HBA-JLV H.B. 3083 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3083 By: Burnam Environmental Regulation 3/18/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) helps to protect human health by ensuring clean air, clean water, and the safe management of waste. The Sunset Advisory Commission, after its review of TNRCC, has determined that there is a need to change TNRCC's complaint process. TNRCC does not record all of the complaints it receives and therefore does not have the ability to notify parties of the status of their complaints. TNRCC does assign a priority to each complaint filed, but does not currently consider situations posing a threat to public health or the environment a priority and therefore does not respond immediately. House Bill 3083 requires TNRCC to notify the appropriate parties of the status of a complaint and put in writing a final disposition and to promptly respond to complaints on potential threats to public health and safety or to the environment. 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 5.1771, Water Code) and SECTION 3 of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 3038 amends the Water Code to require the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) to notify the appropriate parties to a complaint of the final disposition of the complaint, in writing and in a manner understandable to a layperson, if a complaint is received by TNRCC relating to an entity regulated by TNRCC. The bill requires TNRCC to promptly respond to a complaint received by TNRCC involving a potential threat to public health and safety or to the environment and to establish by rule the time within which TNRCC must respond to and investigate the complaint. The bill requires TNRCC to develop or acquire any resources necessary to respond to and investigate complaints in a prompt manner and requires TNRCC to file annually with the governor and the presiding officer of each house of the legislature, a written report describing the resources that TNRCC determines are necessary to ensure and improve TNRCC's response to complaints. The bill requires TNRCC to establish and track specific, measurable indicators of agency performance including the number of notices of violation and enforcement orders issued by TNRCC, the amount of administrative penalties assessed and collected, and the number of licenses and permits suspended or revoked. The bill requires TNRCC to adopt all rules necessary to implement this Act, not later than January 1, 2002. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.