ACG H.B. 3019 75(R)BILL ANALYSIS ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION C.S.H.B. 3019 By: Allen 4-22-97 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND The Texas Clean Air Act currently requires, pursuant to Section 382.0518, Health and Safety Code, that a person must obtain a permit from the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (commission) before work is begun on the construction of a new facility or modification of an existing facility which may emit air contaminants. The Texas Clean Air Act also currently allows, pursuant to Section 382.057, Health and Safety Code, the commission to grant exemptions if there will not be a significant contribution of air contaminants to the atmosphere. The commission and its predecessor agency, the Texas Air Control Board, interpreted this section to apply to both changes at existing facilities as well as construction of new facilities, such as small businesses with insignificant air emissions. However, recent reviews of the language in Section 382.057 by the commission have raised the question whether it, in fact, does apply to both existing facilities as well as new facilities. PURPOSE CSHB 3019 will clarify that the commission may grant an exemption for changes made to an existing facility and may grant an exemption for construction of a new facility until September 1, 1997 provided that there will not be a significant contribution of air contaminants to the atmosphere. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the committee's opinion that though this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority, the bill refers to existing rulemaking authority of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission in SECTION 1 of the bill [Sec. 382.057(a), Health and Safety Code.] SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 382.057, Health and Safety Code as follows: 382.057 (a) allows the commission to exempt from the requirements of Section 382.0518, Health and Safety Code, changes to a facility if it is found on investigation that the changes will not make a significant contribution of air contaminants to the atmosphere and the commission receives an application before September 1, 1999. 382.057 (d) stipulates that nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the commission's general power to control the state's air quality under Section 382.011 (a). SECTION 2. Effective date: September 1, 1997. SECTION 3. Emergency clause. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE The original bill allows an exemption for construction of new facilities. The substitute allows an exemption for changes to another facility requested under or authorized by commission rule before September 1, 1999.