HBA-NMO H.B. 2816 76(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2816 By: Junell Natural Resources 8/5/1999 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under state law, the petroleum product delivery fee is assessed on bulk loads of motor fuel. Proceeds from the fee are used to fund the Petroleum Storage Tank Remediation Account (account) administered by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC). The account serves as a state-sponsored insurance fund to clean up sites contaminated by leaking petroleum storage tanks (tanks). In 1995, the fee was doubled to pay back loans from the general revenue fund issued when the account was insolvent. As of December 22, 1998, tank owners may no longer rely on the account as proof of federally mandated insurance. To meet federal requirements, tank owners must now acquire cleanup insurance from the private sector. In addition, the account will accept no new claims for cleanup. H.B. 2816 limits the administrative expenses of the account to an amount specifically appropriated for that purpose; decreases by one-quarter the petroleum product delivery fee on bulk loads of motor fuel; and provides for the termination of the account on September 1, 2003, rather than 2001. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 26.3573(d), Water Code, to authorize the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) to use the money in the petroleum storage tank remediation account (account) to pay necessary expenses associated with the administration of the account and the groundwater protection cleanup program, not to exceed an amount equal to 6.7, rather than 5, percent of the gross receipts of that account. SECTION 2. Amends Sections 26.3574, Water Code, by amending Subsections (b), (x), and (y), and adding Subsection (aa), as follows: (b) Decreases by one-quarter the respective fees imposed on persons who withdraw petroleum from bulk (fee). (x) Prohibits the fee from being collected or required to be paid when the balance in the petroleum storage tank remediation account equals or exceeds $100 million, rather than $125 million. Makes a conforming change. (y) Decreases by one-quarter the respective fee that each operator of a bulk facility is required to collect if the fee is reinstated as a result of the unobligated balance in the petroleum storage tank remediation account falling below $25 million. (aa) Requires TNRCC to report to the Legislative Budget Board at the end of each fiscal quarter on the financial status of the petroleum storage tank remediation account. SECTION 3. Amends Section 26.361, Water Code, to provide that the reimbursement program established under this subchapter (Underground and Aboveground Storage Tanks) expires on September 1, 2003, rather than 2001. Prohibits TNRCC from collecting a fee on or after March 1, 2002. Makes conforming changes. SECTION 4. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 5. Emergency clause.