1-1     By:  Armbrister, Haywood                               S.B. No. 289
 1-2           (In the Senate - Filed January 18, 2001; January 22, 2001,
 1-3     read first time and referred to Committee on Natural Resources;
 1-4     February 15, 2001, reported favorably by the following vote:  Yeas
 1-5     7, Nays 0; February 15, 2001, sent to printer.)
 1-6                            A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-7                                   AN ACT
 1-8     relating to the exemption of small hydroelectric facilities from
 1-9     water quality management and watermaster fees.
1-11           SECTION 1.  Section 11.329, Water Code, is amended by adding
1-12     Subsection (g) to read as follows:
1-13           (g)  The commission may not assess costs under this section
1-14     against hydroelectric rights of facilities of less than five
1-15     megawatts.
1-16           SECTION 2.  Section 11.404, Water Code, is amended by
1-17     amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (e) to read as
1-18     follows:
1-19           (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), the [The] trial
1-20     court shall assess the costs and expenses of the watermaster and
1-21     his staff against all persons receiving an allocation of the water
1-22     in judicial custody.  The court shall assess the costs and expenses
1-23     monthly or at other time intervals ordered by the court.
1-24           (e)  The court may not assess costs and expenses under this
1-25     section against hydroelectric rights of facilities of less than
1-26     five megawatts.
1-27           SECTION 3.  Subsection (h), Section 26.0135, Water Code, is
1-28     amended to read as follows:
1-29           (h)  The commission shall apportion, assess, and recover the
1-30     reasonable costs of administering the water quality management
1-31     programs under this section from users of water and wastewater
1-32     permit holders in the watershed according to the records of the
1-33     commission generally in proportion to their right, through permit
1-34     or contract, to use water from and discharge wastewater in the
1-35     watershed.  Irrigation water rights and hydroelectric rights of
1-36     facilities of less than five megawatts will not be subject to this
1-37     assessment.  The cost to river authorities and others to conduct
1-38     water quality monitoring and assessment shall be subject to prior
1-39     review and approval by the commission as to methods of allocation
1-40     and total amount to be recovered.  The commission shall adopt rules
1-41     to supervise and implement the water quality monitoring,
1-42     assessment, and associated costs.  The rules shall ensure that
1-43     water users and wastewater dischargers do not pay excessive
1-44     amounts, that program funds are equitably apportioned among basins,
1-45     that a river authority may recover no more than the actual costs of
1-46     administering the water quality management programs called for in
1-47     this section, and that no municipality shall be assessed cost for
1-48     any efforts that duplicate water quality management activities
1-49     described in Section 26.177 of this chapter.  The rules concerning
1-50     the apportionment and assessment of reasonable costs shall provide
1-51     for a recovery of not more than $5,000,000 annually.  Costs
1-52     recovered by the commission are to be deposited to the credit of
1-53     the water resource management account and may be used only to
1-54     accomplish the purposes of this section.  The commission may apply
1-55     not more than 10 percent of the costs recovered annually toward the
1-56     commission's overhead costs for the administration of this section
1-57     and the implementation of regional water quality assessments.  The
1-58     commission, with the assistance and input of each river authority,
1-59     shall file a written report accounting for the costs recovered
1-60     under this section with the governor, the lieutenant governor, and
1-61     the speaker of the house of representatives on or before December 1
1-62     of each even-numbered year.
1-63           SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2001.
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