By Armbrister                                          S.B. No. 289
         77R1100 MI-F                           
                                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 hydroelectric rights of facilities of less than five
 1-9     megawatts.
1-10           SECTION 2. Section 11.404, Water Code, is amended by amending
1-11     Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (e) to read as follows:
1-12           (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), the [The] trial
1-13     court shall assess the costs and expenses of the watermaster and
1-14     his staff against all persons receiving an allocation of the water
1-15     in judicial custody.  The court shall assess the costs and expenses
1-16     monthly or at other time intervals ordered by the court.
1-17           (e)  The court may not assess costs and expenses under this
1-18     section against hydroelectric rights of facilities of less than
1-19     five megawatts.
1-20           SECTION 3. Section 26.0135(h), Water Code, is amended to read
1-21     as follows:
1-22           (h)  The commission shall apportion, assess, and recover the
1-23     reasonable costs of administering the water quality management
1-24     programs under this section from users of water and wastewater
 2-1     permit holders in the watershed according to the records of the
 2-2     commission generally in proportion to their right, through permit
 2-3     or contract, to use water from and discharge wastewater in the
 2-4     watershed.  Irrigation water rights and hydroelectric rights of
 2-5     facilities of less than five megawatts will not be subject to this
 2-6     assessment.  The cost to river authorities and others to conduct
 2-7     water quality monitoring and assessment shall be subject to prior
 2-8     review and approval by the commission as to methods of allocation
 2-9     and total amount to be recovered.  The commission shall adopt rules
2-10     to supervise and implement the water quality monitoring,
2-11     assessment, and associated costs.  The rules shall ensure that
2-12     water users and wastewater dischargers do not pay excessive
2-13     amounts, that program funds are equitably apportioned among basins,
2-14     that a river authority may recover no more than the actual costs of
2-15     administering the water quality management programs called for in
2-16     this section, and that no municipality shall be assessed cost for
2-17     any efforts that duplicate water quality management activities
2-18     described in Section 26.177 of this chapter.  The rules concerning
2-19     the apportionment and assessment of reasonable costs shall provide
2-20     for a recovery of not more than $5,000,000 annually.  Costs
2-21     recovered by the commission are to be deposited to the credit of
2-22     the water resource management account and may be used only to
2-23     accomplish the purposes of this section.  The commission may apply
2-24     not more than 10 percent of the costs recovered annually toward the
2-25     commission's overhead costs for the administration of this section
2-26     and the implementation of regional water quality assessments.  The
2-27     commission, with the assistance and input of each river authority,
 3-1     shall file a written report accounting for the costs recovered
 3-2     under this section with the governor, the lieutenant governor, and
 3-3     the speaker of the house of representatives on or before December 1
 3-4     of each even-numbered year.
 3-5           SECTION 4. This Act takes effect September 1, 2001.