Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2572
By: McReynolds
Natural Resources


Texas faces a difficult challenge to develop water policies that serve
state and regional interests.  The Texas Constitution authorizes the
creation of groundwater conservation districts to plan, develop, and
regulate the use of water.  House Bill 2572 ratifies the creation of the
Pineywoods Groundwater Conservation District, subject to approval at a
confirmation election, to manage Angelina and Nacogdoches counties'
groundwater resources. 


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. 


House Bill 2572 amends law to ratify the creation of the Pineywoods
Groundwater Conservation District (district) in Angelina and Nacogdoches
counties (SECTION 1).   

H.B. 2572 provides that the district is governed by a board of seven
directors (board) and sets forth provisions regarding the administration of
the board and the qualifications and terms of the directors.  The bill
requires the Angelina and Nacogdoches County Commissioners Courts to each
appoint two directors and jointly appoint one director, the Lufkin City
Council to appoint one director, and the Nacogdoches City Council to
appoint one director (SECTIONS 6-8).   

H.B. 2572 authorizes the district, by rule, to require a person to obtain a
permit for the transfer of groundwater out of the district and to regulate
the terms on which a permit holder may conduct such a transfer.  The bill
provides that a retail public utility is not required to obtain a permit to
transfer groundwater out of the district.  The district is prohibited from
requiring a permit for a well incapable of producing more than 25,000
gallons of groundwater a day.   

The bill prohibits the district from levying or collecting taxes, but
authorizes the board, by rule, to impose reasonable fees on each well for
which a permit is issued and which is not exempt from regulation by the
district, but prohibits any fee from exceeding $0.01 per thousand gallons
for groundwater withdrawn for any purpose.  The bill also prohibits the
district from exercising the power of eminent domain, issuing and selling
any type of tax supported bonds or notes, or purchasing, selling,
transporting, or distributing surface water or groundwater (SECTION 5).

The bill sets forth provisions regarding an election to confirm
establishment of, and the addition of other counties to, the district
(SECTIONS 10 and 11). 


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001.