pollution are not working.

Following this, the committee heard testimony from Barry McBee of the TNRCC, county officials, the League of Women Voters and representatives of private business on the siting of solid waste facilities. They also heard invited testimony from the TNRCC on their current work with Environmental Management Systems.

The committee's Interim charges also include the granting of general licensing authority to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the operation of the Superfund and voluntary clean-up programs at the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission, and implementation of the federal American Heritage Rivers Initiative.

Members of the committee include its Chair, J.E. "Buster" Brown of Lake Jackson, Teel Bivins of Amarillo, Tom Haywood of Wichita Falls, Jon Lindsay of Houston, Eddie Lucio of Brownsville, Steve Ogden of Bryan, and Carlos F. Truan of Corpus Christi.

The committee will gather its findings and present them in a final report to the 76th Legislature which convenes in January of next year.

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