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Rep. Thompson, Ed

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Rep. Thompson Addresses Interim Charges for the House Committees on Environmental Regulation and Land & Resource Management  print page

by: Rep. Thompson, Ed
11/04/2015

AUSTIN, Texas: Representative Ed Thompson is eager to begin working on the interim charges that House Speaker Joe Straus released earlier today. “It has been an honor to serve as Vice Chairman for the Land and Resource Management Committee this past session and on the Environmental Regulation Committee for the past two sessions,” Thompson said. “I enjoyed working with my colleagues on these committees, and am eager to address our interim charges prior to the next Legislative Session in 2017.”
Speaker Straus released the following charges for the House Environmental Regulation Committee:

1. Review the varied regulatory schemes for household hazardous waste disposal and recommend if more uniform guidelines could improve legal disposal habits. Determine any opportunities or incentives for consumers and retailers that would promote proper hazardous waste disposal in a cost-effective manner.
2. Review the compliance practices of surface water management entities with state rules regarding the aesthetic condition of waterways and the prevention or removal of human-made floating trash and debris. Provide recommendations on how state and local authorities could coordinate to better achieve these goals.
3. Monitor initiatives at the local level to regulate environmental issues. Consider if legislative changes are needed to resolve ambiguous regulations regarding the priority of state or local authority.
4. Study the effectiveness of current state programs to address scrap tire management and disposal methods, including the incidence of scrap tires and rubber debris on roadways and in watercourses. Include analysis of disposal fee collection and management as well as local funding allocations. Provide incentive or enforcement recommendations for ongoing clean-up efforts, abatement of identified tire dump sites, and means of ensuring accurate record keeping and reporting.
5. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee should:
a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens;
b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate;
c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner;
d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs; and
e. monitor implementation of major environmental regulation legislation passed by the 84th Legislature, including recent reforms that provide for streamlined environmental permitting.

Additionally, Speaker Straus released the following charges for the House Land and Resource Management Committee:

1. Study state preparedness and response to natural disasters including but not limited to: an evaluation of risks to the state, emergency planning efforts, first response efforts, coordination between the General Land Office, the State Emergency Operation Center, and other state, local, and federal resources. Make appropriate recommendations to ensure Texas has the proper programs, resources, and personnel in place to respond to natural disasters.
2. Examine the rate of erosion along Texas's coast and the effects of coastal erosion on public beaches, natural resources, coastal development, public infrastructure, and public and private property. Analyze current programs related to coastal erosion and examine their effectiveness. Make appropriate recommendations.
3. Study the effectiveness of the implementation of SB 695 (84R) and examine the feasibility and desirability of creating and maintaining a coastal barrier system.
4. Examine current regulatory authority available to municipalities in their extraterritorial jurisdiction. Study current annexation policies in Texas. Make necessary legislative recommendations to ensure a proper balance between development, municipal regulations, and the needs of citizens in Texas.
5. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementing of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature, and specifically:
a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens;
b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate;
c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner; and
d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs.

“These interim charges are critical to District 29 and to the entire state,” Thompson stated. “I look forward to continuing the important work we accomplished last session, investigating each of these charges with my colleagues, and working with constituents and stakeholders to recommend any necessary legislative changes for the 84th Legislature that meets in 2017.”


Contact:
Emily Kirchner

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