FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10/22/2015
Public Safety Threats by Drones Addressed by Texas Legislature
Representative Jim Murphy Authors Law to Protect Critical Infrastructure, Texans
AUSTIN, TEXAS-- Responding to a growing number of safety incidents involving Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs) – or drones as they are more commonly known -- the Texas Legislature addressed public safety concerns with the passage of HB 1481 by State Representative Jim Murphy (Houston), in an effort to protect our state’s critical infrastructure and our residents.
Incidents involving drone use have demonstrated the risk to people and property that could result in accidental or deliberate acts near airports, at sporting events, around our nation’s critical infrastructure, government installations, and even incidents have been noted at the White House.
While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering regulations, Texas has taken a leadership role and adopted a new law that protects Texas private property owners and our state’s critical infrastructure. Representative Murphy worked closely with law enforcement agencies and key industries to ensure protection from potential threats from unauthorized drone use over power plants, airports, petrochemical facilities, ports, and other critical infrastructure throughout the state.
House Bill 1481 restricts the use of unauthorized RPVs over certain facilities surrounded by a fence or barrier or clearly marked with a sign to prohibit entry.
"We have more work to do in 2017, but I am proud of what we were able to accomplish during the 84th Legislative Session. Protection of our state's people and property from harm, intentional or accidental, was a top priority, and I'm glad we could make this happen," said Representative Murphy.
Commending Representative Murphy for his efforts, Hector Rivero, President and CEO of the Texas Chemical Council stated, "The Texas chemical industry is an important economic engine for our state and is grateful that the state has been proactive in protecting our state’s critical infrastructure from potential terrorist threats and helping to keep key manufacturing facilities safe."
The Texas Chemical Council represents more than 200 Texas manufacturing and research facilities involved in the business of chemistry. The chemical manufacturing industry has over $75 Billion in physical assets across Texas and is responsible for over 500,000 Texas jobs.
State Representative Jim Murphy represents District 133, West Houston. First elected in 2006, Murphy serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Corrections and is a member of the Ways & Means Committee. Murphy also serves as Floor Leader for the House Caucus.
CONTACT: BEN WILLIAMS