ACG H.B. 1239 75(R)BILL ANALYSIS ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION H.B. 1239 By: Jackson 3-11-97 Committee Report (Unamended) BACKGROUND The 74th Legislature established a Voluntary Cleanup Program at the TNRCC. Under the program, a person may clean up a contaminated site with the approval and oversight of the TNRCC. When the site has been remediated to the appropriate cleanup level, the site owner is provided with a certificate of completion, and future landowners receive a release from state liability. The program encourages economic development of remediated property by ensuring that future landowners are not held responsible for contamination caused by previous owners. The program needs a few changes to clarify issues that have caused confusion for program applicants. PURPOSE HB 1239 clarifies the intent of the voluntary cleanup program by revising the definition of a responsible party, specifying the time period allowed for resubmittal of an application, and allowing the expenditure of federal funds for a brownfield program. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 361.133 (b) and (c), Health and Safety Code, to allow the TNRCC to deposit into the Hazardous Waste Remediation Fee Fund federal grant funds received to implement or administer a federal brownfield program, and to make such a program an allowable expense from that Fund. SECTION 2. Amends Section 361.605(b), Health and Safety Code, to allow an application to the voluntary cleanup program to be resubmitted once within 45 days after TNRCC rejects the application, without paying an additional application fee. SECTION 3. Amends Section 361.609, Health and Safety Code, as follows: Section 361.609(b) is amended to stipulate that the name of the owner included in the application is the site owner at the time of the application was filed. Section 361.609 (c) Deletes the requirement that the executive director file a copy of the certificate of completion in the real property records. Section 361.609(d) is renumbered to reflect the removal of Subsection (c). SECTION 4. Amends Section 361.610, Health and Safety Code as follows: 361.610(a) States that a person who is not a responsible party does not become a responsible party solely by signing the application. 361.610(b) Stipulates that a person who is not a responsible party is released, on issuance of the certificate, from liability to the state. 361.610(c) Stipulates that the release from liability does not apply to a person who acquires a certificate of completion by fraud, misrepresentation, or knowing failure to disclose material information or knows at the time the person who acquires an interest in the property for which a certificate was acquired in a fraudulent manner. This section also deletes the provision for release from liability to a lender who makes a loan secured by that property after the date of issuance of the certificate. SECTION 5. Effective date: September 1, 1997. Allows a person whose application was rejected before September 1, 1997 to resubmit the application once by October 15, 1997 without a fee. SECTION 6. Emergency clause.