Good Bills Being Heard in House Environmental Reg

In addition to Lon Burnam’s HB 3423, there are five other good bills that will be heard in the House Environmental Regulation Committee this Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 10:30 am or upon adjournment of the House in the Capital extension – Hearing room E1.014. We are incouraging everyone who has a few minutes to stop by the committee room and put in cards supporting these six bills. The five bill numbers are listed below, followed by a brief description of the bill and why your support is important. Please send this message along to anyone else you think might be interested!

HB 1450, Rep. Rodriguez. Relating to the disposal and reuse of coal combustion waste.  HB 1450 establishes the disposal and reuse of coal combustion waste as a class I industrial waste and prohibits use as mine backfill. In addition, it requires groundwater and soil monitoring that must be made publically available.   We’ve been over this one before. Texas tops the list of states at risk from toxic coal ash waste, remember?  No bueno.

HB 557, Rep. Hernandez. Relating to the establishment of an air pollutant watch list and associated reports for the purpose of controlling the emissions of air contaminants under the Texas Clean Air Act.  HB 557 establishes an air pollutant watch list and associated reports for the purpose of controlling the emissions of air contaminants under the Texas Clean Air Act to protect against adverse effects related to :

(1) acid deposition;

(2) stratospheric changes, including depletion of ozone; [and]

(3) climatic changes, including global warming; and

(4) air pollution.

HB 769, Rep. Hernandez. Relating to standards for measuring the emission of air contaminants under the Texas Clean Air Act.  HB 769 requires TCEQ to set standards for measuring the emission of air contaminants under the Texas Clean Air Act that takes into consideration acute and chronic health effects on a person resulting from exposure to an air contaminant; the lifetime exposure of a person to the highest concentration of the air contaminant from an emission source; and does not increase the risk of cancer in a person exposed to the air contaminant by greater than one chance in 100,000.

HB 3428, Rep. Hernandez. Relating to measuring, monitoring, and reporting emissions.  HB 3428 requires TCEQ to establish and maintain an air pollutant watch list available online to the public.

HB 3422, Rep. Burnam. Relating to the establishment of a program for the collection, transportation, recycling, and disposal of mercury-containing lights.  HB 3422 establishes a program to safely dispose of and recycle mercury containing lights. It requires manufacturers to provide collection bins, to collect the bulbs and cover the costs of shipping to an appropriate facility. Mercury containing lightbulbs would have to be removed before buildings are demolished. The bill also has an important educational component.

You can register comment on all of these good bills in one fell swoop by visiting the House Environmental Regulation Committee hearing in E1.014 this morning.  Committee hearings are open to the public, and you can put your official stance on the record by just dropping a card.  If you can’t visit the Capitol today, why not give one of the fine legislators on this committee a call?