HBA-AMW H.B. 2699 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2699 By: Averitt Natural Resources 3/16/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The North Bosque Watershed has become one of the most polluted and studied watersheds in the nation. Many of the pollutants in this watershed are from dairies and their waste application fields. Historically, manure collected from dairy operations is applied to waste fields as fertilizer but, over the years, the amount of manure generated has led to the saturation of many fields. When significant rainfall occurs, the accumulated nutrients are washed into the North Bosque River. Recently, a voluntary composting initiative was implemented and approximately 75 percent of the North Bosque Watershed's collectible manure is being composted. However, concerns have been raised regarding how waste will be managed as dairy herd sizes continue to expand. House Bill 2699 requires new dairies and dairies that expand their herd sizes to dispose of their collectible manure and to responsibly manage their liquid waste and requires TNRCC to perform necessary soil tests. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission in SECTION 2 (Section 26.0287, Water Code) and SECTION 3 (Section 26.0425, Water Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 2699 amends the Water Code to establish provisions relating to the management and disposal of waste from certain animal feeding operations in impaired watersheds. The bill authorizes the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) to authorize by rule or by a general permit the construction or operation of a new concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) or an increase in the number of animals confined under an existing individual authorization or registration. The bill prohibits the rule or general permit from applying to an existing or new CAFO if the operation or the waste application area serving the CAFO is located or proposed to be located in a feeding operation impaired watershed with a twenty-five-year daily rainfall event of more than seven inches (impaired watershed). The bill authorizes TNRCC to authorize the construction or operation of a new CAFO or an increase in the number of animals confined under an existing individual authorization or registration if the operation or the waste application area serving the operation is located or proposed to be located in an impaired watershed. The bill provides that the authorization may be made only by a new or amended individual permit or a general permit specific to the watershed and provides that these permits must provide for the proper management and disposal of liquid waste. The bill also provides that the permits must require that 75 percent of all the manure produced by all the CAFO, or another proportion of collectible manure provided by commission rule, must be removed from the facility and disposed of or used outside the watershed or delivered to a composting facility approved by the executive director of TNRCC. The bill provides that the rules concerning manure disposal may provide different proportions of manure to be removed for different species of confined animals. The bill specifies that the aforementioned provisions do not limit TNRCC's authority to prescribe water control practices for animal feeding operations by rule or general permit or to include provisions in an individual or general permit as necessary to protect water resources in this state. H.B. 2699 requires TNRCC to collect one or more representative soil samples from each waste application field serving an animal feeding operation or CAFO that is located in an impaired watershed. The bill requires TNRCC to test each sample for phosphorus and any other constituent as required by TNRCC rule and to make the test results available to the operator of the operation. The bill also authorizes TNRCC and employees and agents of TNRCC to enter public or private property at any reasonable time for activities reasonably related to collecting such soil samples and authorizes TNRCC to enforce this right. The bill requires TNRCC by rule to implement the provisions regarding soil testing in impaired watersheds and specifies that the rules must provide for the scheduling and manner of the required testing. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.