Austin, Texas
March 23, 2009

Honorable Kip Averitt, Chair, Senate Committee on Natural Resources
John S. O'Brien, Director, Legislative Budget Board
SB1597 by Watson (Relating to the analysis of greenhouse gas emissions associated with a metropolitan planning organization's long-range plan.), As Introduced

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

The bill would amend the Transportation Code to require a metropolitan planning organization (MPO) when analyzing vehicle emissions associated with transportation activities expected to result from implementing a long-range transportation plan to be adopted on or after January 1, 2011, to conduct an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions using the best available methods. The bill specifies what emissions must be quantified and that the methods of analysis must be the best available as determined in consultation with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

TxDOT would be required, in consultation with the MPOs, the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the Texas Council on Environmental Quality, to monitor and update the agreed upon best available methods as necessary.

Based on the analysis of TxDOT, it is assumed any costs or duties associated with implementing the provisions of the bill could be absorbed within existing resources.

Local Government Impact

The fiscal impact would vary by MPO depending on whether the organization is currently in an attainment zone and what level of analysis may already be implemented, as well as what might eventually be required by TxDOT through consultation with the other listed agencies. As an example, the North Central Texas Council of Governments provided information regarding the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area long-range transportation plan, and based on their assumptions, estimated operational and staffing costs would be $30,000 in each of fiscal years 2010, 2012, and 2014, and $60,000 in each of fiscal years 2011 and 2013 when the plan will be modified. The Abilene MPO estimates significant costs of $80,000 in fiscal year 2014 to implement provisions of the bill. The Abilene MPO reported, too, that small MPOs could experience a significant negative fiscal impact.

Source Agencies:
601 Department of Transportation
LBB Staff: