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Rep.Lopez, Ray

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Representative Lopez Passes Legislation to Illuminate Environmental Misconduct 
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by: Rep. Lopez, Ray
05/06/2021

Austin, TX - Representative Ray Lopez of Bexar County passed House Bill 355 (HB 355) out of the Texas House of Representatives this week. HB 355 would require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to issue a notification to members of the Texas Legislature when an administrative penalty is assessed to an entity within their district, notifying the legislators of environmental infractions. Joint Authors include Representative Penny Morales Shaw of Harris County and Representative Ron Reynolds of Fort Bend County.

"TCEQ already plays a vital role in the health and safety of millions of Texans. Yet, this agency is limited in the recourse it is able to take against actors that violate environmental laws. It is vital that legislators be informed about anything that could potentially harm their neighborhood, constituents, and their families" said Representative Lopez. "This bill would be immensely beneficial in the effort to hold accountable entities that engage in environmentally risky practices."

HB 355 would not add or change any existing fines, nor would it alter the severity of any existing penalties. Instead, it would simply require TCEQ to notify State Legislators with violations of environmental regulations that occur in their districts. This will make it easier for lawmakers to conduct oversight and make any relevant regulatory changes if necessary. HB 355 is Rep. Lopez's third bill to be voted out of the Texas House of Representatives onto the Senate for consideration. Senator Carol Alvarado of Harris County will be the Senate sponsor.

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