HBA-CBW S.B. 289 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 289 By: Armbrister Natural Resources 3/20/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, Texas law requires water quality management and watermaster fees to be charged to small hydroelectric facilities. The current fee structure may cause financial hardships for these small facilities. Senate Bill 289 exempts small hydroelectric facilities with a capacity of less than two megawatts from paying water quality management and watermaster fees. 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 Senate Bill 289 amends the Water Code to prohibit the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission from assessing costs against a holder of a non-priority hydroelectric right that owns or operates facilities that collectively have a capacity of less than two megawatts. The bill prohibits a trial court from assessing costs and expenses against a holder of a non-priority hydroelectric right that owns or operates facilities that collectively have a capacity of less than two megawatts. The bill provides that such a holder will not be subject to an assessment for specified water quality management programs. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.