By Lindsay                                            S.B. No. 1025
         77R8644 T                           
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to the consolidation and use of certain fees under Chapter
 1-3     26, Water Code.
 1-5           SECTION 1. Section 26.0291, Water Code (effective upon
 1-6     delegation of NPDES permit authority), is amended by amending
 1-7     Subsections (a)-(b) to read as follows:
 1-8           (a)(1)  An annual [waste treatment inspection] water quality
 1-9     fee is imposed on [each permittee for each waste discharge permit
1-10     held by the permittee]:
1-11                       (A)  each wastewater discharge permit holder for
1-12     each wastewater discharge permit held; and
1-13                       (B)  each user of water in proportion to the
1-14     user's water right, through permit or contract, as reflected in the
1-15     commission's records.  Irrigation water rights shall not be subject
1-16     to this fee.
1-17                 (2)  The fee is to supplement any other funds available
1-18     to pay expenses of the commission [in] related to:
1-19                       (A)  inspecting waste treatment facilities; and
1-20                       (B)  enforcing the laws of this state and the
1-21     rules of the commission governing:
1-22                             (i)  waste discharge[,];
1-23                             (ii)  waste treatment facilities[,] and;
1-24                             (iii)  the water resources in this state,
 2-1     including the water quality management programs under Section
 2-2     26.0135 of this Code, any expenses [necessary to obtain from the
 2-3     federal government delegation of and] to administer the national
 2-4     pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) program, and any
 2-5     other program reasonably related to the activities of the fee
 2-6     payers under this section;
 2-7                 (3)  The fee for each year is imposed on each permit or
 2-8     water right in effect during any part of the year.  The commission
 2-9     may establish reduced fees for inactive permits.
2-10           (b)  The commission by rule shall adopt a fee schedule for
2-11     determining the amount to be charged.  The amount of the fee may
2-12     not exceed [$25,000] $75,000 for each [waste discharge] permit or
2-13     contract [held by a permittee].  In determining the amount of a fee
2-14     under this section, the commission may consider:
2-15                 (1)  waste discharge permit factors such as flow
2-16     volume, toxic pollutant potential, level of traditional pollutant,
2-17     and heat load;
2-18                 (2)  [The commission may consider] the designated uses
2-19     and segment ranking classification of the water affected by the
2-20     discharges from the permitted facility;
2-21                 (3)  [Finally,] the expenses necessary to [obtain and]
2-22     administer the NPDES program;
2-23                 (4)  the reasonable costs of administering the water
2-24     quality management programs under Section 26.0135 of this Code; and
2-25                 (5)  any other reasonable costs necessary to administer
2-26     and enforce any program reasonably related to the activities of the
2-27     fee payers under this section.  [The commission shall not adopt any
 3-1     rule designed to increase the fee imposed under this section on a
 3-2     treatment works owned by a local government, as those terms are
 3-3     defined in Section 26.001 of this code, before August 31, 1999.]
 3-4           SECTION 2.  Section 26.0135 is amended by amending Subsection
 3-5     (h) and repealing Subsection (j) as follows:
 3-6           (h)  [The commission shall apportion, assess and recover the
 3-7     reasonable costs of administering the water quality management
 3-8     programs under this section from users of water and wastewater
 3-9     permit holders in the watershed according to the records of the
3-10     commission generally in proportion to their right, through permit
3-11     or contract, to use water from and discharge wastewater in the
3-12     watershed.  Irrigation water rights shall not be subject to this
3-13     assessment.]  The cost to river authorities and others to conduct
3-14     water quality monitoring and assessment shall be subject to prior
3-15     review and approval by the commission as to the methods of
3-16     allocation and total amount to be recovered.  The commission shall
3-17     adopt rules to supervise and implement the water quality
3-18     monitoring, assessment, and associated costs.  [The rules shall
3-19     ensure that water users and wastewater dischargers do not pay
3-20     excessive amounts, that program funds are equitably apportioned
3-21     among basins, that a river authority may recover no more than the
3-22     actual costs of administering the water quality management programs
3-23     called for in this section, and that no municipality shall be
3-24     assessed the cost for any efforts that duplicate water quality
3-25     management activities described in Section 26.177 of this chapter.
3-26     The rules concerning the apportionment and assessment of reasonable
3-27     costs shall provide for a recovery of not more than $5,000,000
 4-1     annually.  Costs recovered by the commission are to be deposited to
 4-2     the credit of the water resource management account and may be used
 4-3     only to accomplish the purposes of this section.  The commission
 4-4     may apply not more than 10 percent of the costs recovered annually
 4-5     toward the commission's overhead costs for the administration of
 4-6     this section and the implementation of regional water quality
 4-7     assessments.  The commission, with the assistance and input of each
 4-8     river authority, shall file a written report accounting for the
 4-9     costs recovered under this section with the governor, the
4-10     lieutenant governor, and the speaker of the house of
4-11     representatives on or before December 1 of each even-numbered
4-12     year.]
4-13           (j)  [In recovering the costs of water quality management
4-14     programs under this section from wastewater permit holders, the
4-15     commission may consolidate any fee assessed against a wastewater
4-16     permit holder under Subsection (h) of this section with the
4-17     assessment of a wastewater inspection fee authorized under Section
4-18     26.0291 of this chapter.  In consolidating these assessments the
4-19     commission may not recover any amount for the purposes of this
4-20     section in excess of the amounts authorized under Subsection (h).
4-21     The commission shall also ensure that any revenues collected from
4-22     wastewater permit holders under this section are allocated to meet
4-23     the purposes of this section.]
4-24           SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2001.
4-25           SECTION 4.  Water resource management account balances
4-26     dedicated to a particular purpose under law in effect on August 31,
4-27     2001 that have not been expended by that date may be used for the
 5-1     purposes authorized under this Act.