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Senate Committee on Natural Resources - 83rd R.S. (2013)

Committee Members
Troy Fraser, Chair
Craig Estes, Vice Chair
Bob Deuell
Robert Duncan
Rodney Ellis
Kevin Eltife
Glenn Hegar
Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa
Robert Nichols
Kel Seliger
Carlos Uresti
Judith Zaffirini
Charges
• Study and make recommendations to encourage the use of brackish water including but not limited to Aquifer Storage and Recovery and Desalination.
• Study and make recommendations on what state and federal environmental regulations most affect implementation of water supply strategies in the State Water Plan, including recommendations to reduce state barriers.
• Examine current processes for environmental permitting, including the impact of permitting delays on economic development. Consider what environmental regulations and permitting procedures are most challenging for small businesses and make recommendations to reduce those burdens. Study and make recommendations on changes to the permitting process that could speed job creation while continuing to protect the environment.
• Monitor implementation of legislation passed during the 83rd Legislative Session including monitoring implementation of House Bill 4, creating the state water implementation fund.
• Study the current accountability of river authorities to the legislature and the customers served by the authorities along with their transparency to members of the public. Make recommendations for improvements if necessary. Investigate the role of river authorities in the regional water planning process and the implementation of projects in the state water plan. Receive an update on any ongoing audits of river authorities from the State Auditor's Office and the Legislative Budget Board as well as any future planned audits and schedules.
• Study the economic impact of drought and water supply management on local communities that depend on non-consumptive or recreational uses of water for economic development purposes. Consider whether the impacts of drought and water supply management on local lakeside economies should be considered in the state and regional water planning process while weighing these local impacts against the regional and statewide impacts of failing to meet consumptive water needs.
• Examine the impact on Texas' economy and businesses of the recent expansion of oil and gas production in Northern Mexico. Assess opportunities for economic growth in Texas and collaboration between Texas businesses and Mexico resulting from Mexico's energy reform, including Mexico's efforts to recover shale gas from the Eagle Ford Shale.

Note:
Senator Judith Zaffirini appointed 8/4/2014 in place of Senator Robert Duncan (Appointment letter, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, 8/4/2014).

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