By:  Armbrister, Haywood                               S.B. No. 289
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to the exemption of small hydroelectric facilities from
 1-3     water quality management and watermaster fees.
 1-5           SECTION 1.  Section 11.329, Water Code, is amended by adding
 1-6     Subsection (g) to read as follows:
 1-7           (g)  The commission may not assess costs under this section
 1-8     against a holder of a non-priority hydroelectric right that owns or
 1-9     operates facilities that collectively have a capacity of less than
1-10     two megawatts.
1-11           SECTION 2.  Section 11.404, Water Code, is amended by
1-12     amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (e) to read as
1-13     follows:
1-14           (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), the [The] trial
1-15     court shall assess the costs and expenses of the watermaster and
1-16     his staff against all persons receiving an allocation of the water
1-17     in judicial custody.  The court shall assess the costs and expenses
1-18     monthly or at other time intervals ordered by the court.
1-19           (e)  The court may not assess costs and expenses under this
1-20     section against a holder of a non-priority hydroelectric right that
1-21     owns or operates facilities that collectively have a capacity of
1-22     less than two megawatts.
1-23           SECTION 3.  Subsection (h), Section 26.0135, Water Code, is
1-24     amended to read as follows:
1-25           (h)  The commission shall apportion, assess, and recover the
 2-1     reasonable costs of administering the water quality management
 2-2     programs under this section from users of water and wastewater
 2-3     permit holders in the watershed according to the records of the
 2-4     commission generally in proportion to their right, through permit
 2-5     or contract, to use water from and discharge wastewater in the
 2-6     watershed.  Irrigation water rights and non-priority hydroelectric
 2-7     rights of a water right holder that owns or operates facilities
 2-8     that collectively have a capacity of less than two megawatts will
 2-9     not be subject to this assessment.  The cost to river authorities
2-10     and others to conduct water quality monitoring and assessment shall
2-11     be subject to prior review and approval by the commission as to
2-12     methods of allocation and total amount to be recovered.  The
2-13     commission shall adopt rules to supervise and implement the water
2-14     quality monitoring, assessment, and associated costs.  The rules
2-15     shall ensure that water users and wastewater dischargers do not pay
2-16     excessive amounts, that program funds are equitably apportioned
2-17     among basins, that a river authority may recover no more than the
2-18     actual costs of administering the water quality management programs
2-19     called for in this section, and that no municipality shall be
2-20     assessed cost for any efforts that duplicate water quality
2-21     management activities described in Section 26.177 of this chapter.
2-22     The rules concerning the apportionment and assessment of reasonable
2-23     costs shall provide for a recovery of not more than $5,000,000
2-24     annually.  Costs recovered by the commission are to be deposited to
2-25     the credit of the water resource management account and may be used
2-26     only to accomplish the purposes of this section.  The commission
 3-1     may apply not more than 10 percent of the costs recovered annually
 3-2     toward the commission's overhead costs for the administration of
 3-3     this section and the implementation of regional water quality
 3-4     assessments.  The commission, with the assistance and input of each
 3-5     river authority, shall file a written report accounting for the
 3-6     costs recovered under this section with the governor, the
 3-7     lieutenant governor, and the speaker of the house of
 3-8     representatives on or before December 1 of each even-numbered year.
 3-9           SECTION 4.  This Act is not intended to affect in any way the
3-10     fees assessed on a water right holder by the Edwards Aquifer
3-11     Authority under Chapter 626, Acts of the 73rd Legislature, Regular
3-12     Session, 1993.
3-13           SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2001.