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House Interim Committee on Environmental Regulation
Charge

Study current policy relating to the regulation of radioactive waste, including conflicts between the federal and state regulatory definitions of radioactive waste, including conflicts between the federal and state regulatory definitions of radioactive waste, the statutory authorization for mixed waste disposal; and Congress' ratification of the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact.
Recommendations

  • Change the federal and state regulating definitions of radioactive waste in the Health and Safety Code, using the language contained in the interim committee report as a basis.

  • Require all agencies involved in regulating radioactive waste to avail themselves of the recommendations and advice of the Texas Radiation Advisory Board share equitably in providing funding for the board.
    Charge

    Review the need for funding the Municipal Solid Waste Superfund for the specific purpose of addressing closed landfills that pose a threat to public health and safety.
    Recommendations

  • Continue to investigate and prioritize landfills which are potential health hazards, and provide funds to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) for document reviews and prioritization of closed landfill remediation.

  • Require TNRCC and the Councils of Government to work together to identify sites in need of immediate enforcement attention and prevent unsafe disposal. Provide laws for adequate enforcement to stop illegal and unpermitted disposal.

  • Appropriate $5 million from the Municipal Solid Waste fund to create a special contingency fund to address emergency situations at closed landfills that represent a threat to public health and safety.

  • Appropriate $650,000 from the Municipal Solid Waste fund to TNRCC to enhance permitting, inspection, and enforcement capabilities.

  • Expand the Voluntary Cleanup Program to provide incentives for the private sector to remediate closed landfills which pose problems.
    Charge

    Conduct active oversight of agencies under the committee's jurisdiction.
    Recommendations

  • Continue working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reach an amicable agreement in obtaining delegation of all federal programs. Only change state law if the EPA can assert that a legally defensible conflict between federal and state law exists.

  • Expand the Voluntary Cleanup Program in order to maximize the full potential of the program.

  • Abolish the Pollution Prevention Council.