HBA-KDB H.B. 3020 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3020 By: Chisum Environmental Regulation 3/29/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE It is a general principle of criminal law that offenses committed with intent and knowledge should be treated more seriously than offense that is not intentional. There is concern that current law does not prescribe a greater penalty for the intentional discharge of pollutants into the waters of the state. In addition, current law does not prescribe penalties for an unauthorized discharge of a waste or pollutant from a point source that is not intentional. House Bill 3020 increases the confinement period penalty for an intentional discharge of pollutants and provides penalties for an unauthorized discharge of pollutants from a point source. 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. ANALYSIS House Bill 3020 amends the Water Code to increase the confinement period penalty from one year to five years for a person who intentionally or knowingly discharges or allows the discharge of a waste or pollutant into or adjacent to water in the state that causes or threatens to cause water pollution and for a person who intentionally or knowingly discharges or allows the discharge of a waste or pollutant from a point source in violation of the provisions regarding water quality control or in violation of a rule, permit, or order of the appropriate regulatory agency. The bill provides that a person commits an offense if the person discharges or allows the discharge of a waste or pollutant from a point source in violation of provisions regarding water quality control or a rule adopted or permit or order issued under those provisions. The bill authorizes such an offense to be prosecuted without alleging or proving a culpable mental state. An individual that commits such an offense is subject to a fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $50,000, confinement for a period not to exceed one year, or both. A person other than an individual who commits such an offense is subject to a fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $100,000. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.