HBA-AMW H.B. 631 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 631 By: Turner, Sylvester Environmental Regulation 3/1/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Illegal dumping, or the disposal of litter and solid waste in an unpermitted area, raises concerns regarding risks to public health and safety, decreasing property values, and diminishing quality of life. Although current law penalizes those convicted of illegal dumping, several communities in Texas have witnessed an increase in illegal dumping. House Bill 631 decreases the minimum weights of litter or other solid waste that constitute the offense of illegal dumping and authorizes the prosecution of an offense without alleging or proving any culpable mental state. 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 631 amends the Health and Safety Code to increase the penalties for illegal dumping. The bill modifies the standards for misdemeanor offenses by decreasing the weight and volume limitations for litter or other solid waste that is illegally dumped. The bill provides that illegal dumping is a state jail felony if the litter or solid waste that is illegally dumped weighs 1,000 pounds or more or has a volume of 200 cubic feet or more. The bill also authorizes prosecution of an illegal dumping offense without alleging or proving any culpable mental state. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.