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House Joint Interim Committee on TNRCC Funding
Charge

Implement a wide variety of environmental quality programs authorized by the Texas Legislature.
Background

Historically, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) has generated its funding from "beneficiary" and "polluter" fees. TNRCC's funding structure has become fragmented and a number of fiscal concerns and problems have resulted. The most pronounced problem is that agency programs with a broad public benefit lack sufficient fee revenues to support their function and therefore have to depend upon the limited General Revenue sources.
Recommendations

  • Consolidate TNRCC's 23 funds and simplify accounting procedures.

  • Continue working to remedy the problems caused by the fragmented funding system. Separate funding sources for air, water, and waste programs should be considered.

  • Consider implementing the following statutory changes that were supported by consensus:

  • Streamlining the delisting process;

  • Expanding the Voluntary Cleanup Program and removing the requirement that TNRCC file on a lien on state Superfund sites;

  • Allowing planned removals; and

  • Allowing public participation during investigation stage.

  • Carefully evaluate the water-related funding needs and find new funding solutions for the water resource management program.

  • Consider implementing the statutory changes recommended by the Clean Rivers program stakeholders workgroup.