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Environmental Bills Worth Tracking in the 86th Texas Legislative Session
When the Texas Legislature returns from recess for the 86th legislative session, there are several pending environmentally related bills they will be considering. Below are a few worth watching.
House Bill 1874
The bill would establish a household battery recycling program. Applicable battery manufacturers would be prohibited from selling certain batteries in Texas unless they participate in an approved stewardship program. Producers would be allowed to implement a stewardship program individually or as part of a stewardship organization.
A stewardship program would be required to provide for the collection of batteries at no cost in each of the council of government areas. Each applicant for a stewardship program would be required to submit a proposal to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) including: a fee prescribed by TCEQ; a list of producers and brands participating in the program; a description of the methods to be used to responsibly manage discarded covered batteries; a description of intended use of existing covered battery collection points; a description of a planned education and outreach program; a collection rate goal; and, for participants not operating a physical location in the state, a description of how the program will provide convenient, free, statewide collection opportunities.
House Bill 2125
The bill would amend the Health and Safety Code to require manufacturers of architectural paint to establish and finance a program for the collection, transportation, recycling, and processing of architectural paint either individually or collectively with other manufacturers. Manufacturers would be required to submit a plan to the TCEQ for approval, to implement policies that provide for record keeping that tracks and documents the use, reuse, or disposal of post-consumer architectural paint, to acquire and maintain adequate environmental liability coverage, and to submit annual reports to TCEQ.
The bill would require TCEQ to maintain a list of non-compliant manufacturers on the agency’s website and update the list monthly. The bill would prohibit non-compliant manufacturers from selling architectural paint in Texas, as well as prohibit retailers from selling architectural paint produced by non-compliant manufactures. TCEQ estimates there would be a minimal cost associated with implementing the provisions of the bill.
House Bill 2046
This bill relates to the amount of the solid waste disposal fee and the allocation of revenue from that fee. This bill would allow TCEQ to charge a fee on all solid waste that is disposed of within this state. In the bills current form, the fee is $1.25 per ton received for disposal at a municipal solid waste landfill if the solid waste is measured by weight. If the solid waste is measured by volume, the fee for compacted solid waste is 40 cents per cubic yard and the fee for uncompacted solid waste is 25 cents per cubic yard received for disposal at a municipal solid waste landfill.
Revenue received by TCEQ under this bill shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the commission. Of that revenue, 50 percent is dedicated to the TCEQ’s municipal solid waste permitting programs, enforcement programs, and site remediation programs, and to pay for activities that will enhance the state’s solid waste management program. The other 50 percent of revenue is dedicated to local and regional solid waste projects consistent with regional plans approved by the commission in accordance with this chapter and to update and maintain those plans.
Senate Bill 103
This bill would authorize businesses in Texas to freely provide customers a bag or other container made from any material, without penalty. This bill would also render previous ordinances or regulations adopted by municipalities restricting the free distribution of bags invalid, and nullify any charge, tax, or penalties for providing bags to customers. If passed, this bill would effectively overturn plastic bag bans current existing in Texas municipalities.
House Bill 3482
The bill would amend the Health and Safety Code to clarify that “package or container,” for purposes of statutory provisions relating to local government prohibitions or restrictions on the sale or use of a package or container under the Solid Waste Disposal Act, does not include a single-use plastic bag. The change in law made by this Act is intended only to clarify existing law with respect to local government prohibitions or restrictions on the sale or use of a container or package.
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