By De La Garza                                        H.B. No. 1976
                                 A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
    1-1                                AN ACT
    1-2  relating to the health and safety of persons living and working in
    1-3  areas of the state involved in the production of agricultural
    1-4  plants.
    1-6        SECTION 1.  Subsection (a), Section 76.004, Agriculture Code,
    1-7  is amended to read as follows:
    1-8        (a)  After notice, the department shall conduct at least five
    1-9  regional hearings throughout the state before the adoption of any
   1-10  rule for carrying out the provisions of this chapter.  Thereafter,
   1-11  the department may adopt rules for carrying out the provisions of
   1-12  this chapter, including rules providing for:
   1-13              (1)  the collection, examination, and reporting of
   1-14  records, devices, and samples of pesticides;
   1-15              (2)  the safe handling, transportation, storage,
   1-16  display, distribution, or disposal of pesticides and pesticide
   1-17  containers;
   1-18              (3)  labeling requirements for pesticides and devices
   1-19  required to be registered under this chapter; and
   1-20              (4)  compliance with federal worker protection
   1-21  standards and pesticide rules and regulations.
   1-22        SECTION 2.  Subsection (a), Section 76.007, Agriculture Code,
   1-23  is amended to read as follows:
    2-1        (a)  The department shall be the lead agency for worker
    2-2  protection standards and pesticide regulation in Texas.  In
    2-3  cooperation with the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency or any
    2-4  federal agency responsible for implementation of worker protection
    2-5  standards and federal pesticide law, the department shall:
    2-6              (1)  register pesticides for use in Texas;
    2-7              (2)  adopt lists of state-limited-use pesticides;
    2-8              (3)  provide for training, certification, and licensure
    2-9  of all classes of pesticide applicators;
   2-10              (4)  enforce worker protection standards and pesticide
   2-11  laws and regulations governing the safe handling, use, storage,
   2-12  distribution, and disposal of pesticide products; and
   2-13              (5)  adopt rules to carry out the provisions of this
   2-14  chapter.
   2-15        SECTION 3.  Subsections (g) and (j), Section 76.009,
   2-16  Agriculture Code, are amended to read as follows:
   2-17        (g)  the authority is the coordinating body for the policies
   2-18  and programs of management, regulation, and control of pesticides
   2-19  conducted by the department, the State Soil and Water Conservation
   2-20  Board, the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the Texas
   2-21  Department of Health, the Texas Water Commission, and the Texas
   2-22  Structural Pest Control Board.  Notwithstanding any other provision
   2-23  of this code or of any other law, the authority may:
   2-24              (1)  adopt any rule relating to pesticides, including a
   2-25  rule that amends or repeals an existing rule, except that the
    3-1  authority may not:
    3-2                    (A)  <adopt, amend, or repeal a rule under
    3-3  Chapter 125 of this code;>
    3-4                    <(B)>  repeal a rule that was adopted by an
    3-5  agency for which the authority is the coordinating body and that
    3-6  was in effect on May 1, 1989; or
    3-7                    (B) <(C)>  amend a rule in effect on May 1, 1989,
    3-8  that would make the rule less protective of the public health,
    3-9  safety, or welfare;
   3-10              (2)  review and approve or disapprove any rule relating
   3-11  to pesticides that is proposed by an agency for which the authority
   3-12  is the coordinating body <, except a rule under Chapter 125 of this
   3-13  code>;
   3-14              (3)  cooperate with and advise the department, the
   3-15  State Soil and Water Conservation Board, the Texas Agricultural
   3-16  Extension Service, the Texas Department of Health, the Texas Water
   3-17  Commission, the Texas Structural Pest Control Board, and any other
   3-18  state agency that may be concerned with the regulation of
   3-19  pesticides and notify those agencies of any rule the authority
   3-20  intends to adopt;
   3-21              (4)  collect, analyze, and disseminate information
   3-22  necessary for the effective operation of all existing or
   3-23  contemplated programs regulating pesticides;
   3-24              (5)  provide professional advice to private agencies
   3-25  and citizens of this state on matters relating to pesticides in
    4-1  cooperation with other state agencies, with professional groups,
    4-2  and with either state or private educational institutions;
    4-3              (6)  accept gifts, devises, and bequests and, with the
    4-4  approval of the governor, comply with the terms and conditions of
    4-5  any grant to accomplish any of the purposes of the authority;
    4-6              (7)  inform and advise the governor on matters
    4-7  involving pesticides and prepare and recommend to the governor and
    4-8  to the legislature any legislation the authority considers proper
    4-9  for the management and control of pesticides;
   4-10              (8)  make annual reports to the governor and the
   4-11  appropriate legislative oversight committees;
   4-12              (9)  exempt any federal or state agency from any
   4-13  regulatory provision if the authority determines that emergency
   4-14  conditions exist that require the exemption; and
   4-15              (10)  notwithstanding any conflicting or inconsistent
   4-16  provision in this code, hear and determine all appeals from orders
   4-17  entered, by an agency for which the authority is the coordinating
   4-18  body, under this chapter or Chapter 75 <or 125> of this code.
   4-19        (j)  The commissioner shall:
   4-20              (1)  as necessary, employ personnel as the duties of
   4-21  the authority may require and to the extent of legislative
   4-22  appropriations to the authority;
   4-23              (2)  keep an accurate and complete record of all
   4-24  authority meetings and hearings of the authority and maintain legal
   4-25  custody of all books, papers, documents, and other records of the
    5-1  authority;
    5-2              (3)  administer this chapter and Chapter <Chapters> 75
    5-3  <and 125> of this code and the rules adopted by the authority; and
    5-4              (4)  assign, reassign, or delegate the administrative
    5-5  and enforcement functions assigned to the commissioner by this
    5-6  subsection or by rules or policies established under this
    5-7  subsection to one or more of the divisions or other units within
    5-8  the department or to one or more employees of the department.
    5-9        SECTION 4.  Subchapter E, Chapter 76, Agriculture Code, is
   5-10  amended by adding Section 76.118 to read as follows:
   5-11        Sec. 76.118.  WORKER PROTECTION STANDARDS.  (a)  The
   5-12  department shall enforce the Worker Protection Standards (40 C.F.R.
   5-13  Part 170) and the federal regulations promulgated under that part
   5-14  to the extent funding is made available from legislative
   5-15  appropriations and from federal grants or funds.  The department
   5-16  shall actively seek federal grants and funds to operate and expand
   5-17  the department's enforcement of the Worker Protection Standards (40
   5-18  C.F.R. Part 170).
   5-19        (b)  Any appropriations for the fiscal biennium ending August
   5-20  31, 1995, made to the department for the purpose of administering
   5-21  Chapter 125 of this code are transferred and are to be used for the
   5-22  purpose of administering this section.
   5-23        SECTION 5.  Chapter 125, Agriculture Code, is repealed.
   5-24        SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1993.
   5-25        SECTION 7.  The importance of this legislation and the
    6-1  crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
    6-2  emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
    6-3  constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
    6-4  days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.