C.S.H.B. 1823 78(R)    BILL ANALYSIS

C.S.H.B. 1823
By: Hamric
Environmental Regulation
Committee Report (Substituted)


Under current law, recycling facilities may operate without a permit and
must meet only minimal standards set by 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
furthermore, will provide sufficient resources when problems arise. 

House Bill 1823 directs the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
(TCEQ) to adopt rules requiring owners and operators of recycling
facilities to post financial assurance. 


It is the committee's opinion that 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: 
  Section 361.119(d):exempts a municipal solid waste facility from the
regulation and financial assurance requirements of this section. 
  Section 361.119(f):directs TCEQ to adopt rules which 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
Texas Health and Safety Code    361.085, requirements for a solid waste
facility other than a facility for the disposal of hazardous waste; and,
applies subsection only to an owner or operator of the following: 

     (1)facilities as which combustible material is stored outdoors; or
     (2)facilities which pose significant risk to the public as determined
by the TCEQ. 

SECTION 2.  Effective Date:  immediate effect upon two-thirds vote of all
members of both the House and Senate; or, September 1, 2003. 



Upon passage, or, if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2003. 


CSHB 1823 makes the following changes to the bill as filed:
 _clarifies that composting and mulching facilities are included in the
recycling and financial assurance requirements; 
 _clarifies that commercial smelters are exempt form the new financial
assurance requirements. 
 _applies new financial assurance requirements only to recycling
facilities storing combustible materials outside; 
 _applies new financial assurance requirements only to recycling
facilities which pose a significant risk to public health and safety; 
 _exempts municipal solid waste facilities from the new financial
assurance requirements.