Senate Research Center   H.B. 1823
78R14052 MI-FBy: Hamric (Lindsay)
Natural Resources


Under current law, recycling facilities may operate without a permit and
must meet only minimal standards set by the Texas Commission on
Environmental Quality (TCEQ).  Unlike owners or operators of other solid
waste processing and disposal facilities, owners or operators of recycling
facilities are not required to post any type of financial assurance. 

In many areas of the state, facilities representing themselves as
recyclers have caused substantial problems.  In Harris County, for
example, several facilities have caught fire.  In one such instance, the
county government was forced to spend approximately $3 million to
extinguish a fire.  In other cases, where smaller yet still hazardous
incidents have occurred, owners of the facilities simply abandoned the
sites.  While some responsible operators of recycling facilities have
indicated a willingness to post financial assurance, requiring financial
assurance of all recycling facilities will help to ensure financial
responsibility and provide sufficient resources when problems arise. 

H.B. 1823 directs the TCEQ to adopt rules requiring owners and operators
of recycling facilities to post financial assurance. 


Rulemaking authority is expressly granted to the Texas Commission on
Environmental Quality in SECTION 1 (Section 361.119, Health and Safety
Code) of this bill. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Section 361.119, Health and Safety Code, by amending
Subsection (d) and adding Subsection (f), as follows: 

(d) Provides that a facility that is owned, operated, or affiliated with a
person that has a permit to dispose of municipal solid waste is not
subject to regulation or requirements for financial assurance under rules
adopted under this section, rather than requirements of recordkeeping and
reporting adopted under Subsection (b). 

(f) Requires the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to adopt rules
to ensure that the owner or operator of a recycling facility, including a
composting or mulching facility, has in place sufficient financial
assurance conditioned on satisfactorily operating and closing the facility
and consistent with the requirements of Section 361.085 for a solid waste
facility other than a facility for the disposal of hazardous waste.
Provides that this subsection applies only to an owner or operator of
certain recycling facilities. 

SECTION 2.  Effective date: upon passage or September 1, 2003.