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Rep.Farrar, Jessica

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TCEQ Sunset Bill voted out of Committee over Representative Farrar's Objection  print page

by: Rep. Farrar, Jessica
04/12/2011

AUSTIN, TX--Yesterday the Environmental Regulation Committee voted HB 2694, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality sunset bill, out of committee. The bill reauthorizes and continues the agency for twelve years. Representative Jessica Farrar voted against the bill, expressing concerns that it was being rushed out of committee without opportunity to vet issues and provide alternatives to questionable provisions.

" A lengthy committee substitute was offered the night before the bill was heard in committee," said Representative Farrar, "Then the hearing on the bill lasted six hours. This vote came too quickly after the hearing and did not allow for a working session, so I could not support it."

Since the vote, Representative Farrar has been working with the bill's author to improve the bill. She has several concerns, including the twelve year continuation period, TCEQ's responsiveness to citizens, and the method by which the agency ranks an entity's regulatory compliance as good, neutral, or bad. The issue of compliance history is particularly important, as it effects everything from how a regulated entity amends its permits to how it remedies violations.

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