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July 30, 1998     (512) 463-0300

SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE DISCUSSES AIR POLLUTION, LANDFILL SITINGS

AUSTIN - The Senate Interim Committee on Natural Resources met at the State Capitol on Thursday, July 30, to take testimony on the six charges put before them by Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock. The committee has traveled the state hearing from citizens on issues including siting of solid waste facilities, operation of the 25 federal Superfund sites in Texas, voluntary cleanup programs, and the implementation of the federal American Heritage Rivers Initiative.

Those serving on the committee include its Chair, Senator J.E. "Buster" Brown of Lake Jackson, and Senators 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.

Chair Brown commented on the fact that the committee must look at municipal solid waste facilities due to the numerous pieces of legislation filed last session regarding this issue. He also stated that several questions were raised recently regarding the way the state of Texas determines if a particular landfill should be sited in a specific location. The committee members heard both invited and public testimony that provided them with suggestions on how to determine what changes, if any, need to be made to this process in order to make it more equitable for all those involved.

Thursday's hearing continued with testimony from the director of the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission regarding air pollution issues including air quality and air pollution fees. Members heard from citizens involved with organizations committed to reducing pollution emitted by power plants. Testimony continued regarding House Bill 3019 which places restrictions on factories and other facilities in conjunction with the Clean Air Act.

The committee will hold its next meeting in Austin on September 9.

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