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Texas Section AIPG News

September 14, 2014

Wise and Campbell published an article in The Professional Geologist:

"Coal, Just Not for Burning," pp. 21-25 (more). An updated version, see (more).

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The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
September 13, 2014

The TCEQ updates to the Texas Risk Reduction Program (TRRP) Tier 1 Protective Concentration Levels (PCLs) are now available at:  You http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/remediation/trrp/trrppcls.html.

The 2014 PCL table update is a single Microsoft Excel workbook with each table on a separate worksheet.  The updates are also available as a print only Adobe Acrobat portable document format (PDF) file.  The Excel file and the PDF file each contain PCL tables 1 through 10 and the supporting tables in the following order:

  •          Summary of Updates
  •          Table 1 – Tier 1 Residential Soil PCLs
  •          Table 2 – Tier 1 Commercial/Industrial Soil PCLs
  •          Table 3 – Tier 1 Groundwater PCLs, Residential and Commercial/Industrial
  •          Table 4 – Tier 1 Residential Total Soil Combined PCLs
  •          Table 5 – Tier 1 Commercial/Industrial Total Soil Combined PCLs
  •          Table 6 – Tier 1 Individual Residential Soil PCLs
  •          Table 7 – Tier 1 Individual Commercial/Industrial Soil PCLs
  •          Table 8 – Tier 1 Individual Residential and Commercial/Industrial Groundwater PCLs
  •          Table 9 – Individual Risk-Based Exposure Limits (RBELs), Residential
  •          Table 10 – Individual Risk-Based Exposure Limits (RBELs), Commercial/Industrial
  •          Toxicity Factors
  •          Chemical/Physical Properties
  •          Organic Carbon-Water Partition Coefficient (Koc) Values for Ionizing Organic COCs as a Function of pH
  •          Gastrointestinal and Dermal Absorption Fractions (ABSGI and ABD.d Values)
  •          2011 List of Updates

The PCL tables updated in June 2012 were the most recent tables prior to this release.  A guide to the correct interpretation and use of the Tier 1 PCL tables can be accessed at: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/publications/rg/rg-366_trrp_23.html

For additional information on the PCL tables, contact Jessica Mauricio at jessica.mauricio@tceq.texas.gov

Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report
9/13/2014

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The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
August 17, 2014

As has been previously reported in The Wise Report, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) is conducting its four-year rule review. Proposed revisions to TBPG rules in Chapter 850 and Chapter 851 were published in the July 4, 2014 issue of the Texas Register and are available at http://tbpg.state.tx.us/board/rules/rule-review/ for your review. Please note: The public comment period for the proposed rules has been extended through October 2, 2014. 

At its open meeting on August 12, 2014, the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) proposed amendments to §§3.9 and 3.46 regarding requirements relating to seismic events for disposal wells. The proposed rule amendments will require additional permit application information such as logs, geologic cross-sections, and/or structure maps, for an injection well in an area where conditions exist that may increase the risk that fluids will not be confined to the injection interval.  Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, complex geology, proximity of the baserock to the injection interval, transmissive faults, and/or a history of seismic events in the area as demonstrated by information available from the United States Geological Survey (USGS).  The RRC also proposes these amendments to clarify that it has the authority to modify, suspend, or terminate a permit if fluids are not confined to the injection interval. The proposed amendments will be published in the August 29, 2014, issue of the Texas Register, and the comment period ends at noon on Monday, September 29, 2014. For more information on this and other rulemakings, or to access the online comment form for any proposed rulemakings, please see the Proposed Rules table at this link:

http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/legal/rules/proposed-rules/

Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report
8/17/2014

_____________________________

July 20, 2014

President Wise announces new appointment: Mr. Glen A. Collier, P.G., CPG, has been appointed as the new District II Representative. For a biography of Mr. Collier, see:

http://www.aipg-tx.org/2014AIPG-TXOfficers-Board.pdf

____________________________________________

The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
July 5, 2014

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) and the Texas Board of Professional Engineers (TBPE) have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in order to implement the requirements of Senate Bill 138.  The text can be found at: 

http://tbpg.state.tx.us/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Signed-MOA-TBPE.pdf

The TBPG and the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) recently adopted a revised Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), also to implement the requirements of Senate Bill 138.  The text can be found at: 

http://tbpg.state.tx.us/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/SignedTWDB-TBPG-MOA.pdf

The TBPG is conducting its four-year rule review in 2014. The Board wants to make every effort possible to elicit stakeholder participation in this process. The following proposed amendments have been published in this week’s Texas Register. 

These proposed rules can be found at: (here) and (here).

The amendments are mostly proposed to improve language, clarify definitions and to make other minor administrative changes.  Several sections are also proposed to be deleted because the TBPG is of the opinion that these sections are not necessary for inclusion in TBPG rules. These rules relate to the TBPG's handling of contested cases, and the provisions in these rules are proposed to be relocated and condensed into §851.201 and §851.202. As noted in the section summary for §851.201 and §851.202, the provisions are reorganized to show that TBPG will abide by SOAH's rules and laws as applicable.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted in writing to Charles Horton, Executive Director, Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists, 333 Guadalupe Street, Tower I-530, Austin, Texas 78701 or by mail to P.O. Box 13225, Austin, Texas 78711 or by e-mail to chorton@tbpg.state.tx.us. When e-mailing comments, please indicate "Comments on Proposed Rules" in the e-mail subject line. Please submit comments within 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register (published July 4, 2014).

Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report
7/5/2014

____________________________________________

The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
May 24, 2014

Following its determination that the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) properly met its standard development process, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has approved, pending a 15-day appeal period, for NGWA to issue ANSI/NGWA-01-14, a water well construction standard. NGWA's first-ever third-party sanctioned standard, ANSI/NGWA-01-14 sets a baseline of expectations for water well system professionals to meet for residential, agricultural, monitoring, industrial, and public supply water wells. The standard seeks to contribute to public health and safety, resource protection, and to serve as an outcomes focus for NGWA's voluntary water well system professional certification program.

Topics covered by the ANSI/NGWA standard include:

• Well site selection
• Casing and casing installation
• Well screens, filter pack, and formation stabilizer
• Grouting
• Plumbness and alignment
• Well development
• Testing for performance
• Data recording
• Disinfection with chlorine
• Water sampling and analysis
• Permanent well and test-hole decommissioning.

Thom M. Hanna, RPG, a member of NGWA's Standards Development Oversight Committee, said the standard will provide minimum criteria to anyone who needs guidance on properly designed and constructed well systems.

It will be available in the NGWA bookstore in the near future. For more information, contact Jessica Rhoads, NGWA industry practices administrator, at jrhoads@ngwa.org or by calling 800 551.7379, ext. 511.

Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report
5/24/2014

____________________________________________

The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
May 18, 2014

Justin McNamee passed away on April 18, 2014.  Mr McNamee was appointed by Governor Perry to the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) to a six year term in a position reserved for the public (someone who is not a Licensed Geoscientist).  Mr. McNamee was born on July 31, 1958 in Dallas, Texas.  He attended and received his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Texas at Arlington.  Mr. McNamee was a community leader who gave to the community his time to numerous charitable and civic groups.

Mr. McNamee is survived by his wife and his two children.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Justin Lynn McNamee Scholarship Fund benefitting the children and youth ministries at Highland Oaks Church of Christ, Highland Oaks Church of Christ, 10805 Walnut Hill Lane, Dallas, TX 75238.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has updated the aquatic life and human health surface water RBEL (risk-based exposure limit) tables.  These tables are available at the fourth bullet at the following link: 

http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/remediation/trrp/trrppcls.html.

They are also available as companion documents to, “Determining PCLs for Surface Water and Sediment (TRRP-24)” which is available with the TRRP guidance documents at: http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/remediation/trrp/guidance.html.

The following changes were made to the aquatic life table:

  • Values for boron and MTBE were revised to be consistent with the TCEQ Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance (RG-263).
  • The federal silver criterion was added as an alternative to the state's value which is expressed in the free ion form.
  • An acute value for uranium was added using the hardness-based formula. As with the chronic number, the hardness-based formula is from the State of Colorado water quality standards (see reference in the Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance (ERAG)).
  • The CASRN number for 1,3-dichloropropene was corrected.
  • The table was reformatted to provide a “munitions and explosives” category.
  • Freshwater acute and chronic RBEL values for ammonia (as total ammonia nitrogen) were added based on the U.S. EPA’s 2013 criteria document.

The following changes were made to the human health table: 

  • Values for a number of chemicals were revised based on the February 12, 2014 (March 6, 2014 effective date) revisions to the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards.
  • The values for DDD, DDE, DDT, dioxin/furans, mercury, and PCBs were changed from a fish tissue concentration to a water value. Therefore the units changed and the notes accompanying the table changed.

The aquatic life and surface water RBEL tables will be updated periodically to reflect new state or federal criteria, changes to ecological screening benchmarks, and/or other information (e.g., toxicological data, persistence information). These revised tables should be used for TRRP submittals that involve releases to surface water. For additional information on the surface water RBEL tables, contact Vickie Reat at vickie.reat@tceq.texas.gov.

Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report
5/18/2014

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The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G
April 7, 2014

For those of you involved in Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, E 1527-13 is now in effect—and blessed by the U.S. EPA as AAI-compliant. EDR has a good analysis of what the changes are, and they are significant, including:

  •   If the subject property or an adjoining property is identified in any of the standard environmental records sources, then performing an agency file review is not optional.

  • If the EP decides not to undertake such a file review on a particular project, the justification for not conducting one must be included in the Phase I report.

  • Section 8.2.2.2 also allows the EP to rely on alternative sources (e.g., onsite records, local government agencies, etc.) and document the findings in the report.

For more information go to: 

http://www.edrnet.com/blog/edr-insight-research/edr-insight/2014/03/impact-of-e-1527-13-agency-file-reviews?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRoju6%2FJZKXonjHpfsX56uQrXa6xlMI%2F0ER3fOvrPUfGjI4FScRq

I%2BSLDwEYGJlv6SgFTbHBMapjzrgNUxY%3D

Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report
4/7/2014

____________________________________________

March 3, 2014

News from the President of AIPG- Texas Section

An e-mail was sent out yesterday on behalf of the AIPG Texas Section President, Henry M. Wise, P.G., to all Texas AIPG members. In case you missed the e-mail, the announcements have been reproduced below:

"Texas Members of AIPG:

The AIPG-Texas Executive Board has considered, approved, and will be reinstating the $10.00 Annual Dues for the Texas Section. This will show up on your next membership invoice in 2015. Now that the Section has resumed operations, the new Board has determined that it is necessary to raise money to assist in furthering technical education by sponsoring meetings around the 4 Districts in Texas and for other important activities as well. We in the Board have all pledged to give you your money's worth for the $10.00 Section Dues.

On another matter, John Mikels has resigned from the AIPG-Texas Executive Board as District II Representative. I am considering a number of candidates to serve as the new District II Representative and will be making the appointment soon.

Hope to see many of you in Houston at the AIPG-sponsored event this month and/or at the AAPG Annual Meeting in early April.

Feel free to send me an e-mail regarding any AIPG-TX matters (Wise@aipg-tx.org).

Regards to all,

Henry M. Wise, PG, CPG
AIPG-Texas President
http://www.aipg-tx.org"

____________________________________________

The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G
February 16, 2014

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) General Issues Committee (Members are Krenz-Doe, Knobloch, Mathewson, and McNamee) met on February 14, 2014 in Austin. Matt Cowan, President of Texas Association of Professional Geoscientists, and myself, as President of American Institute of Professional Geologists – Texas Section, attended the meeting. The discussion I was most concerned about was the licensure of environmental professionals.

As it turns out, the agenda announcement wasn’t correct. There was no intent to discuss the licensure of environmental professionals but to discuss the boundaries of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ’s) Corrective Action Project Manager (CAPM) license. Dr. Mathewson teaches a TEEX class for CAPMs. A recent class had eight CAPMs in it. Only one of them was a Texas PG, the rest were biologists and chemists. One of the biologists had been fined by the TBPG for practicing geology without a license. I don’t have all of the facts, but, in a nutshell, he drilled a well and collected a water sample for analysis for micro-organisms. I don’t know if he described the drill cuttings or not, but, as a biologist, he was within his realm of expertise for the water sample’s purpose.

Dr. Mathewson wanted to discuss with the TCEQ the parameters of what a CAPM can and can’t do. After some discussion and several motions, the matter died in Committee.

The TCEQ has recently issued the following documents:

Determining Representative Concentrations of Chemicals of Concern for Ecological Receptors, RG-366/TRRP-15eco (revised), determining representative concentrations, defining exposure areas, and evaluating potential hot spots.

See: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/publications/rg/rg-366_trrp_15eco.html

Status of Corrective Action at Petroleum-contaminated Sites, SFR-113/13 (new publication):
A report on the Petroleum Storage Tank State-Lead Program including the status of sites and recommendations on fees, programs, and activities to eventually conclude the program.

See: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/comm_exec/pubs/sfr/113-13.pdf

TCEQ Annual Financial Report, Fiscal Year Ending August 31, 2013, SFR-045/13 (new publication)
A legislatively mandated report submitted annually to the Governor's Office, the Comptroller's Office, the Legislative Budget Board and the State Auditor's Office.

See: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/comm_exec/pubs/sfr/045-13.pdf

TCEQ Area and Regional Offices: Map, List of Managers, Addresses, and Phone Numbers, GI-002 (revised) and listing of Small Business and Environmental Assistance staff in TCEQ's regional offices.

See: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/publications/gi/gi-002.html

TCEQ Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2014, SFR-030/13 (new publication)
Details the agency's operating budget for fiscal year 2014.

See: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/comm_exec/pubs/sfr/030-13.pdf

Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report
2/16/2014

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The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G
February 8, 2014

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) will hold several committee meetings on February 14, 2014 in Austin. The one I found may be of general interest is the General Issues Committee (Members are Krenz-Doe, Knobloch, Mathewson, and McNamee). They will be discussing, among other things, the licensure of environmental professionals. The meeting is open to the public, if you wish to attend, or you can send the members of the committee your thoughts on the subject. The complete agenda can be found at:

http://tbpg.state.tx.us/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/GIAgenda-02-14-2014.pdf

Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report
2/8/2014

____________________________________________

The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
February 2, 2014

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Sunset Legislation, House Bill (HB) 2694, Article 2, passed by the 82nd Legislature, 2011, and signed by the governor, transferred from the TCEQ to the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) duties relating to the protection of groundwater resources from oil and gas associated activities. Specifically, HB 2694, Article 2, amended the Texas Natural Resources Code to revise §91.011, add §§91.0115, 91.020, and 91.1015, and amended the Texas Water Code, §27.033. On September 1, 2011, the law transferred from the TCEQ to the RRC those duties pertaining to the responsibility of preparing groundwater protection advisory/recommendation letters. Since the transfer, the RRC has been responsible for providing surface casing and/or groundwater protection recommendations for oil and gas activities under the jurisdiction of the RRC.

The TCEQ's Surface Casing Program and staff transferred to the RRC on September 1, 2011. The RRC's Surface Casing Program was renamed the Groundwater Advisory Unit, and is now located in the William B. Travis Building, 1701 North Congress, Austin.

The RRC has adopted amendments to their regulations to reflect the changes in law made under HB 2694, Article 2. The rules in Chapter 339 authorized the executive director to provide groundwater protection letters to the RRC for use in various activities and applications before the RRC and to collect a fee for the expedited processing of a request for a groundwater protection recommendation. Because the executive director no longer provides the groundwater protection letters to the RRC, the commission's rules in Chapter 339 are no longer necessary. The RRC adopted amendments to their regulations on May 24, 2013. These regulations are effective January 1, 2014. Therefore, the commission proposes the repeal of §§339.1 - 339.3 in their entirety. For more information go to:

http://www.sos.state.tx.us/

Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report
2/2/2014

____________________________________________

The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
December 21, 2013

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) adopts an amendment to 22 TAC §850.62, concerning the general powers and duties of the TBPG, without changes to the proposed text as published in the August 30, 2013, issue of the Texas Register (38 TexReg 5676). The amendment implements the requirements provided in Senate Bill (SB) 138. Language was added to the rule to require the TBPG to work with other state agencies that use the services of a person licensed by the Board to educate their employees on how complaints are filed with and resolved by the TBPG.

The TBPG or Board also adopts amendments to 22 TAC §§851.10, 851.101, and 851.157 concerning the licensure and regulation of Professional Geoscientists. TBPG adopts §851.10 and §851.101 without changes to the proposed text as published in the August 30, 2013, issue of the Texas Register (38 TexReg 5677). TBPG adopts §851.157 with changes to the proposed text as published in the August 30, 2013, issue of the Texas Register (38 TexReg 5677). The amendments to §851.10 and §851.101 are administrative in nature and move a sentence regarding TBPG's jurisdiction over a license, registration or certification from §851.10 to §851.101.

The amendments to §851.157 provide that a state agency that becomes aware of a potential violation of the Act or a rule adopted by the Board may fulfill the requirements of the Act by filing a formal complaint with the Board or providing the information relating to the potential violation in writing to TBPG staff; it also provides that a state agency will notify TBPG regarding the confidentiality of information it provides. Adopted amendments to §851.157 also provide that information provided by a state agency that is privileged or confidential remains privileged or confidential following receipt by the Board. Adopted amendments to §851.157 also specify that complaints must be submitted to the authorized deputy to the Secretary-Treasurer and that the Board shall accept a complaint regardless of whether the complaint is notarized.

For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/

Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report
12/21/2013

__________________________________________

The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
December 8, 2013

A new Texas Risk Reduction Program (TRRP) Guidance Document titled “Determining Representative Concentrations of Chemicals of Concern for Ecological Receptors” (RG-366/TRRP-15eco) is now available at the following link: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/publications/rg/rg-366_trrp_15eco.html.

This document presents guidance for determining representative concentrations of chemicals of concern for use in ecological risk assessments conducted under TRRP. Particular topic areas include:

  • ensuring that data used in ecological risk assessments (ERAs) are representative and appropriate for each exposure medium
  • defining exposure areas for ecological exposure pathways
  • evaluating potential hot spots for ecological exposure pathways
  • identifying outliers and describing composite sampling related to ecological exposure pathways

This document is primarily intended for persons conducting a Tier 2 screening level ecological risk assessment (SLERA), as specified in the TRRP rule at 30 TAC 350.77(c). Persons performing a SLERA should use this document in addition to the TCEQ’s 2001 Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance (ERAG) as a resource. The ERAG is currently unavailable on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ’s) website but can be obtained by contacting Larry Champagne (larry.champagne@tceq.texas.gov) or Vickie Reat (vickie.reat@tceq.texas.gov). TCEQ is working to have a revised draft version of the ERAG available for downloading.

Texas State Agencies are required to conduct a four-year rule review to see whether the reasons for initially adopting their rules continue to exist. The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) is conducting its four-year rule review, now through 2014. The TBPG wants to make every effort possible to elicit stakeholder participation in this process.  Now is the time for you to make recommendations for readoption, amendments, or repeal of the authorizing statutes.  For more information go to:  https://tbpg.state.tx.us/rulereview.html.

Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report
12/8/2013

__________________________________________

The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
December 1, 2013

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) proposes amendments to coal mining regulation §§12.3, 12.100, and 12.116, relating to Definitions; Responsibilities; Identification of Interests and Compliance Information; the repeal of §12.155, relating to Identification of Interests; amendments to §12.156, relating to Identification of Interests and Compliance Information; new §12.206, relating to Mining in Previously Mined Areas; amendments to §§12.215, 12.216, 12.221, 12.225, 12.226, 12.228, 12.232, and 12.233, relating to Review of Permit Applications; Criteria for Permit Approval or Denial; Conditions of Permits: Environment, Public Health, and Safety; Commission Review of Outstanding Permits; Permit Revisions; Permit Renewals: Completed Applications; Transfer, Assignment or Sale of Permit Rights: Obtaining Approval; Requirements for New Permits for Persons Succeeding to Rights Granted under a Permit; the repeal of §12.234, relating to Responsibilities: General; and new §12.234 and §12.235, relating to Challenge of Ownership or Control, Information on Ownership and Control, and Violations, and Applicant/Violator System Procedures; and Responsibilities:

General; and amendments to §§12.239, 12.395, and 12.560, relating to Application Approval and Notice; Revegetation: Standards for Success; and Revegetation: Standards for Success; new §12.676, relating to Alternative Enforcement; and amendments to §12.677, relating to Cessation Orders.

The RRC proposes these amendments, repeals, and new sections to update provisions of the Texas Coal Mining Regulatory and Abandoned Mine Land Programs as set forth in the notification letter dated September 30, 2009, from the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), requiring that, pursuant to 30 CFR §732.17(d), Texas revise its regulations to be as effective as the federal regulations. OSM approved the proposed amendments in the February 19, 2013, issue of the Federal Register (78 Fed. Reg. 11579).  For more information go to:

http://www.sos.state.tx.us

Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report
12/1/2013

__________________________________________

The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G
November 9, 2013

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) proposes amendments to §§39 (public notice), 55 (requests for reconsideration and contested case hearings, public comment), 101 (general air quality rules), 106 (permits by rule), 116(control of air pollution by permits for new construction or modification), and 122 (federal operating permits program). If adopted, the TCEQ will submit these changes to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as revisions to the state implementation plan (SIP). These changes are the result of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that greenhouse gases (GHGs) fit within the Federal Clean Air Act (FCAA or Act) definition of air pollutant. This ruling gave EPA the authority to regulate GHGs from new motor vehicles and engines if EPA made a finding under FCAA, §202(a) that six key GHGs taken in combination endanger both public health and welfare, and that combined emissions of GHGs from new motor vehicles and engines contribute to pollution that endangers public health and welfare. EPA issued its "Endangerment Finding" for GHGs on December 15, 2009, (Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act, Final Rule, as published in the December 15, 2009, issue of the Federal Register (74 FR 66496)).

Based on the Endangerment Finding, EPA subsequently adopted new emissions standards for motor vehicles (the "Tailpipe Rule" as published in the May 7, 2010, issue of the Federal Register (75 FR 25324)). The rule established standards for light-duty motor vehicles to improve fuel economy thereby reducing emissions of GHGs. The standards were effective January 2, 2011. EPA also reconsidered its interpretation of the timing of applicability of Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) under the FCAA (the "Timing Rule" as published in the April 2, 2010, issue of the Federal Register (75 FR 17004)). EPA's interpretation of the FCAA is that PSD requirements for stationary sources of GHGs take effect when the first national rule subjects GHGs to regulation under the Act.

EPA determined that once GHGs were actually being controlled under any part of the Act they were subject to regulation under the PSD program. Specifically, EPA took the position that beginning on January 2, 2011, GHG control requirements would be required under the PSD and Title V permitting programs because national standards for GHGs under the Tailpipe Rule were effective on January 2, 2011.

House Bill (HB) 788, 83rd Legislature, 2013, added new Texas Health and Safety Code (THSC), §382.05102. The new section grants TCEQ authority to authorize emissions of GHGs consistent with THSC, §382.051, to the extent required under federal law. THSC, §382.05102 directs the commission to adopt implementing rules, including a procedure to transition GHG PSD applications currently under EPA review to the TCEQ. Upon adoption, the rules must be submitted to EPA for review and approval into the Texas SIP. THSC, §382.05102 excludes permitting processes for GHGs from the contested case hearing procedures in THSC, Chapter 382; Texas Water Code, Chapter 5; and Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001. THSC, §382.05102 also requires that the commission repeal the rules adopted under this authority and submit a SIP revision to EPA, if (at a future date) GHG emissions are no longer required to be authorized under federal law.

The proposed rulemaking in Chapters 39 and 55 would make two changes to the commission's rules that are distinguishable from current public participation rules and the Texas SIP. First, PSD GHG permit applications would not be subject to an opportunity to request a contested case hearing or reconsideration of the executive director's decision. Second, based on EPA interpretation of its rules, there may be no requirement for the commission to prepare an air quality analysis for proposed emissions of GHG, and, if so, there will be no such analysis available for public comment.

HB 788 specifically excludes PSD GHG permit applications from the requirements relating to a contested case hearing. Requests for reconsideration were added by HB 801 (76th Legislature, 1999) as an alternative to the opportunity to request a contested case hearing. However, this remedy is not independent of the right to request a contested case hearing. Absent a right to request a contested case hearing, there is no independent right to request reconsideration of the executive director's decision. The TCEQ interprets HB 788 to require that all other HB 801 requirements, apply to GHG permit applications. For more information go to:


The TCEQ adopts an amendment to §336.1115 with changes to the proposed text as published in the July 5, 2013, issue of the Texas Register (38 TexReg 4300), as corrected in the July 19, 2013, issue of the Texas Register (38 TexReg 4653). This rule is the result of a petition for rulemaking by Barrett & Associates, PLLC on behalf of Uranium Energy Corp. (UEC), Radioactive Materials License Number R06064, to amend the decommissioning standards applicable to radioactive source material (i.e., uranium mining) sites and by-product disposal sites so that the standards will conform to federal requirements.

As requested in the petition, the commission adopts the amendment to §336.1115(e) to remove paragraph (3) and amend paragraph (4) to reflect the Radium Benchmark Dose approach as the clean-up standard (in addition to the radium standard) for release of outdoor areas for unrestricted use. In considering the petition, agency staff reviewed the current language in §336.1115(e) and determined that inclusion of a specific soil standard for the concentration of uranium in soil is not consistent with the federal requirements of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The federal regulations set a standard for the concentration of radium in soil and require a risk-based dose assessment, but do not establish a specific concentration limit for uranium. A decommissioning standard for the concentration of uranium in soil is not necessary because the required risk-based radium benchmark dose assessment approach accounts for the radioactivity of the radionuclides in soil, including uranium.

The licensing program for uranium mining has transferred several times from the TCEQ and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). When the program was previously at TCEQ, the TCEQ proposed rules and invited comments on including a standard for the concentration of uranium in soils in a 1997 rulemaking (Rule Log Number 1997-154-336-WS). In response to comments from the NRC, however, the TCEQ did not adopt a standard for uranium (See May 27, 1997, issue of the Texas Register (22 TexReg 4593)). After the program was transferred to DSHS in 1997, it appears the standard for uranium was picked up as a requirement in DSHS rules without any specific explanation. The current TCEQ rule language was carried back over from the rules of DSHS when the licensing program was transferred by Senate Bill 1604 in 2007 (Rule Project Number 2007-060-336-PR). The dose-based approach was added in the rule in response to a comment from the NRC, but the limit for the uranium concentration was not removed from the rule. Accordingly, the commission now adopts the rule to remove the uranium concentration requirement to be consistent with the applicable federal requirements.

For more information go to:

http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/sos/Adopted%20Rules/ 30.ENVIRONMENTAL%20QUALITY.html#115


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
November 4, 2013

The Louisiana Board Of Professional Geoscientists (LBOPG) has released their website and grandfathering application. In an effort to maximize efficiency, the LBOPG is creating a web-based application form for data entry directly into their database. Because of the possibility of delays to the completion of this form, the LBOPH is accepting a preliminary Grandfathering Application Form to ensure grandfathering status for applicants. Under the above provision, any geoscientists who want to gain the grandfathered status must use the Grandfathering Application Form. This form is downloadable from the lbopg.org website.

The first step of the application procedure is to complete and mail a Grandfathering Application Form and a check in the amount of $200, to the Board at the address: LBOPG, P.O. Box 14209, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70898. In addition, a digital copy of the completed form should be emailed to apply@lbopg.orgAll of this must be recieved by January 1, 2014.

The submittal of this grandfathering application and the fee is only a part of the application procedure. In order to complete the application process, the applicant must fill out the regular application forms electronically through this website. The web based application forms will be made available when the work is complete.

Upon the receipt of both the grandfathering application and the regular application forms, along with all other required documents, the LBOPG will review the completed applications and make decisions regarding the issuance of the applicant's P.G. License.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
October 5, 2013

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has proposed rulemaking to implement House Bill 788, 83rd Legislature, 2013, Regular Session, which requires that the TCEQ adopt rules for the authorization of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to the extent required under federal law. The proposed rules establish GHGs thresholds for Title V and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits, clarify how emissions of GHGs are implemented in the emissions inventory and emissions fee rules, specify the PSD GHG permit applications are not subject to requirements regarding a contested case hearing, and specify that GHGs do not have a reportable quantity (RQ) for emissions event reporting purposes. The proposed rules also address a rulemaking petition from 3M Company to establish an RQ of 5,000 pounds for C6 Fluoroketone, a fire protection fluid. For more information go to: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/rules/pendprop.html#13040.

The TCEQ proposes rulemaking that would remove existing language in Section 336.1115(e) to eliminate the uranium soil concentration standard. This rulemaking is a follow-up to a petition filed by the Uranium Energy Corp. For more information, go to:

http://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/legal/rules/rule_lib/ adoptions/13029336_aex.pdf and/or http://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/legal/rules/rule_lib/ adoptions/13029336_ado.pdf.

The National Ground Water Association Newszine for October 4, 2013 reports that the US Government shutdown has forced 94% of the EPA staff to be furloughed, the result of suspended cleanup at 505 Superfund sites in 47 states. For more information go to:

http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/ngwanz/issues/ 2013-10-04/index.html#1

The TCEQ has a new publication, “Joint Groundwater Monitoring and Contamination Report 2012, SFR-056/12”. This publication lists all groundwater contamination cases documented during the previous calendar year for which enforcement action was incomplete at ht e time of the preceding report. The report can be found at http://www.tceq.texas.gov/publications/sfr/056.

The TCEQ has revised their publication “Risk-Based NAPL Management, RG-366/TRRP-32”. This document explains the risk-based management approach for non-aqueous phase liquid under the Texas Risk Reduction Program (TRRP) rule and presents a five-step process to address the rule requirements. The publication can be found at: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/publications/ rg/rg-366_trrp_32.html

The TCEQ has a new publication “How to Sample Your Well Water and Understand the Results, GI-433”. This publication would be helpful for clients who want to know if flooding, etc. has affected their well. It can be found at: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/publications/gi/gi-433.html.


The Wise Report
September 28, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

From the National Ground Water Association Newszine, September 27, 2013

(http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/ngwanz/issues/2013-09-27/ index.html)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund office is planning to ease its policy that favors cleanup of contaminated groundwater to meet strict drinking water standards, with a top official saying the agency plans to consult states on whether or how to weigh groundwater uses when setting cleanup objectives, according to Inside Washington Publishers.

Jim Woolford, director of EPA's Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, said September 17 during a panel discussion before the Environmental Council of the States at its annual meeting in Arlington, Virginia, that the agency is considering a "flexible approach to setting remedial objectives" for contaminated groundwater. However, he called it a "very sensitive issue" that will require discussions with states.

Included will be discussions with states about how they determine groundwater uses, which may help the agency "set a different cleanup objective, different cleanup level than just what is in the [drinking water maximum contaminant level (MCL)]," he said. Discussions are expected to begin with states next month.

If the agency adopts the changes, it could soften a policy that has long driven costly cleanups that can require pump-and-treat remediation systems that liable parties are often required to fund.

Where cleanups are particularly complicated, such as where the resource is contaminated with so-called dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs)—chemicals like trichloroethene (TCE) or chemical mixtures that are heavier than, and only slightly soluble in, water—those pump-and-treat remedies can be permanent.

But in cases where no liable parties are viable and the Superfund trust fund has covered the cost of remediation, states are ultimately required to cover such long-term operation and maintenance costs after the trust fund has covered those costs for 10 years.

The agency's push aligns with some of the recommendations contained in a landmark National Academies of Science's 2012 report that is gaining increased attention among state regulators, EPA, and others.

The report, "Alternatives for Managing the Nation's Complex Contaminated Groundwater Sites," examined the future of groundwater remediation efforts and found that at complex groundwater sites, poorly accessible or recalcitrant contaminants have complicated or prevented site closure.

Facing dwindling budgets and federal funds, states raised the cost concern earlier this year when U.S. House of Representatives Republicans advanced legislation that sought to ease state requirements under federal hazardous waste law. For example, Daniel Miller, senior assistant attorney general for Colorado, told a May 17 hearing before the House Environment and Economy Subcommittee that rather than advancing legislation to allow judicial review of EPA cleanup decisions, lawmakers should instead address states' concerns that some remedies that the EPA favors, such as long-term groundwater pump-and-treat systems, shift cost burdens to states that must cover operation and maintenance costs

In the Superfund program, Woolford said there are more than 1600 total sites, with 90% of them having groundwater issues. The EPA's Web site said DNAPLs are likely to be present at 60% of Superfund sites. In addition, regulators said the issues over groundwater cleanups affect a broad spectrum of sites—cleanups under brownfields and the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) programs as well as the Superfund program.


The Wise Report
September 21, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

Texas State Agencies are required to conduct a four-year rule review to see whether the reasons for initially adopting their rules continue to exist. The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) is conducting its four-year rule review, now through 2014. The TBPG wants to make every effort possible to elicit stakeholder participation in this process. There are a number of ways in which stakeholders may actively participate in the process. For information as to how to participate go to:

https://tbpg.state.tx.us/rulereview.html

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) adopts the amendment to §7.119 without change to the proposed text as published in the June 7, 2013, issue of the Texas Register (38 TexReg 3495) and will not be republished. This rulemaking is adopted in order to update, by reference, the TCEQ’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) regarding TCEQ environmental reviews of TxDOT highway (transportation) projects. The updates are required to implement the following statutes and legislation. For more information go to:

http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/sos/Adopted%20Rules/ 30.ENVIRONMENTAL%20QUALITY.html#168


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
September 15, 2013

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) proposes amendments to §§307.2 - 307.4 and 307.6 - 307.10. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, §303 (commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act, 1972, 33 United States Code, §1313(c)), requires all states to adopt water quality standards for surface water. A water quality standard consists of the designated beneficial use or uses of a water body or a segment of a water body and the water quality criteria that are necessary to protect the use or uses of that particular water body. Water quality standards are the basis for establishing discharge limits in wastewater and stormwater discharge permits, setting instream water quality goals for total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), and providing water quality targets to assess water quality monitoring data.

The states are required under the Clean Water Act to review their water quality standards at least once every three years and revise them, if appropriate. States review standards because new scientific and technical data may be available that have a bearing on the review. Further, environmental changes over time may also warrant the need for a review. Where water quality data do not meet established uses, the standards must be periodically reviewed to see if uses can be attained. Additionally, water quality standards may have been previously established for the protection and propagation of aquatic life and for recreation in and on the water without sufficient data to determine whether the uses were attainable. Finally, changes in the Texas Water Code (TWC), in the Clean Water Act, or in the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulations may necessitate reviewing and revising standards to ensure compliance with current statutes and regulations.

Following adoption of revised water quality standards by the commission, the Governor or designee must submit the officially adopted standards to the EPA Region 6 Administrator for review. The Regional Administrator reviews the state's standards to determine compliance with the Clean Water Act and implementing regulations. Standards are not applicable to regulatory actions under the Clean Water Act until approved by the EPA.

As directed by the commissioners at the August 21, 2013, Agenda Meeting, the TCEQ is seeking comment on the proposed revision to potentially add a second category of primary contact recreation (primary contact recreation 2). This proposed revision is shown in §§307.3, 307.4, and 307.7, as described in the Section by Section Discussion section of this preamble. As part of this proposal, the term "primary contact recreation" would change to primary contact recreation 1 throughout Chapter 307. For more information go to:  http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/sos/Proposed%20Rules/ 30.ENVIRONMENTAL%20QUALITY.html#73

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) proposes amendments to §§3.78 relating to Fees and Financial Security Requirements for oil and gas, to update the surcharge calculation methodology required pursuant to Texas Natural Resources Code §§81.070 and 81.067. For more information go to http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/rules/ prop-amend-3-78-surcharge-mthdlgy-Sept2013.pdf.

The RRC proposes amendments to 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §§12.108, relating to Permit Fees for coal mining. These rule amendments are necessart to implement provisions of Senate Bill 1 and, specifically, Article VI, RRC Rider 8, which requires the amounts appropriated from general revenue for state fiscal years 2014 and 2015 to cover the cost of permitting and inspecting coal mining facilities. For more information go to: http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/rules/ prop-amend12-108-fees-Sept2013.pdf


The Wise Report
August 31, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) has proposed four amendments to their rules in order to implement the requirements of Senate Bill 138, which was passed in the recent legislative session. These amendments are:

  • 850.62, regarding the general powers and duties of the Board, to include that the TBPG shall work with other state agencies that use the services of a person licensed by the TBPG to educate agency employees regarding the procedures by which complaints are filed with and resolved by TBPG, as required by Senate Bill 138.
  • 851.10, regarding Definitions, removes language that the TBPG maintains jurisdiction over a license, certification, or registration as long as the license, certification, or registration is renewable. It removes the sentence from this section and relocates it to section 851.101, where it was considered to be a more appropriate location.
  • 851.157, regarding Compliance and Enforcement, to provide that a state agency or a state employee who becomes aware of a potential violation of the Act or a rule adopted by the Board may fulfill the requirements of the Act by submitting a formal complaint with the Board or providing the information relating to the potential violation in writing to TBPG staff. Proposed amendments to 851.157 also provide that information provided by a state agency that is privileged or confidential remains privileged or confidential following receipt by the Board; that complaints must be submitted to the authorized deputy to the Secretary-Treasurer, and that the Board shall accept a complaint regardless of whether the complaint is notarized; and that information that is submitted to the Board that has not been filed as a complaint is not confidential. Once the received information becomes part of the complaint record, confidentiality provisions under the Texas Occupations Code 1002.202 will also apply.

Public comments on these proposed amendments should be submit in writing to the TBPG at P O Box 13225, Austin, TX 78711, or by e-mail before September 30, 2013. For more information go to:

http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/sos /Proposed%20Rules/22.EXAMINING%20BOARDS.html#97

The TBPG has adopted four amendments, effective October 1, 2013. They are:

  • 851.20, regarding the P.G. Licensing Requirements and Application Procedure, removes language from this section and incorporates the removed language into section 851.28, regarding P.G. License Renewal and Reinstatement. It clarifies the language and process by which a P.G. license is renewed, is eligible to be renewed for up to three years after the license is expired, that the first renewal of a P.G. license will be prorated to correspond with the license holder's birth month, and specifies that a P.G. license that is renewed more than sixty days after its expiration date will incur a late penalty fee.
  • 851.32, regarding the Continuing Education Program, the amendment clarifies the continuing education requirements for a license that has been renewed for less than one year.
  • 851.156, regarding a P.G. seal, the amendment clarifies the P.G. seal requirement regarding the use of an electronically-generated seal.

For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/sos/Adopted%20Rules/ 22.EXAMINING%20BOARDS.html#182

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has proposed rulemaking that would provide a periodic public review and revision of the State's surface water quality standards, as provided for in Section 26.023 of the Texas Water Code, and as required by Section 303(c) of the Federal Clean Water Act. Specific proposed changes to the rules include:

· revisions to statewide toxic criteria to incorporate new data on toxicity effects, in order to address revised Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and EPA procedures;
· additions and revisions to site-specific toxic criteria to incorporate local water quality data into criteria for selected water bodies;
· addition of industrial cooling areas and revisions to mixing zone provisions to facilitate implementation of thermal water quality standards in wastewater permitting;
· numerous revisions and additions to the uses and criteria, and descriptions of individual water bodies, to incorporate new data and the results of recent use attainability analyses (UAAs); and
· addition of site-specific recreational uses for selected water bodies, to incorporate results of recent recreational UAAs.

For more information go to:

http://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/legal/rules/ rule_lib/proposals/12001307_pex.pdf or http://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/legal/rules/ rule_lib/proposals/12001307_pro.pdf.


August 19, 2013 - The Election is over and the votes have been counted.

We have a new set of officers and district representatives which constitute the Board of the Texas Section of the AIPG, effective immediately.

They are:

President of the Texas Section of AIPG:

Mr. Henry M. Wise, P.G., CPG, Houston, Texas

Vice President - Western Texas:

Dr. Rima Petrolssian, P.G., CPG, Ph.D., Austin, Texas

Vice President - Eastern Texas:

Mr. Michael D. Campbell, P.G., CPG, P.H., Houston, Texas

Secretary-Treasurer:

Mr. Thomas Roth, P.G., CPG, Houston, Texas

District I Representative - Texas Section AIPG:

Mr. Michael Jacobs, P.G., Midland, Texas

District II Representative - Texas Section AIPG:

Mr. Glen Collier, P.G., CPG, Austin, Texas

District III Representative - Texas Section AIPG:

Dr. James Henderson, P.G., CPG, Ph.D., Dallas, Texas

District IV Representative - Texas Section AIPG:

Mr. John Greiner, P.G., CPG, Houston, Texas


The Ballot was sent out on August 5, 2013 to all AIPG registered in Texas. The Election officially closed at midnight August 18, 2013. A sample of the Ballot is available (here).

There were no Abstaining or Write-in votes and therefore the Election has been deemed valid. The term of office is to be served for two years for each officer and district representative.

Mr. Wise will be announcing his plans to the Board and to the Texas AIPG membership in due course.


Message from the New President

August 20, 2013

Memo to: Ladies and Gentlemen of the AIPG Texas Section:

I first want to thank all of you who voted in the elections of the Texas Section of the AIPG.

Second, I want to thank those who stepped up as candidates in the election for the purpose of re-starting the Texas Section of AIPG after a long period of no action.

I look forward to working with the new Board which consists of the two regional Vice Presidents, Rima Petrossian (Western Region) and Michael Campbell (Eastern Region), the new Secretary-Treasurer, Thomas Roth, and with the four District Representatives: Michael Jacobs (District I), John Mikels (District II), James Henderson (District III), and John Greiner (District IV).

I will be making appointments for serving in special functions in the next few months as my purpose and expectations become clear to me and to the Board.

Although the number who voted using the Ballot sent to you by e-mail two weeks ago (which is now available on the AIPG-TX.ORG website to document the record) was somewhat less than we had anticipated, there was no opposition registered in the Ballot via abstaining or write-in votes. We interpret this to mean that those who did not vote constitute a silent majority who are supporting our efforts to move forward with re-starting the Texas Section of AIPG. Over time, one of my objectives as President will be to encourage more participation in the Texas Section of the AIPG as well as in the activities of the national AIPG, if only to use what we will be offering in the future to further your career as a Professional Geologist.

Many of us are active in our local geological societies (e.g., HGS, AGS, DGS, etc.). The Texas Section of the AIPG will embrace the efforts of these groups and will not compete with their agendi, as we understand them. We will be focusing on issues that impact our profession at the State level, in cooperation with the national issues handled by the national office near Denver. We will also be focusing on issues related to supporting our continuing professional education through on-line facilities and other sources of technical information. We also will be encouraging companies to step up to contribute to these efforts by supporting such activities, not necessarily by financial contributions but by encouraging the Texas members to participate, even at arm's length in one function or another that we will identify and bring to the Texas membership in the future.

I encourage you to feel free to contact me by e-mail or any of the other officers and representatives if you have questions, comments, or advice. I will certainly consider what you have to say. I look forward to your feedback.

Again, thank you for your support. The Board and I will be meeting in person and by teleconference in the near future to formulate our plans for the future on your behalf.

Sincerely,

Henry M. Wise, P.G., C.P.G.
President, Texas Section of the AIPG
wise@aipg-tx.org


Elections to be Held in Texas

July 16, 2013 - An e-mail went out last week to all AIPG Members in Texas using the list supplied by AIPG's national office in Colorado. The text of the e-mail is presented below for those who perhaps did not receive the e-mail:

To All AIPG Members in Texas:

As many of you know Henry Wise, my oldest son, David, and I have been keeping the AIPG-TX.org web site operational and reasonably current since the mid-1990s. An ad hoc committee in the Houston area has held informal discussions about when to hold an election of officers in Texas. Since there has been no formal leadership of the AIPG in Texas for a number of years, except for ex officio meetings of members in the Austin and Dallas areas and those who have met at the E&E meetings of the HGS in Houston, and of those who have a desire to further the cause of the AIPG in Texas, we have decided to hold an election by e-mail. To do so, we need to form up a slate of suitable candidates for President; Vice President - Eastern Texas; and Vice President - Western Texas; Secretary and Treasurer; and 4 District Representatives. These Districts are shown on the AIPG-TX.org Home page.

Please e-mail us your nominations for the 8 positions. Because Texas is a large state, the District Representatives are especially important so nominate only those individuals in the Districts who would be willing to spend some time by e-mail and by teleconference on AIPG-TX business and activities. By the way, there are 456 AIPG members in Texas, about 33% of which reside in the Houston area followed by Austin (25%) and Dallas (20%). The rest (22%) are located in other parts of Texas.

We hope to hold the election beginning on August 5, 2013 to last for 14 days, at the end of which the votes will be counted and results announced during the 3rd week of August. In the meantime, send in your nominations for candidates as soon as possible.

You all value your AIPG memberships, as do we, so let us hear from you with your nominations and associated comments.

Regards to all,

Henry M. Wise, P.G.. (hmwise@yahoo.com) and

Michael D. Campbell, P.G., P.H. (mdc@I2MAssociates.com)


The Wise Report
August 17, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has adopted an update to the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the TCEQ and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) addressing the TCEQ's environmental reviews of TxDOT highway (transportation) projects. The updates to the MOU are required to comply with provisions in Senate Bill (SB) 548, SB 1420, and House Bill (HB) 630 of the 82nd Legislature, 2011. The adopted legislation requires TxDOT to amend its rules related to environmental reviews of highway projects and update the relevant TCEQ/TxDOT MOU.

The updated MOU makes only slight changes to the triggers for review of a project, primarily for impaired water assessment units (impaired water bodies). Those changes are being made to comply with current federal requirements associated with the 303(d)- and TMDL related requirements.

The updated MOU also includes a reference to a new document, environmental report, that TxDOT may request that TCEQ review. An environmental report is a document that TxDOT may choose to develop early in their process, usually prior to conducting either an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement. Also included in the MOU is the authorization to implement electronic distribution of TxDOT highway project information to the TCEQ, and the TCEQ comments to TxDOT. The updated MOU reorganizes and streamlines parts of the MOU.

For more information go to: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/legal/rules/rule_lib/adoptions/13019007_aex.pdf for the summary or http://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/legal/rules/rule_lib/adoptions/13019007_ado.pdf for the MOU.

The Governor has appointed three permanent members of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). As a result of the passage of HB 4 during this year’s legislative session, the Board of Directors for the TWDB was reduced from six volunteer members to three, paid, full-time members. Those member appointed must be one with experience in the field of engineering, one member with experience in the field of public or private finance, and one member with experience in the field of law or business.


The Wise Report
August 10, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The Louisiana Geoscience Practice Act has been updated, effective August 1, 2013 and can now be updated.  It is similar to the Texas Geoscience Practice Act.  As of August 10, 2013 eight of the nine Board members have been appointed.  Application fees have been approved by the Legislature, but the exact figure has not been determined.  In addition, the grandfather period has been extended to December 31, 2013.  Applications should be available in late September, 2013.  There is a possibility that the grandfather may be extended through the end of 2014, but that would require the State Legislature to vote on it, so if you’re interested in obtaining a Louisiana license without having to take the ASBOG exam, you should apply this year.

The Board is expected to let the various Louisiana geological societies and the geological boards of neighboring states, Texas included, know when they are ready to accept applications.  For more information go to:

www.nogs.org/LA%20Professional%20Geoscience%20Practices%20Act.docx.

https://www.legis.la.gov/legis/BoardMembers.aspx?boardId=932


Late Announcement

On May 12, 2011, Governor Perry commissioned Henry M. Wise an Admiral in the Texas Navy for his outstanding efforts over the years on behalf of the geological community in Texas. Mr. Wise is a Professional Geoscientist (Geology) in Texas and serves on the Advisory Group of the Uranium (Nuclear and Rare Earth Minerals) Committee of the AAPG-Energy Minerals Division. See photo of Governor Perry’s Proclamation (here).

Mr. Wise serves as the Senior Remediation Specialist of SWS Environmental Services of La Porte, Texas. He recently made a presentation (with Michael D. Campbell, P.G., P.H.) to a packed house at the May Dinner Meeting of the Engineering and Environmental Group of the Houston Geological Society. The presentation was entitled:

"Hydrogeologic Risks in the Groundwater Supply of Harris County, Texas: Radioactive Constituents, Natural Gas, & Growth Faults"

Abstract and Biographies of the speakers (link), selected references (link), and a PDF of selected slides from the presentation (link). He also writes the Wise Report on Texas Legislature activities for the AIPG-TX.org and for the Houston Geological Society Bulletin appearing each month.

Mr. Wise also served as co-author of Chapter 9 in the recently released AAPG-EMD Memoir 101, entitled:

"Energy Resources for Human Settlement in the Solar System and Earth's Future in Space"

For the Table of Contents and Book Preface, see (here). Members of the Energy Mineral Division's Uranium (Nuclear and Rare Earth Minerals) Committee (UCOM) and of I2M Associates, LLC contributed the final Chapter 9, entitled:

"Nuclear Power and Associated Environmental Issues in the Transition of Exploration and Mining on Earth to the Development of Off-World Natural Resources in the 21st Century" (PDF).


Field Alert

I2M Associates, LLC, in Houston and Seattle has initiated a new "Field Alert" program in the I2M Web Portal to notify geoscientists and others concerning potential health threats when working in the field.

As reports come in to the I2M Web Portal, we will evaluate their appropriateness and then list those of significance as "A Field Alert" via the link below.

This is a request for the members of AIPG-TX to send in information on such potential hazards in Texas and elsewhere so we can post them as FIELD ALERTs. The Alert web page is available at the top right of the I2M web page (http://www.I2MAssociates.com).

Direct Link: web.i2massociates.com/categories/health-safety.asp


Publication Alert

I2M Associates, LLC, announced that the long-awaited AAPG-EMD Memoir 101 has been published, entitled: Energy Resources for Human Settlement in the Solar System and Earth's Future in Space.

For the Table of Contents and Book Preface, see link below. Members of the Energy Mineral Division's Uranium (Nuclear and Rare Earth Minerals) Committee (UCOM), of AIPG, and of I2M Associates, LLC contributed the final Chapter 9, entitled:

"Nuclear Power and Associated Environmental Issues in the Transition of Exploration and Mining on Earth to the Development of Off-World Natural Resources in the 21st Century"

See the following link for PDFs in May 3 and April 6 items: I2M Associates News


The Wise Report
June 23, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The Governor's office has announced, pending Senate confirmation, the following appoints to the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists for terms to expire February 1, 2019:

Joseph P. DeWoody of Fort Worth (replacing Ronald Kitchens of Harper whose term expired).
Charles T. "Tom" Hallmark of Hearne (Dr. Hallmark is being reappointed).
W. David Prescott, II of Amarillo (replacing Barbara Roeling of Austin whose term expired).

In response to a petition for rulemaking, the Texas Commission on Water Quality (TCEQ) recommends rulemaking to amend the decommissioning standards applicable to radioactive source material (i.e., uranium mining) sites and by-product disposal sites so that the standards will conform to federal requirements.

On February 12, 2013, Barrett & Associates, PLLC submitted a petition for Rulemaking on behalf of Uranium Energy Corp. (UEC). In their petition, Barrett & Associates requested that the commission amend 30 TAC §336.1115 to remove subsection (e)(3), which would remove the redundancy in uranium in soil concentration limits and conform the rule to the federal requirements. At the TCEQ's agenda on April 10, 2013, the commission approved the petition for rulemaking (Project No. 2013-021-PET-NR) and directed staff to initiate rulemaking.

As requested in the petition, the commission proposes to remove §336.1115(e)(3), the limits for the uranium concentration in soil. The commission also proposes, in response to the removal of subsection (e)(3) to amend subsection (e)(4) to compensate for the removal of subsection (e)(3) by effectively limiting uranium concentration limits to limits specified in 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 40Appendix A, Criterion 6(6).

In considering the petition, staff reviewed the current rule language in §336.1115(e) and determined that inclusion of a specific soil standard for the concentration of uranium in soil is not consistent with the federal requirements of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The federal regulations set a standard for the concentration of radium in soil and require a risk-based dose assessment, but do not establish a specific concentration limit for uranium. A decommissioning standard for the concentration of uranium in soil is not necessary because the required risk-based radium benchmark dose assessment approach accounts for the radioactivity of the radionuclides in soil, including uranium.

For more information go to: 13029336_pex.pdf


The adopted effective date of these amendments is January 1, 2014, to allow the Commission time to develop and advise operators of the lists of potential flow zones and zones with corrosive formation fluids and to allow operators time to become familiar with the new requirements for wells to be drilled. Operators will be subject to these amendments for any wells that will be spudded on or after January 1, 2014. Wells spudded before January 1, 2014, will be subject to the current requirements of §3.13 in effect through December 31, 2013. For more information, go to: #194

The following filed bills may be of interest to Texas geologists. This list has been shortened to show only those bills which have been passed or are new from the Special Session. The Governor has until June 16, 2013 to sign or veto all passed bills from the regular session. If he does neither, they will become law without his signature. New information is listed in bold. Bills that have been passed are noted with an “*”:

*HB 4, by Ritter, Price, Johnson, Doug Miller, and Lucio III, Relating to the administration and functions of the Texas Water Development Board; authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds. Senate amendment reduces the Texas Water Development Board from 6 voluntary members to 3 full-time members. Those member appointed must be one member must have experience in the field of engineering, one member must have experience in the field of public or private finance, and one member must have experience in the field of law or business. 5/28/2013 signed by the Governor, effective 9/1/2013. For more information go to: Bill=HB4

*HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB86

*HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB569

*HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB788

*HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB878

*HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB1079

*HB 1600, by Cook. Identical to SB 206. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 5/25/2013, filed without the Governor's signature. For more information go to: Bill=HB1600

*HB 3309, by Crownover. Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB3309

*SB 138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=SB138

*SB 1532, by Zaffirini. Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=SB1532

The following are new bills of interest to Texas geologists introduced during the Special Session called by the Governor:

HB 24, by Larson, Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 5/31/2013, filed. For more information go to: Bill=HB24

HB 25, by Larson, Relating to the underground storage of water for later retrieval and beneficial use; authorizing the imposition of fees. 5/31/2013, filed. For more information go to: Bill=HB25

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
June 15, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) proposes to adopt by reference updates to the TCEQ’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) regarding TCEQ environmental reviews of TxDOT highway (transportation) projects. The updates are required to implement the following statutes and legislation.

Texas Transportation Code, §201.607(a) requires TxDOT and each state agency that is responsible for the protection of the natural environment, which includes the TCEQ, to revise their MOU that relates to the review of the potential environmental effect of a highway project. Texas Transportation Code, §201.607(b) requires TxDOT and the TCEQ to adopt, by rule, all revisions to the MOU. In addition, Texas Transportation Code, §201.607(a)(5), as amended in Section 1 of Senate Bill (SB) 548, Section 18 of SB 1420, and Section 1 of House Bill (HB) 630, 82nd Legislature, 2011, requires that the MOU specify that comments submitted to TxDOT later than the available 45-day review period will be considered by TxDOT to the extent possible. In addition, Section 5 of SB 548, Section 18 of SB 1420, and Section 5 of HB 630 require that the MOU be updated.

TxDOT and the TCEQ have negotiated updated MOU language. TxDOT has adopted the updated MOU in 43 TAC Chapter 2, Subchapter I. The TCEQ proposed rulemaking would adopt 43 TAC §§2.301 - 2.308 by reference. For more information, go to: #118

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) adopts amendments to §3.13, relating to Casing, Cementing, Drilling, Well Control, and Completion Requirements, with changes and §3.99, relating to Cathodic Protection Wells; and §3.100, relating to Seismic Holes and Core Holes, without changes to the proposed text published in the February 15, 2013, issue of the Texas Register (38 TexReg 733). The adopted amendments implement certain provisions of House Bill 2694 (82nd Legislature, Reg. Sess. 2011) and more clearly outline the requirements for all wells, consolidate the requirements for well control and blow-out preventers, and update the requirements for drilling, casing, cementing, and fracture stimulation. The adopted amendments to §3.99 and §3.100 conform the definition of "protection depth."

The adopted effective date of these amendments is January 1, 2014, to allow the Commission time to develop and advise operators of the lists of potential flow zones and zones with corrosive formation fluids and to allow operators time to become familiar with the new requirements for wells to be drilled. Operators will be subject to these amendments for any wells that will be spudded on or after January 1, 2014. Wells spudded before January 1, 2014, will be subject to the current requirements of §3.13 in effect through December 31, 2013. For more information, go to:  REGULATION.html#194

The following filed bills may be of interest to Texas geologists. This list has been shortened to show only those bills which have been passed or are new from the Special Session. The Governor has until June 16, 2013 to sign or veto all passed bills from the regular session. If he does neither, they will become law without his signature. New information is listed in bold. Bills that have been passed are noted with an “*”:

*HB 4, by Ritter, Price, Johnson, Doug Miller, and Lucio III, Relating to the administration and functions of the Texas Water Development Board; authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds. Senate amendment reduces the Texas Water Development Board from 6 voluntary members to 3 full-time members. Those member appointed must be one member must have experience in the field of engineering, one member must have experience in the field of public or private finance, and one member must have experience in the field of law or business. 5/28/2013 signed by the Governor, effective 9/1/2013. For more information go to: Bill=HB4

*HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB86

*HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB569

*HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB788

*HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB878

*HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB1079

HB 1189, by Larson. Identical to SB 1168. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB1189

*HB 1600, by Cook. Identical to SB 206. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 5/25/2013, filed without the Governor's signature. For more information go to: Bill=HB1600

HB 3309, by Crownover. Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB3309

*SB 138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=SB138

*SB 1532, by Zaffirini. Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. 6/14/2013, signed by the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=SB1532

*SB 1749, by Uresti. Identical to HB 3317. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1749

The following are new bills of interest to Texas geologists introduced during the Special Session called by the Governor:

HB 24, by Larson, Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 5/31/2013, filed. For more information go to: Bill=HB24

HB 25, by Larson, Relating to the underground storage of water for later retrieval and beneficial use; authorizing the imposition of fees. 5/31/2013, filed. For more information go to: Bill=HB25

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
June 2, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The following filed bills may be of interest to Texas geologists.  This list has been shortened to show only those bills which have been passed or are new from the Special Session.  The Governor has until June 16, 2013 to sign or veto all passed bills from the regular session.  If he does neither, they will become law without his signature.  New information is listed in bold. Bills that have been passed are noted with an “*”:

*HB 4, by Ritter, Price, Johnson, Doug Miller, and Lucio III, Relating to the administration and functions of the Texas Water Development Board; authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds. Senate amendment reduces the Texas Water Development Board from 6 voluntary members to 3 full-time members. Those member appointed must be one member must have experience in the field of engineering, one member must have experience in the field of public or private finance, and one member must have experience in the field of law or business. 5/28/2013 signed by the Governor, effective 9/1/2013. For more information go to: Bill=HB4

*HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 5/20/2013 sent to the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB86

*HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. 5/23/2013 sent to the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB569

*HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 5/22/2013 sent to the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB788

*HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 5/16/2013, sent to the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB878

*HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 5/27/2013, sent to the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB1079

*HB 1600, by Cook. Identical to SB 206. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 5/25/2013, filed without the Governor's signature, effective on 9/1/2013. For more information go to: Bill=HB1600

*HB 3309, by Crownover. Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. 5/26/2013 signed by the Governor, effective 9/1/2013. For more information go to: Bill=HB3309

*SB 138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 5/25/2013, sent to the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=SB138

*SB 1532, by Zaffirini. Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. 5/16/2013, Sent to Governor. For more information go to: Bill=SB1532

The following are new bills of interest to Texas geologists introduced during the Special Session called by the Governor:

HB 24, by Larson, Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 5/31/2013, filed. For more information go to:  Bill=HB24

HB 25, by Larson, Relating to the underground storage of water for later retrieval and beneficial use; authorizing the imposition of fees. 5/31/2013, filed. For more information go to: Bill=HB25

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
May 27, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) has proposed amendments to clarify the process for the first renewal of a Professional Geoscientist's (P.G.) license and the late renewal of a P.G. license; to clarify the continuing education requirements for a P.G. license that is renewed for less than one year; and to clarify the P.G. seal requirement when using an electronically-generated seal. For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/

The TBPG has adopted amendments to §851.30 that clarify the requirement that a Professional Geoscientist who performs or supervises the geoscientific work for a Geoscience Firm is required be an employee of the firm. The adopted amendments to §851.152 clarify the language that registration is required for business entities that offer or are engaged in the non-exempt public practice of geoscience in Texas. For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/


The following filed bills may be of interest to Texas geologists. New information is listed in bold. Bills that have been passed are noted with an “*”:

*HB 4, by Ritter, Price, Johnson, Doug Miller, and Lucio III, Relating to the administration and functions of the Texas Water Development Board; authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds. Senate amendment reduces the Texas Water Development Board from 6 voluntary members to 3 full-time members. Those member appointed must be one member must have experience in the field of engineering, one member must have experience in the field of public or private finance, and one member must have experience in the field of law or business. 5/23/2013 sent to the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB4

*HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 5/20/2013 sent to the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB86

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:

(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation."

This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 4/30/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB87

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 3/13/2013, Left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB100

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 4/30/2013, failed to receive affirmative vote in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB147

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. 5/9/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB340

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: Bill=426

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. 4/23/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB569

*HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. 5/23/2013 sent to the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB569

*HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 5/22/2013 sent to the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB788

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. 5/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB824

*HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 5/16/2013, sent to the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB878

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 5/25/2013, signed in the House. For more information go to: Bill=HB1079

HB 1189, by Larson. Identical to SB 1168. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB1189

*HB 1600, by Cook. Identical to SB 206. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 5/25/2013, filed without the Governor's signature. For more information go to: Bill=HB1600

HB 2046, by Workman. Identical to SB 1024. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2046

HB 2146, by Hilderbran, Relating to limits on mining of marl, sand, gravel, shell, or mudshell in certain protected freshwater areas. Allows for no more than 1,000 cubic yards from the area located east of IH-35. 5/8/2013, placed on General State Calendar. For more information go to: Bill=HB2146

HB 2166, by Bonnen and Dennis, Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. Among other things, changes the name of the RRC to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. 5/6/25013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB2166

HB 2577, by Larson. Identical to SB 272. Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 5/2/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB2577

HB 2578, by Larson. Identical to SB 1760. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 5/10/2013, Referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB2578

HB 2624, by Ashby. Relating to the regulation of water wells under the jurisdiction of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to prevent groundwater pollution. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2624

HB 2739, by Martinez, Fischer. Identical to SB 1763. Relating to the process for appealing the desired future conditions adopted by a groundwater conservation district for an aquifer. 5/9/2013, placed on General State Calendar. For more information go to: Bill=HB2739

HB 2769, by Rodriguez, Justin. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 4/23/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2769

HB 2992, by King, Tracy O. Relating to the reuse, discharge, or disposal of fluid produced from certain oil or gas wells on which a hydraulic fracturing treatment has been performed. 4/10/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2992

HB 3114, by Hilderbran. Relating to the regional groundwater planning process for minor aquifers. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB3114

HB 3250, by Callegari. Relating to protecting landowners against aquifer depletion. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB3250

HB 3289, by Martinez. Relating to the licensing of professionals engaged in Texas pollutant discharge elimination system-related stormwater activity. This is a new license for TPDES-related stormwater work. There's a disparity between PGs, who have to show experience, and PEs and architects, who don't. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB3289

HB 3309, by Crownover. Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. 5/24/2031, signed in the House. For more information go to: Bill=HB3309

HB 3317, by Keffer. Identical to SB 1749. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district.4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB3317

HB 3539, by Gutierez. Relating to the source and supply of water used for oil and gas exploration and production in the State of Texas. 3/20/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB3539

HB 3599, by Burnam. Relating to restrictions on the siting, drilling, completion, and operation of oil and gas wells in certain locations. 4/17/2013, left pending in committee.For more information go to: Bill=HB3599

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB136

*SB 138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 5/25/2013, sent to the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=SB138

SB 206, by Nichols. Identical to HB 1600. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 2/25/2013, referred to Business & Commerce. For more information go to: Bill=SB206

SB 212, by Nichols, Huffman. Identical to HB 2166. Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. 5/14/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB212

SB 272, by Seliger. Identical to HB 2577, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 5/14/2013, no action taken in committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB272.

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 5/6/2013, not again placed on intent calendar. For more information go to: Bill=SB434

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 5/14/2013, failed to receive affirmative once in committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB467

SB 536, by Hinojosa. Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB536

SB 584, by Hegar. Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB584

SB 873, by Hegar. Relating to the authority of a groundwater conservation district to require a permit for the drilling or operation of a water well used to supply water for the performance of a hydraulic fracturing treatment on an oil or gas well. Groundwater Districts may not provide an exemption to the requirement to obtain a permit. 5/16/2013, left pending committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB873

SB 941, by Davis. Relating to the adoption of rules by the Railroad Commission of Texas regulating the exploration for and production of natural gas in the unincorporated areas of certain counties. "Rules adopted under this section must promote gas exploration and production while securing the quality of life and existing economic interests, including property values and development plans, in the unincorporated areas of the counties.". 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB941

SB 1024, by Watson. Identical to HB 2046. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1024

SB 1168, by Hegar. Identical to HB 1189. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1168

SB 1249, by Carona. Relating to plugging, capping, repairing, or completing certain wells. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB1249

*SB 1532, by Zaffirini. Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. 5/16/2013, Sent to Governor. For more information go to: Bill=SB1532

SB 1749, by Uresti. Identical to HB 3317. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1749

SB 1760, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2578. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 5/7/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB1760

SB 1763, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2539. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1763

SB 1819, by Deuell. Relating to the location of a sand mine; authorizing an administrative penalty. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1819

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
May 18, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The following filed bills may be of interest to Texas geologists. New information is listed in bold.  Bills that have been passed are noted with an “*”:

HB 4, by Ritter, Price, Johnson, Doug Miller, and Lucio III, Relating to the administration and functions of the Texas Water Development Board; authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds. Senate amendment reduces the Texas Water Development Board from 6 voluntary members to 3 full-time members. Those member appointed must be one member must have experience in the field of engineering, one member must have experience in the field of public or private finance, and one member must have experience in the field of law or business. 5/17/2013, Conference committee report filed. For more information go to: Bill=HB4

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 2/17/2013, signed in the Senate. For more information go to: Bill=HB86

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:

(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation."

This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 4/30/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB87

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 3/13/2013, Left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB100

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 4/30/2013, failed to receive affirmative vote in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB147

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. 5/9/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB340

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: Bill=426

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. 4/23/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB569

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. 5/20/2013, Placed on local & uncontested calendar. For more information go to: Bill=HB569

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 5/17/2013, Senate amendments distributed. For more information go to: Bill=HB788

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. 5/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB824

*HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 5/16/2013, sent to the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB878

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 5/20/2013, placed on intent calendar. For more information go to: Bill=HB1079

HB 1189, by Larson. Identical to SB 1168. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB1189

*HB 1600, by Cook. Identical to SB 206. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 5/14/2031, sent to the Governor. For more information go to: Bill=HB1600

HB 2046, by Workman. Identical to SB 1024. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2046

HB 2146, by Hilderbran, Relating to limits on mining of marl, sand, gravel, shell, or mudshell in certain protected freshwater areas. Allows for no more than 1,000 cubic yards from the area located east of IH-35. 5/8/2013, placed on General State Calendar. For more information go to: Bill=HB2146

HB 2166, by Bonnen and Dennis, Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. Among other things, changes the name of the RRC to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. 5/6/25013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB2166

HB 2577, by Larson. Identical to SB 272. Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 5/2/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB2577

HB 2578, by Larson. Identical to SB 1760. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 5/10/2013, Referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB2578

HB 2624, by Ashby. Relating to the regulation of water wells under the jurisdiction of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to prevent groundwater pollution. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2624

HB 2739, by Martinez, Fischer. Identical to SB 1763. Relating to the process for appealing the desired future conditions adopted by a groundwater conservation district for an aquifer. 5/9/2013, placed on General State Calendar. For more information go to: Bill=HB2739

HB 2769, by Rodriguez, Justin. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 4/23/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2769

HB 2992, by King, Tracy O. Relating to the reuse, discharge, or disposal of fluid produced from certain oil or gas wells on which a hydraulic fracturing treatment has been performed. 4/10/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2992

HB 3114, by Hilderbran. Relating to the regional groundwater planning process for minor aquifers. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB3114

HB 3250, by Callegari. Relating to protecting landowners against aquifer depletion. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB3250

HB 3289, by Martinez. Relating to the licensing of professionals engaged in Texas pollutant discharge elimination system-related stormwater activity. This is a new license for TPDES-related stormwater work. There's a disparity between PGs, who have to show experience, and PEs and architects, who don't. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB3289

HB 3309, by Crownover. Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. 5/15/2013, Committee report printed and distributed. For more information go to: Bill=HB3309

HB 3317, by Keffer. Identical to SB 1749. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district.4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB3317

HB 3539, by Gutierez. Relating to the source and supply of water used for oil and gas exploration and production in the State of Texas. 3/20/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB3539

HB 3599, by Burnam. Relating to restrictions on the siting, drilling, completion, and operation of oil and gas wells in certain locations. 4/17/2013, left pending in committee.For more information go to: Bill=HB3599

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB136

*SB 138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 5/17/2013, passed. For more information go to: Bill=SB138

SB 206, by Nichols. Identical to HB 1600. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 2/25/2013, referred to Business & Commerce. For more information go to: Bill=SB206

SB 212, by Nichols, Huffman. Identical to HB 2166. Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. 5/14/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB212

SB 272, by Seliger. Identical to HB 2577, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 5/14/2013, no action taken in committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB272

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 5/6/2013, not again placed on intent calendar. For more information go to: Bill=SB434

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 5/14/2013, failed to receive affirmative once in committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB467

SB 536, by Hinojosa. Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB536

SB 584, by Hegar. Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB584

SB 873, by Hegar. Relating to the authority of a groundwater conservation district to require a permit for the drilling or operation of a water well used to supply water for the performance of a hydraulic fracturing treatment on an oil or gas well. Groundwater Districts may not provide an exemption to the requirement to obtain a permit. 5/16/2013, left pending committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB873

SB 941, by Davis. Relating to the adoption of rules by the Railroad Commission of Texas regulating the exploration for and production of natural gas in the unincorporated areas of certain counties. "Rules adopted under this section must promote gas exploration and production while securing the quality of life and existing economic interests, including property values and development plans, in the unincorporated areas of the counties.". 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB941

SB 1024, by Watson. Identical to HB 2046. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1024

SB 1168, by Hegar. Identical to HB 1189. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1168

SB 1249, by Carona. Relating to plugging, capping, repairing, or completing certain wells. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB1249

*SB 1532, by Zaffirini. Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. 5/16/2013, Sent to Governor. For more information go to: Bill=SB1532

SB 1749, by Uresti. Identical to HB 3317. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1749

SB 1760, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2578. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 5/7/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB1760

SB 1763, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2539. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1763

SB 1819, by Deuell. Relating to the location of a sand mine; authorizing an administrative penalty. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1819

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
May 11, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The following filed bills may be of interest to Texas geologists. New information is listed in bold:

HB 4, by Ritter, Price, Johnson, Doug Miller, and Lucio III, Relating to the administration and functions of the Texas Water Development Board; authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds. Senate amendment reduces the Texas Water Development Board from 6 voluntary members to 3 full-time members.  Those member appointed must be one member must have experience in the field of engineering, one member must have experience in the field of public or private finance, and one member must have experience in the field of law or business.  5/8/2013, Senate appoints conferees-reported. For more information go to: Bill=HB4

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 5/13/2013, not again placed on intent calendar. For more information go to: Bill=HB86

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:

(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation."

This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 4/30/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB87

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 3/13/2013 Left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB100

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 4/30/2013, failed to receive affirmative vote in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB147

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. 5/9/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB340

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: Bill=426

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. 4/23/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB569

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. 4/4/2013, referred to Administration. For more information go to: Bill=HB569

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 5/9/2013, committee report printed and distributed. For more information go to: Bill=HB788

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. 5/3/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB824

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 5/7/2013, not again placed on intent calendar. For more information go to: Bill=HB878

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 5/14/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to: Bill=HB1079

HB 1189, by Larson. Identical to SB 1168. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB1189

HB 1600, by Cook. Identical to SB 206. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 5/9/2013, conference committee report diatributed. For more information go to: Bill=HB1600

HB 2046, by Workman. Identical to SB 1024. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2046

HB 2146, by Hilderbran, Relating to limits on mining of marl, sand, gravel, shell, or mudshell in certain protected freshwater areas. Allows for no more than 1,000 cubic yards from the area located east of IH-35. 5/8/2013, placed on General State Calendar. For more information go to: Bill=HB2146

HB 2166, by Bonnen and Dennis, Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. Among other things, changes the name of the RRC to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. 5/6/25013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB2166

HB 2577, by Larson. Identical to SB 272. Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 5/2/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB2577

HB 2578, by Larson. Identical to SB 1760. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 5/10/2013, Referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB2578

HB 2624, by Ashby. Relating to the regulation of water wells under the jurisdiction of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to prevent groundwater pollution. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2624

HB 2739, by Martinez, Fischer. Identical to SB 1763. Relating to the process for appealing the desired future conditions adopted by a groundwater conservation district for an aquifer. 5/9/2013, placed on General State Calendar. For more information go to: Bill=HB2739

HB 2769, by Rodriguez, Justin. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 4/23/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2769

HB 2992, by King, Tracy O. Relating to the reuse, discharge, or disposal of fluid produced from certain oil or gas wells on which a hydraulic fracturing treatment has been performed. 4/10/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2992

HB 3114, by Hilderbran. Relating to the regional groundwater planning process for minor aquifers. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB3114

HB 3250, by Callegari. Relating to protecting landowners against aquifer depletion. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB3250

HB 3289, by Martinez. Relating to the licensing of professionals engaged in Texas pollutant discharge elimination system-related stormwater activity. This is a new license for TPDES-related stormwater work. There's a disparagy between PGs, who have to show experience, and PEs and architects, who don't. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB3289

HB 3309, by Crownover. Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. 5/14/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to: Bill=HB3309

HB 3317, by Keffer. Identical to SB 1749. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB3317

HB 3539, by Gutierez. Relating to the source and supply of water used for oil and gas exploration and production in the State of Texas. 3/20/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB3539

HB 3599, by Burnam. Relating to restrictions on the siting, drilling, completion, and operation of oil and gas wells in certain locations. 4/17/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB3599

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB136

SB 138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 5/7/2013, committee report sent to Local & Consent Calendar. For more information go to: Bill=SB138

SB 206, by Nichols. Identical to HB 1600. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 2/25/2013, referred to Business & Commerce. For more information go to: Bill=SB206

SB 212, by Nichols, Huffman. Identical to HB 2166. Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. 5/9/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB212

SB 272, by Seliger. Identical to HB 2577, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 4/15/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB272

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 5/6/2013, not again placed on intent calendar. For more information go to: Bill=SB434

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 5/8/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: Bill=SB467

SB 536, by Hinojosa. Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB536

SB 584, by Hegar. Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB584

SB 873, by Hegar. Relating to the authority of a groundwater conservation district to require a permit for the drilling or operation of a water well used to supply water for the performance of a hydraulic fracturing treatment on an oil or gas well. Groundwater Districts may not provide an exemption to the requirement to obtain a permit. 5/6/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB873

SB 941, by Davis. Relating to the adoption of rules by the Railroad Commission of Texas regulating the exploration for and production of natural gas in the unincorporated areas of certain counties. "Rules adopted under this section must promote gas exploration and production while securing the quality of life and existing economic interests, including property values and development plans, in the unincorporated areas of the counties.". 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB941

SB 1024, by Watson. Identical to HB 2046. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1024

SB 1168, by Hegar. Identical to HB 1189. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1168

SB 1249, by Carona. Relating to plugging, capping, repairing, or completing certain wells. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB1249

SB 1532, by Zaffirini. Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. 5/9/2013, committee report sent to Local & Consent Calendar. For more information go to: Bill=SB1532

SB 1749, by Uresti. Identical to HB 3317. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1749

SB 1760, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2578. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 5/7/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB1760

SB 1763, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2539. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1763

SB 1819, by Deuell. Relating to the location of a sand mine; authorizing an administrative penalty. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1819

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
May 4, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The following filed bills may be of interest to Texas geologists. New information is listed in bold:

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 5/7/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to: Bill=HB86

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:

(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation."

This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 4/30/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB87

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 3/13/2013 Left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB100

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 4/30/2013, failed to receive affirmative vote in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB147

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. 5/3/2013, reported engrossed. For more information go to: Bill=HB340

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: Bill=426

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. 4/23/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB569

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. 4/4/2013, referred to Administration. For more information go to: Bill=HB569

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 4/30/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB788

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. 5/3/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB824

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 5/7/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to: Bill=HB878

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 5/1/2013, Placed on General State Calendar. For more information go to: Bill=HB1079

HB 1189, by Larson. Identical to SB 1168. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB1189

HB 1600, by Cook. Identical to SB 206. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 5/1/2013, Senate appoints conferees - reported. For more information go to: Bill=HB1600

HB 2046, by Workman. Identical to SB 1024. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2046

HB 2146, by Hilderbran, Relating to limits on mining of marl, sand, gravel, shell, or mudshell in certain protected freshwater areas. Allows for no more than 1,000 cubic yards from the area located east of IH-35. 4/26/2013, Committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB2146

HB 2166, by Bonnen and Dennis, Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. Among other things, changes the name of the RRC to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. 5/2/2013, reported favorably as substituted. For more information go to: Bill=HB2166

HB 2577, by Larson. Identical to SB 272. Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 5/2/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB2577

HB 2578, by Larson. Identical to SB 1760. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 5/7/2013, placed on General State Calendar. For more information go to: Bill=HB2578

HB 2624, by Ashby. Relating to the regulation of water wells under the jurisdiction of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to prevent groundwater pollution. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2624

HB 2739, by Martinez, Fischer. Identical to SB 1763. Relating to the process for appealing the desired future conditions adopted by a groundwater conservation district for an aquifer. 5/2/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB2739

HB 2769, by Rodriguez, Justin. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 4/23/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2769

HB 2992, by King, Tracy O. Relating to the reuse, discharge, or disposal of fluid produced from certain oil or gas wells on which a hydraulic fracturing treatment has been performed. 4/10/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2992

HB 3114, by Hilderbran. Relating to the regional groundwater planning process for minor aquifers. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB3114

HB 3250, by Callegari. Relating to protecting landowners against aquifer depletion. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB3250

HB 3289, by Martinez. Relating to the licensing of professionals engaged in Texas pollutant discharge elimination system-related stormwater activity. This is a new license for TPDES-related stormwater work. There's a disparagy between PGs, who have to show experience, and PEs and architects, who don't. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB3289

HB 3309, by Crownover. Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. 5/2/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB3309

HB 3317, by Keffer. Identical to SB 1749. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB3317

HB 3539, by Gutierez. Relating to the source and supply of water used for oil and gas exploration and production in the State of Texas. 3/20/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB3539

HB 3599, by Burnam. Relating to restrictions on the siting, drilling, completion, and operation of oil and gas wells in certain locations. 4/17/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB3599

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB136

SB 138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 5/2/2013, reported favorably without amendments. For more information go to: Bill=SB138

SB 206, by Nichols. Identical to HB 1600. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 2/25/2013, referred to Business & Commerce. For more information go to: Bill=SB206

SB 212, by Nichols, Huffman. Identical to HB 2166. Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. 5/2/2013, received from the senate. For more information go to: Bill=SB212

SB 272, by Seliger. Identical to HB 2577, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 4/15/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB272

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 5/6/2013, not again placed on intent calendar. For more information go to: Bill=SB434

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 4/19/2013, received from the Senate.For more information go to: Bill=SB467

SB 536, by Hinojosa. Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB536

SB 584, by Hegar. Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB584

SB 873, by Hegar. Relating to the authority of a groundwater conservation district to require a permit for the drilling or operation of a water well used to supply water for the performance of a hydraulic fracturing treatment on an oil or gas well. Groundwater Districts may not provide an exemption to the requirement to obtain a permit. 5/2/2013, received from the senate. For more information go to: Bill=SB873

SB 941, by Davis. Relating to the adoption of rules by the Railroad Commission of Texas regulating the exploration for and production of natural gas in the unincorporated areas of certain counties. "Rules adopted under this section must promote gas exploration and production while securing the quality of life and existing economic interests, including property values and development plans, in the unincorporated areas of the counties.". 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB941

SB 1024, by Watson. Identical to HB 2046. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1024

SB 1168, by Hegar. Identical to HB 1189. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1168

SB 1249, by Carona. Relating to plugging, capping, repairing, or completing certain wells. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=SB1249

SB 1532, by Zaffirini. Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. 4/24/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1532

SB 1749, by Uresti. Identical to HB 3317. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1749

SB 1760, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2578. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 5/7/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to: Bill=SB1760

SB 1763, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2539. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1763

SB 1819, by Deuell. Relating to the location of a sand mine; authorizing an administrative penalty. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=SB1819

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
April 27, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The following filed bills may be of interest to Texas geologists. New information is listed in bold:

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 4/18/2013, referred to Business& Comerce. For more information go to: Bill=HB86

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:
(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation. “
This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 4/26/2013, recommitted to committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB87

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 3/13/2013 Left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB100

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 3/19/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB147

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. 4/25/2013, returned to Local & Consent Calendars Committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB340

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: Bill=426

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. 4/23/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB569

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. 4/4/2013, referred to Administration. For more information go to: Bill=HB569

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 4/30/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to: Bill=HB788

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. 4/30/2013, placed on General State Calendar. For more information go to: Bill=HB824.

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 4/24/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: Bill=HB878.

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 5/1/2013, Placed on General State Calendar. For more information go to: Bill=HB1079.

HB 1189, by Larson. Identical to SB 1168. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB1189.

HB 1600, by Cook. Identical to SB 206. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 4/25/2013, House appoints conferees. For more information go to: Bill=HB1600.

HB 2046, by Workman. Identical to SB 1024. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: Bill=HB2046.

HB 2146, by Hilderbran, Relating to limits on mining of marl, sand, gravel, shell, or mudshell in certain protected freshwater areas. Allows for no more than 1,000 cubic yards from the area located east of IH-35. 4/26/2013, Committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB2146.

HB 2166, by Bonnen and Dennis, Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. Among other things, changes the name of the RRC to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. 4/18/2013, reported favorably as substituted. For more information go to: Bill=HB2166.

HB 2577, by Larson. Identical to SB 272. Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 4/26/2013, reported favorably without amendment(s). For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2578, by Larson. Identical to SB 1760. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 4/26/2013, Reported favorably as substituted. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2624, by Ashby. Relating to the regulation of water wells under the jurisdiction of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to prevent groundwater pollution. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2739, by Martinez, Fischer. Identical to SB 1763. Relating to the process for appealing the desired future conditions adopted by a groundwater conservation district for an aquifer. 4/26/2013, reported favorably without amendment(s). For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2769, by Rodriguez, Justin. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 4/23/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2992, by King, Tracy O. Relating to the reuse, discharge, or disposal of fluid produced from certain oil or gas wells on which a hydraulic fracturing treatment has been performed. 4/10/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3114, by Hilderbran. Relating to the regional groundwater planning process for minor aquifers. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3250, by Callegari. Relating to protecting landowners against aquifer depletion. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3289, by Martinez. Relating to the licensing of professionals engaged in Texas pollutant discharge elimination system-related stormwater activity. This is a new license for TPDES-related stormwater work. There's a disparagy between PGs, who have to show experience, and PEs and architects, who don't. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3309, by Crownover. Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. 4/26/2013, passed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3317, by Keffer. Identical to SB 1749. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district.4/16/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3539, by Gutierez. Relating to the source and supply of water used for oil and gas exploration and production in the State of Texas. 3/20/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3599, by Burnam. Relating to restrictions on the siting, drilling, completion, and operation of oil and gas wells in certain locations. 4/17/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 4/30/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 206, by Nichols. Identical to HB 1600. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 2/25/2013, referred to Business & Commerce. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 212, by Nichols, Huffman. Identical to HB 2166. Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. 4/24/2013, committee report printed and distibuted. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 272, by Seliger. Identical to HB 2577, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 4/15/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 4/24/2013, committee report printed and distibuted. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 4/19/2013, received from the Senate. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 536, by Hinojosa. Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 584, by Hegar. Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 873, by Hegar. Relating to the authority of a groundwater conservation district to require a permit for the drilling or operation of a water well used to supply water for the performance of a hydraulic fracturing treatment on an oil or gas well. Groundwater Districts may not provide an exemption to the requirement to obtain a permit. 4/24/2013, not again placed on intent calendar. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 941, by Davis. Relating to the adoption of rules by the Railroad Commission of Texas regulating the exploration for and production of natural gas in the unincorporated areas of certain counties. "Rules adopted under this section must promote gas exploration and production while securing the quality of life and existing economic interests, including property values and development plans, in the unincorporated areas of the counties.". 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1024, by Watson. Identical to HB 2046. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1168, by Hegar. Identical to HB 1189. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1249, by Carona. Relating to plugging, capping, repairing, or completing certain wells. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1532, by Zaffirini. Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. 4/24/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1749, by Uresti. Identical to HB 3317. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1760, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2578. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1763, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2539. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1819, by Deuell. Relating to the location of a sand mine; authorizing an administrative penalty. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
April 20, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The following filed bills may be of interest to Texas geologists. New information is listed in bold:

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 4/18/2013, referred to Business & Comerce. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:
(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation."

This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 4/19/2013, committee report sent to calendars. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 3/13/2013 Left pending in committee. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 3/19/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. 4/15/2013, committee report sent to Local & Consent Calendar. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. 4/23/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. 4/4/2013, referred to Administration. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 4/19/2013, reported engrossed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. 4/5/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 4/19/2013, reported engrossed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 4/5/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1189, by Larson. Identical to SB 1168. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1600, by Cook. Identical to SB 206. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 4/17/2013, placed on intent calendar. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2046, by Workman. Identical to SB 1024. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2146, by Hilderbran, Relating to limits on mining of marl, sand, gravel, shell, or mudshell in certain protected freshwater areas. Allows for no more than 1,000 cubic yards from the area located east of IH-35. 4/11/2013, reported favorably as substituted. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2166, by Bonnen and Dennis, Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. Among other things, changes the name of the RRC to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. 4/18/2013, reported favorably as substituted. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2577, by Larson. Identical to SB 272. Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2578, by Larson. Identical to SB 1760. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2624, by Ashby. Relating to the regulation of water wells under the jurisdiction of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to prevent groundwater pollution. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2739, by Martinez, Fischer. Identical to SB 1763. Relating to the process for appealing the desired future conditions adopted by a groundwater conservation district for an aquifer. 44/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2769, by Rodriguez, Justin. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/14/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2992, by King, Tracy O. Relating to the reuse, discharge, or disposal of fluid produced from certain oil or gas wells on which a hydraulic fracturing treatment has been performed. 4/10/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3114, by Hilderbran. Relating to the regional groundwater planning process for minor aquifers. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3250, by Callegari. Relating to protecting landowners against aquifer depletion. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3289, by Martinez. Relating to the licensing of professionals engaged in Texas pollutant discharge elimination system-related stormwater activity. This is a new license for TPDES-related stormwater work. There's a disparagy between PGs, who have to show experience, and PEs and architects, who don't. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3309, by Crownover. Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. 4/16/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3317, by Keffer. Identical to SB 1749. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 4/16/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3539, by Gutierez. Relating to the source and supply of water used for oil and gas exploration and production in the State of Texas. 3/20/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3599, by Burnam. Relating to restrictions on the siting, drilling, completion, and operation of oil and gas wells in certain locations. 4/16/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 4/8/2013, referred to Licensing & Administrative Procedures. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 206, by Nichols. Identical to HB 1600. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 2/25/2013, referred to Business & Commerce. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 212, by Nichols, Huffman. Identical to HB 2166. Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. 4/23/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 272, by Seliger. Identical to HB 2577, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 4/15/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 4/23/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 4/19/2013, received from the Senate. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 536, by Hinojosa. Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 584, by Hegar. Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 873, by Hegar. Relating to the authority of a groundwater conservation district to require a permit for the drilling or operation of a water well used to supply water for the performance of a hydraulic fracturing treatment on an oil or gas well. Groundwater Districts may not provide an exemption to the requirement to obtain a permit. 4/15/2013, placed on intent calendar. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 941, by Davis. Relating to the adoption of rules by the Railroad Commission of Texas regulating the exploration for and production of natural gas in the unincorporated areas of certain counties. "Rules adopted under this section must promote gas exploration and production while securing the quality of life and existing economic interests, including property values and development plans, in the unincorporated areas of the counties.". 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1024, by Watson. Identical to HB 2046. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1168, by Hegar. Identical to HB 1189. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1249, by Carona. Relating to plugging, capping, repairing, or completing certain wells. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1532, by Zaffirini. Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. 4/17/2013, Placed on Intent Calendar. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1749, by Uresti. Identical to HB 3317. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1760, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2578. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1763, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2539. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1819, by Deuell. Relating to the location of a sand mine; authorizing an administrative penalty. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
April 13, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The following filed bills may be of interest to Texas geologists. New information is listed in bold:

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 4/11/2013, received from the House. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:
(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation. “
This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 4/11/2013, reported favorably as substituted. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 3/13/2013 Left pending in committee. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 3/19/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. 4/11/2013, reported favorably as substituted. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. 2/14/2013, Referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. 4/4/2013, referred to Administration. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 4/18/2013, placed on General State Calendar. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. 4/5/2013, corrected committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 4/2/2013, House Committee report sent to Local & consent Calendar. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 4/5/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1189, by Larson. Identical to SB 1168. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/16/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1600, by Cook. Identical to SB 206. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 4/10/2013, considered in public hearing. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2046, by Workman. Identical to SB 1024. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2146, by Hilderbran, Relating to limits on mining of marl, sand, gravel, shell, or mudshell in certain protected freshwater areas. Allows for no more than 1,000 cubic yards from the area located east of IH-35. 4/11/2013, reported favorably as substituted. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2166, by Bonnen and Dennis, Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. Among other things, changes the name of the RRC to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. 4/10/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2577, by Larson. Identical to SB 272. Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/16/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2578, by Larson. Identical to SB 1760. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/16/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2624, by Ashby. Relating to the regulation of water wells under the jurisdiction of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to prevent groundwater pollution. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/16/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2739, by Martinez, Fischer. Identical to SB 1763. Relating to the process for appealing the desired future conditions adopted by a groundwater conservation district for an aquifer. 4/9/2013, no action taken in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2769, by Rodriguez, Justin. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/14/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2992, by King, Tracy O. Relating to the reuse, discharge, or disposal of fluid produced from certain oil or gas wells on which a hydraulic fracturing treatment has been performed. 4/10/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3114, by Hilderbran. Relating to the regional groundwater planning process for minor aquifers. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/16/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3250, by Callegari. Relating to protecting landowners against aquifer depletion. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/16/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3289, by Martinez. Relating to the licensing of professionals engaged in Texas pollutant discharge elimination system-related stormwater activity. This is a new license for TPDES-related stormwater work. There's a disparagy between PGs, who have to show experience, and PEs and architects, who don't. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3309, by Crownover. Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. 4/11/2013, reported favorably without amendment(s). For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3317, by Keffer. Identical to SB 1749. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/16/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3539, by Gutierez. Relating to the source and supply of water used for oil and gas exploration and production in the State of Texas. 3/20/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3599, by Burnam. Relating to restrictions on the siting, drilling, completion, and operation of oil and gas wells in certain locations. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/17/2013.  For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 4/8/2013, referred to Licensing & Administrative Procedures. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 206, by Nichols. Identical to HB 1600. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 2/25/2013, referred to Business & Commerce. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 212, by Nichols, Huffman. Identical to HB 2166. Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 272, by Seliger. Identical to HB 2577, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 4/11/2013, received from the Senate. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 4/8/2013, placed on intent calendar. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 536, by Hinojosa. Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 584, by Hegar. Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 873, by Hegar. Relating to the authority of a groundwater conservation district to require a permit for the drilling or operation of a water well used to supply water for the performance of a hydraulic fracturing treatment on an oil or gas well. Groundwater Districts may not provide an exemption to the requirement to obtain a permit. 4/15/2013, placed on intent calendar. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 941, by Davis. Relating to the adoption of rules by the Railroad Commission of Texas regulating the exploration for and production of natural gas in the unincorporated areas of certain counties. "Rules adopted under this section must promote gas exploration and production while securing the quality of life and existing economic interests, including property values and development plans, in the unincorporated areas of the counties.". 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1024, by Watson. Identical to HB 2046. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1168, by Hegar. Identical to HB 1189. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1249, by Carona. Relating to plugging, capping, repairing, or completing certain wells. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1532, by Zaffirini. Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. 4/9/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1749, by Uresti. Identical to HB 3317. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1760, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2578. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1763, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2539. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1819, by Deuell. Relating to the location of a sand mine; authorizing an administrative penalty. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
April 6, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

It’s amazing how fast things can change sometimes.  On Monday, April 1, 2013 Matt Cowan, President of Texas Association of Professional Geoscientists, informed me, among others, that an amendment to the Texas State Budget bill had been submitted by Representative Jeff Leach (Plano) to defund the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) and give the money to the Texas Teacher's Retirement System for Health Insurance (no, this wasn’t an April Fool joke).  My understanding is that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Texas Department of Agriculture, among others in different amendments, among others for the same purpose.  Thanks to the work Matt Cowan and John Mikels (Geos Consulting), among others, Representative Leach was convinced to withdraw the amendment against the TBPG on Wednesday April 3, 2013.


The following filed bills may be of interest to Texas geologists. New information is listed in bold:

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 4/9/2013, placed General State Calendar. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:
(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation. “
This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 2/25/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 3/13/2013 Left pending in committee. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 3/19/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. 2/14/2013, Referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. 4/4/2013, referred to Administration. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 4/5/2013, corrected committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. 4/5/2013, corrected committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: Bill=HB824

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 4/2/2013, House Committee report sent to Local & consent Calendar. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 4/5/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1189, by Larson. Identical to SB 1168. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1600, by Cook. Identical to SB 206. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 4/9/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2046, by Workman. Identical to SB 1024. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2146, by Hilderbran, Relating to limits on mining of marl, sand, gravel, shell, or mudshell in certain protected freshwater areas. Allows for no more than 1,000 cubic yards from the area located east of IH-35. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2166, by Bonnen and Dennis, Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. Among other things, changes the name of the RRC to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. Scheduled for public hearing on 3/27/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2577, by Larson. Identical to SB 272. Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 3/18/2013, Referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2578, by Larson. Identical to SB 1760. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 3/18/2013, Referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2624, by Ashby. Relating to the regulation of water wells under the jurisdiction of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to prevent groundwater pollution. 3/18/2013, Referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2739, by Martinez, Fischer. Identical to SB 1763. Relating to the process for appealing the desired future conditions adopted by a groundwater conservation district for an aquifer. 4/9/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2769, by Rodriguez, Justin. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/14/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2992, by King, Tracy O. Relating to the reuse, discharge, or disposal of fluid produced from certain oil or gas wells on which a hydraulic fracturing treatment has been performed. 4/10/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3114, by Hilderbran. Relating to the regional groundwater planning process for minor aquifers. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/B

HB 3250, by Callegari. Relating to protecting landowners against aquifer depletion. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3289, by Martinez. Relating to the licensing of professionals engaged in Texas pollutant discharge elimination system-related stormwater activity. This is a new license for TPDES-related stormwater work. There's a disparagy between PGs, who have to show experience, and PEs and architects, who don't. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3309, by Crownover. Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. 4/3/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3317, by Keffer. Identical to SB 1749. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3539, by Gutierez. Relating to the source and supply of water used for oil and gas exploration and production in the State of Texas. 3/20/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3599, by Burnam. Relating to restrictions on the siting, drilling, completion, and operation of oil and gas wells in certain locations. 3/20/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 3/14/2013, received from the Senate. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 206, by Nichols. Identical to HB 1600. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 2/25/2013, referred to Business & Commerce. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 212, by Nichols, Huffman. Identical to HB 2166. Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 272, by Seliger. Identical to HB 2577, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 4/2/2013, committee report printed and distributed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 4/8/2013, placed on intent calendar. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 536, by Hinojosa. Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 584, by Hegar. Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 873, by Hegar. Relating to the authority of a groundwater conservation district to require a permit for the drilling or operation of a water well used to supply water for the performance of a hydraulic fracturing treatment on an oil or gas well. Groundwater Districts may not provide an exemption to the requirement to obtain a permit. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 941, by Davis. Relating to the adoption of rules by the Railroad Commission of Texas regulating the exploration for and production of natural gas in the unincorporated areas of certain counties. "Rules adopted under this section must promote gas exploration and production while securing the quality of life and existing economic interests, including property values and development plans, in the unincorporated areas of the counties.". 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1024, by Watson. Identical to HB 2046. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1168, by Hegar. Identical to HB 1189. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1249, by Carona. Relating to plugging, capping, repairing, or completing certain wells. 4/2/2013, left pending in committee.For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1532, by Zaffirini. Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. 4/9/2013, scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1749, by Uresti. Identical to HB 3317. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district.3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources.For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1760, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2578. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1763, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2539. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1819, by Deuell. Relating to the location of a sand mine; authorizing an administrative penalty. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
March 30, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The following filed bills may be of interest to Texas geologists. New information is listed in bold:

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 3/12/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:
(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation."

This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 2/25/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 3/13/2013 Left pending in committee. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 3/19/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/2/2013. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. 2/14/2013, Referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. 3/26/2013, Placed on General State Calendar. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 3/27/2013, Reported engrosed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. 3/26/2013, reported favorably as sutstituted. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 3/20/2013, reported favorably as subsituted. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 3/26/2013, reported favorably without amendments. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1189, by Larson. Identical to SB 1168. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1600, by Cook. Identical to SB 206. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 3/26/2013, Referred to Business & Commerce. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2046, by Workman. Identical to SB 1024. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/2/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2146, by Hilderbran, Relating to limits on mining of marl, sand, gravel, shell, or mudshell in certain protected freshwater areas. Allows for no more than 1,000 cubic yards from the area located east of IH-35. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/2/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2166, by Bonnen and Dennis, Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. Among other things, changes the name of the RRC to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. Scheduled for public hearing on 3/27/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/B

HB 2577, by Larson. Identical to SB 272. Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 3/18/2013, Referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2578, by Larson. Identical to SB 1760. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 3/18/2013, Referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2624, by Ashby. Relating to the regulation of water wells under the jurisdiction of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to prevent groundwater pollution. 3/18/2013, Referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2739, by Martinez, Fischer. Identical to SB 1763. Relating to the process for appealing the desired future conditions adopted by a groundwater conservation district for an aquifer. 3/18/2013, Referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2769, by Rodriguez, Justin. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/14/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2992, by King, Tracy O. Relating to the reuse, discharge, or disposal of fluid produced from certain oil or gas wells on which a hydraulic fracturing treatment has been performed. 3/19/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3114, by Hilderbran. Relating to the regional groundwater planning process for minor aquifers. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3250, by Callegari. Relating to protecting landowners against aquifer depletion. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3289, by Martinez. Relating to the licensing of professionals engaged in Texas pollutant discharge elimination system-related stormwater activity. This is a new license for TPDES-related stormwater work. There's a disparagy between PGs, who have to show experience, and PEs and architects, who don't. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3309, by Crownover. Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/3/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3317, by Keffer. Identical to SB 1749. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3539, by Gutierez. Relating to the source and supply of water used for oil and gas exploration and production in the State of Texas. 3/20/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3599, by Burnam. Relating to restrictions on the siting, drilling, completion, and operation of oil and gas wells in certain locations. 3/20/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 3/14/2013, received from the Senate. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 206, by Nichols. Identical to HB 1600. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 212, by Nichols, Huffman. Identical to HB 2166. Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 272, by Seliger. Identical to HB 2577, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 3/26/2013, considered in public hearing. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/2/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 536, by Hinojosa. Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 584, by Hegar. Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 873, by Hegar. Relating to the authority of a groundwater conservation district to require a permit for the drilling or operation of a water well used to supply water for the performance of a hydraulic fracturing treatment on an oil or gas well. Groundwater Districts may not provide an exemption to the requirement to obtain a permit. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/2/2013. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 941, by Davis. Relating to the adoption of rules by the Railroad Commission of Texas regulating the exploration for and production of natural gas in the unincorporated areas of certain counties. "Rules adopted under this section must promote gas exploration and production while securing the quality of life and existing economic interests, including property values and development plans, in the unincorporated areas of the counties.". 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1024, by Watson. Identical to HB 2046. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1168, by Hegar. Identical to HB 1189. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1249, by Carona. Relating to plugging, capping, repairing, or completing certain wells. Scheduled for public hearing on 4/2/2013. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1532, by Zaffirini. Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1749, by Uresti. Identical to HB 3317. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1760, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2578. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1763, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2539. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/25/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1819, by Deuell. Relating to the location of a sand mine; authorizing an administrative penalty. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
March 23, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

Seems like Texas isn’t the only state to have to defend its PG license.  My sources tell me that Indiana has a looming threat to licensing of its PGs.  A new bill could eliminate LPG as a licensed occupation in Indiana unless the legislature specifically acts prior to July 1, 2015. In addition, unless the legislature renews the LPG legislation every five years it will automatically expire.  Interestingly, engineers in Indiana are one of the few professions that are currently licensed that this bill does not include. Here is a link to the bill: http://www.in.gov/

A similar bill has been introduced in Missouri (HB-659) which would eliminate the requirement for a registered geologist to either do or supervise geologic work. Evidently South Carolina is facing the same thing and California is considering repealing their PG laws.  If you are working in any of these states you may want to help them stop these bills.


The following filed bills may be of interest to Texas geologists. New information is listed in bold:

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. As of: 3/12/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:
(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation. “
This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. As of: 2/25/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. As of: 3/13/2013 Left pending in committee. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." As of: 3/19/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. As f: 2/11/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. 2/14/2013, Referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. 3/26/2013, Placed on General State Calendar. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 3/19/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. 3/5/2013, Left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 3/20/2013, reported favorably as subsituted. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 3/12/2013, Left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1189, by Larson. Identical to SB 1168. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1600, by Cook. Identical to SB 206. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 3/21/2013, Reported engrossed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2046, by Workman. Identical to SB 1024. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 3/5/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2146, by Hilderbran, Relating to limits on mining of marl, sand, gravel, shell, or mudshell in certain protected freshwater areas. Allows for no more than 1,000 cubic yards from the area located east of IH-35. 3/7/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2166, by Bonnen and Dennis, Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. Among other things, changes the name of the RRC to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. Scheduled for public hearing on 3/27/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2577, by Larson. Identical to SB 272. Relating to water-well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 3/18/2013, Referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2578, by Larson. Identical to SB 1760. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 3/18/2013, Referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2624, by Ashby. Relating to the regulation of water wells under the jurisdiction of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to prevent groundwater pollution. 3/18/2013, Referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2739, by Martinez, Fischer. Identical to SB 1763. Relating to the process for appealing the desired future conditions adopted by a groundwater conservation district for an aquifer. 3/18/2013, Referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2769, by Rodriguez, Justin. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/14/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2992, by King, Tracy O. Relating to the reuse, discharge, or disposal of fluid produced from certain oil or gas wells on which a hydraulic fracturing treatment has been performed. 3/19/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3114, by Hilderbran. Relating to the regional groundwater planning process for minor aquifers. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3250, by Callegari. Relating to protecting landowners against aquifer depletion. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3289, by Martinez. Relating to the licensing of professionals engaged in Texas pollutant discharge elimination system-related stormwater activity. This is a new license for TPDES-related stormwater work. There's a disparagy between PGs, who have to show experience, and PEs and architects, who don't. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3309, by Crownover. Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. 3/19/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3317, by Keffer. Identical to SB 1749. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3539, by Gutierez. Relating to the source and supply of water used for oil and gas exploration and production in the State of Texas. 3/20/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3599, by Burnam. Relating to restrictions on the siting, drilling, completion, and operation of oil and gas wells in certain locations. 3/20/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 3/14/2013, received from the Senate. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 206, by Nichols. Identical to HB 1600. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 2/25/2013, referred to Business & Commerce. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 212, by Nichols, Huffman. Identical to HB 2166. Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 272, by Seliger. Identical to HB 2577, Relating to water-well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 2/19/2013, left pending in Committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 536, by Hinojosa. Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 584, by Hegar. Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 873, by Hegar. Relating to the authority of a groundwater conservation district to require a permit for the drilling or operation of a water well used to supply water for the performance of a hydraulic fracturing treatment on an oil or gas well. Groundwater Districts may not provide an exemption to the requirement to obtain a permit. 3/5/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 941, by Davis. Relating to the adoption of rules by the Railroad Commission of Texas regulating the exploration for and production of natural gas in the unincorporated areas of certain counties. "Rules adopted under this section must promote gas exploration and production while securing the quality of life and existing economic interests, including property values and development plans, in the unincorporated areas of the counties.". 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1024, by Watson. Identical to HB 2046. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB1024.

SB 1168, by Hegar. Identical to HB 1189. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1249, by Carona. Relating to plugging, capping, repairing, or completing certain wells. 3/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1532, by Zaffirini. Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1749, by Uresti. Identical to HB 3317. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/8/2013, Filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1760, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2578. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 3/8/2013, Filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB1760.

SB 1763, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2539. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/8/2013, Filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1819, by Deuell. Relating to the location of a sand mine; authorizing an administrative penalty. 3/19/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
March 17, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) has proposed amendments to the following two rules:

  • A proposal of amendment to 22 TAC 851.30, regarding firm registration; it is proposed to remove the requirement that a P.G. who performs or supervises the geoscience work for a Geoscience Firm must be a regular full-time employee.

  • A proposal of amendment to 22 TAC 851.152, regarding firm compliance; it is proposed to remove the requirement that a firm that offers or is engaged in the non-exempt public practice of geoscience in Texas has 30 days to comply with written notice from TBPG regarding the requirement to be registered with TBPG.

To submit comments on either of these proposed rules, please submit comments in writing to TBPG at P O Box 13225, Austin, TX 78711, or by e-mail  to chorton@tbpg.state.tx.us by April 8, 2013.  All comments received on the proposed amendments will be reviewed by the Board at its next Board meeting on Friday, April 19, 2013 in Austin, Texas.  For more information go to: http://r20.rs6.net/


Friday, March 8, 2013 was the official last day to file bills for this session.  This should be final list of bills of interest to Texas geologists, but I’ll be watching to see if any new ones slip through. New information is listed in bold (one new bill listed):

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 3/12/2013, committee report sent to Calendars. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:
(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation. “
This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 2/25/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. Scheduled for public hearing on 3/19/2013. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/6/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. 2/11/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. 3/13/2013, Reported favorably without amendment (s). For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. 3/13/2013, Reported favorably without amendment (s). For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 3/19/2013, Scheduled for public hearing. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. 3/5/2013, Left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 3/13/2013, Left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 3/12/2013, Left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1189, by Larson. Identical to SB 1168. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources.  For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 1600, by Cook. Identical to SB 206. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to  the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 3/20/2013, Placed on Major State Calendar.  For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2046, by Workman. Identical to SB 1024. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 3/5/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2146, by Hilderbran, Relating to limits on mining of marl, sand, gravel, shell, or mudshell in certain protected freshwater areas. Allows for no more than 1,000 cubic yards from the area located east of IH-35. 3/7/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2166, by Bonnen and Dennis, Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. Among other things, changes the name of the RRC to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. 3/7/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2577, by Larson. Identical to SB 272. Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 3/6/2013, filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2578, by Larson. Identical to SB 1760. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 3/6/2013, filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2624, by Ashby. Relating to the regulation of water wells under the jurisdiction of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation to prevent groundwater pollution. 3/6/2013, filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2739, by Martinez, Fischer. Identical to SB 1763. Relating to the process for appealing the desired future conditions adopted by a groundwater conservation district for an aquifer. 3/6/2013, filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2769, by Rodriguez, Justin. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/14/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 2992, by King, Tracy O. Relating to the reuse, discharge, or disposal of fluid produced from certain oil or gas wells on which a hydraulic fracturing treatment has been performed. 3/7/2013, filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3114, by Hilderbran. Relating to the regional groundwater planning process for minor aquifers. 3/7/2013, filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3250, by Callegari. Relating to protecting landowners against aquifer depletion. 3/8/2013, filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3289, by Martinez. Relating to the licensing of professionals engaged in Texas pollutant discharge elimination system-related stormwater activity. This is a new license for TPDES-related stormwater work. There's a disparagy between PGs, who have to show experience, and PEs and architects, who don't. 3/8/2013, filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3309, by Crownover. Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. 3/8/2013, filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3317, by Keffer. Identical to SB 1749. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/8/2013, filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3539, by Gutierez. Relating to the source and supply of water used for oil and gas exploration and production in the State of Texas. 3/8/2013, filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

HB 3599, by Burnam. Relating to restrictions on the siting, drilling, completion, and operation of oil and gas wells in certain locations. 3/8/2013, filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 2/5/2013 Committee report printed and distributed. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 206, by Nichols. Identical to HB 1600. Relating to the continuation and functions of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to the transfer of certain functions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission of Texas, and to the functions of the Office of Public Utility Counsel; authorizing a fee. Transfers the powers, duties, functions, programs, and activities of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) relating to the economic regulation of water and sewer service to  the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). 2/25/2013, referred to Business & Commerce. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 212, by Nichols, Huffman. Identical to HB 2166. Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to:http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 272, by Seliger. Identical to HB 2577, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 2/19/2013, left pending in Committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 536, by Hinojosa. Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 584, by Hegar. Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 873, by Hegar. Relating to the authority of a groundwater conservation district to require a permit for the drilling or operation of a water well used to supply water for the performance of a hydraulic fracturing treatment on an oil or gas well. Groundwater Districts may not provide an exemption to the requirement to obtain a permit. 3/5/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 941, by Davis. Relating to the adoption of rules by the Railroad Commission of Texas regulating the exploration for and production of natural gas in the unincorporated areas of certain counties. "Rules adopted under this section must promote gas exploration and production while securing the quality of life and existing economic interests, including property values and development plans, in the unincorporated areas of the counties.". 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1024, by Watson. Identical to HB 2046. Relating to a study evaluating and making recommendations for wastewater management in the contributing zone of the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1168, by Hegar. Identical to HB 1189. Relating to interstate cooperation to address regional water issues. 3/12/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1249, by Carona. Relating to plugging, capping, repairing, or completing certain wells. 3/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1532, by Zaffirini. Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. 3/8/2013, Filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1749, by Uresti. Identical to HB 3317. Relating to the exemption of a water well from certain permitting by and compliance with rules of a groundwater conservation district. 3/8/2013, Filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1760, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2578. Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. 3/8/2013, Filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1763, by Uresti. Identical to HB 2539. Relating to permitting requirements of groundwater conservation districts, including permits to transfer water. 3/8/2013, Filed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

SB 1819, by Deuell. Relating to the location of a sand mine; authorizing an administrative penalty. 3/12/2013, received by the Secretary of the Senate. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
March 2, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The following bills that may be of interest to Texas geologists have been filed. New information is listed in bold (one new bill listed):

The recently revised Construction General Permit for Stormwater becomes effective on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, and all authorizations issued under the current CGP will expire. For coverage under the new permit, a Notice of Intent (NOI) should be submitted after March 5, 2013. Operators of large construction activities previously authorized under the expiring CGP have 90 days to submit a new NOI and application fee. The new CGP and the updated forms will be posted on the TCEQ website at: http://www.tceq.texas.gov

Bloomberg reports the series of automatic Federal spending cuts will result in an estimated $154 million reduction in federal funding for state environmental programs, according to the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The news organization reports environmental funding for Texas would will be $8.47 million less. An estimated $46.2 million in anticipated cuts to federal fish and wildlife protection grants is also outlined in the e-mail. For the full story go to: sequestration-cuts-154m...

Today, the Texas Senate unanimously confirmed the appointment of Toby Baker of Austin to serve as a Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Comm. Baker has been serving in that capacity since his appointment by Governor Rick Perry on April 16, 2012. His term will expire on Aug. 31, 2017. For the complete announcement go to: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/


HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. Scheduled for formal meeting on 3/4/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:
(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation. This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 2/25/2013, left pending in committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 2/18/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/6/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. 2/11/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. 2/14/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. Scheduled for formal meeting on 3/6/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 2/18/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. Scheduled for formal meeting on 3/5/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 2/19/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 2/19/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 2146, by Hilderbran, Relating to limits on mining of marl, sand, gravel, shell, or mudshell in certain protected freshwater areas. Allows for no more than 1,000 cubic yards from the area located east of IH-35. Filed 3/1/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 2166, by Bonnen and Dennis, Relating to the continuation, functions, and name of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees, the repeal of provisions for the suspension of the collection of fees, and the elimination of a fee. Among other things, changes the name of the RRC to the Texas Energy Resources Commission. Filed 3/1/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 2/5/2013 Committee report printed and distributed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 272, by Seliger, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 2/19/2013, left pending in Committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 536, by Hinojosa. Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 584, by Hegar. Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 873, by Hegar. Relating to the authority of a groundwater conservation district to require a permit for the drilling or operation of a water well used to supply water for the performance of a hydraulic fracturing treatment on an oil or gas well. Groundwater Districts may not provide an exemption to the requirement to obtain a permit. Filed 2/27/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 941, by Davis. Relating to the adoption of rules by the Railroad Commission of Texas regulating the exploration for and production of natural gas in the unincorporated areas of certain counties. "Rules adopted under this section must promote gas exploration and production while securing the quality of life and existing economic interests, including property values and development plans, in the unincorporated areas of the counties.". Filed 2/28/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
February 23, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The following bills that may be of interest to Texas geologists have been filed. New information is listed in bold (one new bill listed):

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. Scheduled for public hearing on 2/25/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:
(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation. &“
This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. Scheduled for public hearing on 2/25/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 2/18/2013, referred to Energy Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/6/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. 2/11/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. 2/14/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. Filed 1/24/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. 2/18/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. 2/18/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. 2/18/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 2/18/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 2/5/2013 Committee report printed and distributed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 272, by Seliger, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 2/19/2013, left pending in Committee. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 536, by Hinojosa. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural Resources, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 584, by Hegar. 2/20/2013, referred to Natural resources. Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons.

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
February 17, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) proposes new §336.227 to establish an exemption from the TCEQ low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) licensing requirements for the disposal of certain radioactive tracers used in the exploration, development or production of oil and gas resources. On October 8, 2012, the executive director received a Petition for Rulemaking request from Baker Botts L.L.P., on behalf of ProTechnics Division of Core Laboratories LP. ProTechnics provides oil and gas diagnostic services to well operators to optimize reservoir performance and maximize hydrocarbon recovery from producing fields. These services include the use of radioactive tracers that are introduced into hydraulic fracturing fluids that enable well operators to take well log measurements to identify the intervals where the fluids are placed. ProTechnic's petition requested that the TCEQ establish an exemption in rule for the disposal of the radioactive tracers used in the hydraulic fracturing operations. After considering the petition on December 5, 2012, the commission directed the executive director to initiate this rulemaking.

Occasionally, the fracking fluids and tracer material can be released back out of the well during a "sandout" and is returned to the surface. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) have authorized the disposal of the returned material in earthen pits at the well site or in a Class II injection well. The DSHS granted this exemption under Texas Health and Safety Code (THSC), §401.106(a) through the radioactive material license issued by DSHS to authorize the use of radioactive tracers for disposal in the earthen pits and in 25 TAC §289.253(u)(3) for disposal in a Class II injection well. Both of these exemptions have also been granted on the radioactive material licenses issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). In 2007, Senate Bill 1604 of the 80th Legislature conferred TCEQ with the authority to exempt a source of radiation from the licensing requirements under the TCEQ's jurisdiction. Because the commission has jurisdiction over the disposal of radioactive substances in THSC, §401.011(b)(1), the authority to exempt radioactive substances from disposal requirements in THSC, §401.106(a) rests with the commission.

An analysis by DSHS and the NRC determined that the disposal of the radioactive tracers would not result in a significant risk to public health and safety or to the environment. The radioactive tracers have a half-life of less than 120 days and are in a form that will not leach into and migrate with the groundwater. The on-site disposal pits must be covered with at least two feet of clean soil. The TCEQ has reviewed various pit disposal dose models, including worst-case-scenarios, that show that the total effective dose equivalent to individual members of the public from the closed pit is well below the 0.1 rem per year dose limit. Class II injection wells are permitted by the RRC after a determination that groundwater and surface water are protected from pollution. According to the petition, the disposal of radioactive tracers in earthen pits has occurred without any reported or known harm to public health and safety or the environment since May 12, 1992. The TCEQ agrees with the determinations of both the DSHS and the NRC and finds that the proposed exemption for the on-site pit disposal and Class II injection well disposal of the tracers will not constitute a significant risk to the public health and safety and the environment. For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us


The following bills that may be of interest to Texas geologists have been filed. New information is listed in bold (one new bill listed):

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 2/5/2013, referred to Government Efficiency & Reform. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:
(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation. “
This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 2/5/2013, referred to Government Efficiency & Reform. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. Filed 11/29/2012.For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/6/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. 2/11/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, very similar to SB 467, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/11/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. 2/14/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. Filed 1/24/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. Filed 1/29/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. Filed 1/30/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. Filed 1/31/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. Filed 2/7/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 2/5/2013 Committee report printed and distributed. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 272, by Seliger, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. Scheduled for public hearing on 2/19/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us.

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us.

SB 467, by Hegar. Very similar to HB 147 and HB 426. Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us.

SB 536, by Hinojosa. 2/13/2013, referred to Natural Resources, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us.

SB 584, by Hegar. Filed 2/14/2013, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. Reportable sewage spills from a wastewater treatment facility are greater than 1,500 gallons.

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
February 9, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) has adopted amendments to 22 TAC §§851.25, 851.30, and §851.45, concerning the licensure and regulation of Professional Geoscientists (P.G.s).

The adopted amendment to §851.25 provides that a commercial evaluation of a degree shall be accepted in lieu of an official transcript only if the credential evaluation service has indicated that the credential evaluation was based on a verified official academic record or transcript.

Amendments to §851.30 regard firms that offer or perform geoscience services on a part-time basis, and they eliminate the requirement that a P.G. in responsible charge must have a physical presence at the relevant firm location and be a regular full-time employee of the firm. The amendment also clarifies that a firm's registration cannot be renewed once the registration has been expired for one year. A firm must re-apply to become registered again.

Amendments to §851.45 are adopted to clarify the requirements regarding the P.G. application process for an individual who is certified as a Geoscientist-in-Training.


The following bills that may be of interest to Texas geologists have been filed. New information is listed in bold (one new bill listed):

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 2/5/2013, referred to Government Efficiency & Reform. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:

(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation. “

This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. 2/5/2013, referred to Government Efficiency & Reform. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. Filed 11/29/2012.For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." 2/6/2013, referred to Environmental Regulation. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. Filed 1/3/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." Filed 1/10/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. Filed 1/16/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. Filed 1/24/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. Filed 1/29/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. Filed 1/30/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us.

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. Filed 1/31/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us.

HB 1079, by Smith, Identical to SB 434. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. Filed 2/7/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us.

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100.Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. 1/29/2013, referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. 2/5/2013 referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 272, by Seliger, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. 2/5/2013 referred to Natural Resources. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us.

SB 434, by Smith, Identical to HB 1079. Relating to the procedural requirements for action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on applications for production area authorizations. Filed 2/7/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us 434.

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
February 3, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) is withdrawing proposed amendments to §§3.13, 3.99, and 3.100 (published in the September 7, 2012, issue of the Texas Register), and approved a revised set of proposed amendments for those same three rules. The proposed amendments address the transfer from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to the RRC of the Groundwater Advisory Unit, and clarify requirements for drilling, casing, cementing, and fracture stimulation, and other subjects. The proposal will be published in the Friday, February 15, 2013, issue of the Texas Register, however you can find a pre-publication version at: http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/rules/


The following bills that may be of interest to Texas geologists have been filed. New information is listed in bold (one new bill listed):

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:

(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.

(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.

This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage.Filed 11/29/2012.For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. Filed 1/3/2013.For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. Filed 1/16/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. Filed 1/24/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 788, by Smith, Relating to regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ will adopt a program for the permitting of greenhouse gases and the program shall remain in effect until it's been determined that greenhouse gas emissions are no longer required to be regulated under federal law, on the effective date of the determination. Filed 1/29/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 824, by Callegari, Relating to a volume-based exemption from reporting requirements for accidental discharges or spills from wastewater facilities. It's not necessary to notify the TCEQ of an accidental discharge or spill of 1,500 gallons or less from a wastewater treatment facility or works. Filed 1/30/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us.

HB 878, by Crownover, Relating to the filing with the state of well logs by operators of oil-related or gas-related wells; providing a penalty. Well logs are to be filed electronically. Filed 1/31/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us.

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100.Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. Received by the Secretary of the Senate on 11/29/2012.For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. Scheduled for public hearing on 2/5/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 272, by Seliger, Relating to water well recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including the production, use, and withdrawal of groundwater. Filed 1/28/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us.

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
January 27, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The following bills that may be of interest to Texas geologists have been filed. New information is listed in bold (one new bill listed):

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:

(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.

This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage.Filed 11/29/2012.For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. Filed 1/3/2013.For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. Filed 1/16/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 677, by Geren, Relating to the regulation and enforcement of dam safety by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Exempts small dams located on private property from meeting requirements related to dam safety. Filed 1/24/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100.Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage.Received by the Secretary of the Senate on 11/29/2012.For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. Received by the Secretary of the Senate 11/30/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
January 19, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The following bills that may be of interest to Texas geologists have been filed. New information is listed in bold (one new bill listed):

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:

(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.

This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage.Filed 11/29/2012.For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. Filed 1/3/2013.For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 569, by White, Relating to a study on the stringency of state environmental standards. The TCEQ will conduct a study of state environmental statutes and agency rules and assure that they aren't more stringent than Federal requirements. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100.Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage.Received by the Secretary of the Senate on 11/29/2012.For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. Received by the Secretary of the Senate 11/30/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
January 13, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The following bills that may be of interest to Texas geologists have been filed. New information is listed in bold (three new bills listed):

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:
(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2)(a)Unecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.

This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. Filed 11/29/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 147, by Burkett, Duplicate to HB 426, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. Filed 1/3/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 426, by Creighton, Duplicate to HB 147, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. Received by the Secretary of the Senate on 11/29/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. Received by the Secretary of the Senate 11/30/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
January 5, 2013
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

After initial discussions and review of recent court interpretations involving Phase I ESAs, ASTM's All Appropriate Inquiry task group wanted to clarify the Phase I Environmental Assessment (Phase I ESA) process and strengthen the deliverable. The task group is coordinating these revision efforts with U.S. EPA and anticipates completing the full ASTM balloting process no later than late 2012 to allow EPA time to complete its process necessary to reference the updated standard by the end of 2013. For more information go to: http://www.envstd.com/


The following bills that may be of interest to Texas geologists have been filed. New information is listed in bold (three new bills listed):

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:
(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 100, by Taylor, Van, Identical to SB 136, Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. Filed 11/29/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 147, by Burkett, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule, the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 340, by Rodriguez, Eddie, Relating to the power of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize certain injection wells that transect or terminate in the Edwards Aquifer. Allows injection wells that transect or terminate in that portion of the Edwards Aquifer inside the boundaries of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. Filed 1/3/2013. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB 136, by Ellis, Identical to HB 100. Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production or carbon dioxide storage. Received by the Secretary of the Senate on 11/29/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening. Received by the Secretary of the Senate 11/30/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the legislative session.


The Wise Report
December 16, 2012
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

John Mikels, with Geos Consulting, sent me the following article in the December 15, 2012 Austin-American Statesman. I believe that articles like these are the result of the general public not understanding why we wanted licencing in the first place. Somehow they always put us in the same category as hair braiders, horse teeth floaters, and the like? Read it at: http://www.statesman.com/news/


The Committee on Government Reform & Efficiency met on 12/6/2012 to discuss, among other things, the findings of the Texas Red Tape Challenge. While it appears that the Committee may not make any recommendations concerning the PG Board at this time, we'll be watching to make sure. I understand there was one interesting comment made by one Committee member, based on comments made by those against the PG Board, suggesting that perhaps other boards, including the Professional Engineering need to be looked into to see if they've been over-stepping their authority. This session could get real interesting. Video of the meeting can be found at: http://www.house.state.tx.us


The following bills that may be of interest to Texas geologists have been filed. New information is listed in bold:

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:

(1) substantially burdensome; and

(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.
(b) A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.

This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 147, by Burkett, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule,the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

SB138, by Zaffirini, Relating to procedures for filing complaints with, and providing notice of certain violations to, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. This bill is designed to foster cooperation between agencies. As of now, the PG Board can only discover violations if a public complaint is made or the Board finds it themselves. This bill would require other agencies, such as the TCEQ to report violations to the PG Board when they find them. This has not been happening.Received by the Secretary of the Senate 11/30/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the upcoming legislative session.


The Wise Report
November 17, 2012
Henry M. Wise, P.G.

While the State Legislature meets in January, bills are already being filed. There are currently three filed bills that may be of interest to Texas geologists:

HB 86, by Callegari, Relating to the criteria for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission of an agency that licenses an occupation. "A member of the legislature may submit proposed legislation that would create an occupational licensing program or significantly affect an existing occupational licensing program to the commission for review and analysis." This bill opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards. Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 87, by Callegari, Relating to regulation of an individual's occupation. "An individual may engage in an occupation not prohibited by law without being subject to a state agency rule, policy, or practice that regulates the occupation if the rule, policy, or practice is:

(1) substantially burdensome; and
(2) unnecessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation.

A state agency rule, policy, or practice may substantially burden an individual's right to engage in an occupation only if the agency demonstrates that the rule, policy, or practice is necessary to fulfill the purpose and intent of the statute authorizing the regulation of the occupation. This bill also opens the door to more attacks on the TBPG, among other Boards." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

HB 147, by Burkett, Relating to the regulatory analysis of rules proposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. "Before adopting an environmental rule,the commission shall conduct a regulatory analysis that weighs the costs and environmental effects expected to result from implementation of and compliance with the rule." Filed 11/12/2012. For more information go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us

I'll be updating this list in the future, throughout the upcoming legislative session.


Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report
10/20/2012

The Texas Red Tape Challenge will end October 31, 2012, although the Geologist section is now closed. The results will be reviewed by the House Committee on Government Efficiency and Reform and they will be writing the final interim charges. My sources tell me that none of these charges deal with geo scientists. This means that we will not be part of the interim charges. Interim charges are the Items that the Speaker of House assigns to committees between sessions. The ideas submitted regarding the Geoscientists will be presented before the Committee for formal consideration in November, so we're not out of the woods yet. The date of that meeting is not currently known.


The General Land Office (GLO) proposes amendments to §§19.1, 19.2, and 19.4, concerning Oil Spill Prevention and Response, General Provisions. The amendments will enhance and clarify GLO procedures under the rules. Sections 19.1, 19.2, and 19.4 are also being amended to reflect editorial changes. The proposed amendments to the text of §§19.1, 19.2, and 19.4 clarify provisions, update references and add definitions to the chapter. The proposed amendment to §19.1 deletes superfluous text as being duplicative. The proposed amendment to §19.2 also deletes superfluous text. The proposed amendment to §19.4 clarifies which individuals are subject to the waiver provision. The effect of these proposed amendments will be to make the subchapter more concise and clearer for public understanding. For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg


Truth and Facts on Hydraulic Fracturing and Environmental Implications

This one day event conference in Houston offers a primer on many of the technical aspects of Hydraulic Fracturing from an Oil & Gas perspective. Speakers will present on topics ranging from the technical aspects of Hydraulic Fracturing to environmental evaluations to case studies. Case studies will be presented that highlight the realities of Hydraulic Fracturing from all over the U.S. and help dispel the myths. The conference features speakers from the Private Sector and Regulatory Agencies for the best insight on what is out there today.


PRESENTERS:
Dr. Charles Kreitler of LBG-Guyton Associates
"Lessons Learned from the Barnett Shale Range Resources Litigation"
Reif Hedgcoxe and Troy W. Meinen of Environmental Resources Mgmt.
*Baseline Environmental Monitoring of Water Resources
Lisa Molofsky of GSI Environmental Inc.
*Lines of Evidence Approach to the Evaluation of Stray Gas Incidents *New Geochemical Data
Leslie Savage - Railroad Commission of Texas
* Regulatory and Permitting Frame Work of Texas
Mike Watts - Director, Fracturing Stimulation Affairs, Halliburton
* Shale Development Overview


Additional Topics:
* Update on the Status of Hydraulic Fracturing Technology
*Geology of Barnett and Eagle-Ford Shale
* Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater Mgmt

Eligible for up to 8 PDH units


When:

October 24, 2012 - 7:30 A.M. (Registration) to 5:00 P.M

Venue:

J.W. Marriot
5150 Westheimer Road at Sage Houston, Texas 77056

EVENT SPONSORED BY: TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL GEOSCIENTISTS

Cost:

$125- TAPG Members
$125- TAEP Members
$125 - HGS Members $175 - Nonmembers
All Onsite Registrations + $10


TAPG ONLINE 512-454-8626

The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
September 16, 2012

I'd like to thank those of you who took the time to make comments or suggestions, both positive and negative, in The Texas Red Tape Challenge, and took the time to vote on them. The comment period is now closed and the comments/suggestions are no longer available for viewing. Now we'll need to wait and see what Representative Callegari and the House Government Efficiency & Reform Committee will do with them. I'll keep you informed as soon as there's something to report. The Committee is scheduled to meet in October.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
September 8, 2012

If you're interested in making comments or voting for or against suggestions made on the Texas Red Tape Challenge, you've got until September 15, 2012. This website was deveoloped by the House Government Efficiency & Reform Committee to obtain the public's suggestions to streamline government. The portion dealing with geology can be found at: http://texasredtapechallenge.ideascale.com


The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) proposes amendments to §3.13, relating to Casing, Cementing, Drilling, and Completion Requirements; §3.99, relating to Cathodic Protection Wells; and §3.100, relating to Seismic Holes and Core Holes. The RRC proposes the amendments to §3.13 to implement Article 2 of House Bill 2694 (82nd Legislature, 2011) and to update the rule with respect to drilling, casing, cementing, well control, and hydraulic fracturing. The RRC proposes the amendments to §3.99 and §3.100 to conform the definition of "protection depth."

The proposed amendments to §3.13 more clearly outline the requirements for all wells, consolidate the requirements for well control and blowout preventers, and update the requirements for drilling, casing, cementing, and fracture stimulation. The proposed amendments also add additional requirements for "minimal separation wells," which are wells in which the distance between the protection depth as defined by the rule and the top of the formation to be fracture-stimulated is less than 1,000 vertical feet. The RRC proposes to amend §3.13(a)(1) to clarify the intent of the paragraph and to add that overpressured zones must be isolated.

The RRC proposes to amend the definition of "protection depth," pursuant to Article 2, House Bill 2694, 82nd Legislature, which transferred from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to the RRC duties relating to the protection of groundwater resources from oil and gas associated activities. Specifically, the law transfers from the TCEQ to the RRC, effective September 1, 2011, duties pertaining to the responsibility of preparing groundwater protection advisory/recommendation letters. After the transfer, the RRC will be responsible for providing surface casing and/or groundwater protection recommendations for oil and gas activities under the jurisdiction of the RRC. The TCEQ's Surface Casing Program and staff have transferred to the RRC effective September 1, 2011. The RRC's Surface Casing Program has been renamed the Groundwater Advisory Unit, and is now located in the William B. Travis Building, 1701 North Congress, Austin. The RRC proposes to amend §3.13(a)(2)(C) to replace the phrase "Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or its successor agencies."

All of these proposed amendments can be found at: http://www.sos.state.tx.us


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
August 26, 2012

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) was last updated in August 2010. House Bill (HB) 2694, Article 2, passed by the 82nd Legislature, 2011, and signed by the governor, transferred from the TCEQ to the RRC duties relating to the protection of groundwater resources from oil and gas associated activities. Specifically, HB 2694, Article 2 amended Natural Resources Code to revise §91.011 and add §§91.0115, 91.020, and 91.1015 and amended Texas Water Code (TWC), §27.033. The law transfers from the TCEQ to the RRC, effective September 1, 2011, those duties pertaining to the responsibility of preparing groundwater protection advisory/recommendation letters. Since the transfer, the RRC has been responsible for providing surface casing and/or groundwater protection recommendations for oil and gas activities under the jurisdiction of the RRC.

In addition, HB 2694, Article 2 amended TWC, §27.046, transferring from the TCEQ to the RRC the responsibility of issuing, to permit applicants for geologic storage of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), a letter of determination stating that drilling and operating the anthropogenic CO 2 injection well for geologic storage or operating the geologic storage facility will not injure any freshwater strata in that area and that the formation or stratum to be used for the geologic storage facility is not freshwater sand.

The TCEQ's Surface Casing Program and staff transferred to the RRC effective September 1, 2011. The RRC's Surface Casing Program has been renamed the Groundwater Advisory Unit, and is now located in the William B. Travis Building, 1701 North Congress, Austin.

The TCEQ proposes to amend §7.117 to adopt by reference a revised MOU between the RRC and the TCEQ. The RRC has adopted an amendment to 16 TAC §3.30, Memorandum of Understanding between the RRC and the TCEQ, to reflect the changes in law made under HB 2694, Article 2 (see April 6, 2012, issue of the Texas Register (37 TexReg 2385)). The specific MOU provisions are in 16 TAC §3.30, while Chapter 7, Memoranda of Understanding, incorporates by reference the rules in 16 TAC §3.30. For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us

The TCEQ also proposes the repeal of §§339.1 - 339.3 for the TCEQ Surface Casing Program, while the RRC will adopt concurrent amendments to their regulations to reflect the changes in law made under HB 2694, Article 2. The rules in Chapter 339 authorized the executive director to provide groundwater protection letters to the RRC for use in various activities and applications before the RRC and to collect a fee for the expedited processing of a request for a groundwater protection recommendation. Because the executive director no longer provides the groundwater protection letters to the RRC, the commission's rules in Chapter 339 are no longer necessary. Therefore, the commission proposes the repeal of §§339.1 - 339.3 in their entirety. For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
August 4, 2012

At its June 27, 2012 agenda meeting, TCEQ commissioners adopted revisions to 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 60 – the Compliance History Rule. The revisions to this rule incorporated changes mandated during the 82nd Legislative Session as part of the TCEQ's Sunset Review process. Included in those revisions is Advanced Review of Compliance History (ARCH), the opportunity for regulated entities to review their compliance history information for a 30-day period prior to the information being made available to the public on the TCEQ's website. Registration for ARCH will end at midnight, Aug. 31, 2012.

Once the information entered into the online form is validated by TCEQ staff, registered participants will receive additional instructions via e-mail on how to access their compliance history information, when it is available in September. Compliance histories will be made available to the public on Nov. 15, 2012.

Compliance History Review Sign-up Application: http://www2.tceq.texas.gov/ch/archsignup/. If you have any difficulties registering, or have other questions related to the advanced review process, please contact the TCEQ at comphist@tceq.texas.gov, or by phone 512-239-2724.


The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) proposes amendments to §§12.100, 12.225, and 12.311, relating to Responsibilities; Commission Review of Outstanding Permits; and Terms and Conditions for Liability Insurance. The RRC proposes these amendments to update provisions of the Texas Coal Mining Regulatory and Abandoned Mine Land Programs. The federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) approved the amendments in the February 14, 2012, issue of the Federal Register (77 Fed. Reg. 8144).

In §12.100(a), the RRC proposes to add wording to substantively mirror the corresponding federal language. The proposed amendment will allow Texas permittees to continue operations under an existing permit without submitting a renewal application so long as the only ongoing activities being conducted within the permit area are those related to reclamation. The proposed amendment also clarifies that a permit, and the annual fees associated with the permit, continue until all surface coal mining and reclamation operations are completed.

In §12.225, the Commission proposes new subsection (a)(3) to clarify that the Commission will continue to conduct reviews of permits that, in accordance with the proposed amendment to §12.100(a), are not required to be renewed but under which the permittee must continue to perform reclamation activities within the permit area.

In §12.311, the Commission proposes amendments in subsection (b) to clarify the requirement that Texas permittees who are authorized in accordance with the proposed amendment to §12.100(a) to continue operations under an existing permit without submitting a renewal application are required to maintain public liability insurance for the duration of that operation.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
July 28, 2012

Due to popular demand, the last day to add comments to, or vote on, the Texas Red Tape Challenge's debate on the lincensure of Geoscientists has been extended again to September 15, 2012. I highly recommend that you visit this site and make comments. If you don't want to make comments, please vote on each comment as to whether you agree or disagree. Please don't assume your ideas or comments aren't important, they're very important, and please stick with the subject, no personal attacks. Personal attacks will only detract from the discussions and hurt your argument. The site is located at: http://texasredtapechallenge.ideascale.com


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
July 21, 2012

The last day to add comments to the Texas Red Tape Challenge's debate on the lincensure of Geoscientists has been extended to August 8, 2012. I highly recommend that you visit this site and make comments. If you don't want to make comments, please vote on each comment as to whether you agree or disagree.

Please don't assume your ideas or comments aren't important, they're very important, and please stick with the subject, no personal attacks. Personal attacks will only detract from the discussions and hurt your argument.

The site is located at: http://texasredtapechallenge.ideascale.com


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
July 14, 2012

Looks like the next legislative session will be a continuation of the last one. There is yet again another movement to get rid of the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG). The rumor mill has it that the Governor's office is upset with the problems we've had in the past, especially last year with the O&G fiasco and Matt Cowan, President of the Texas Association of Professional Geoscientists (TAPG) reports that Texas State Representative Bill Callegari (District 132, Katy) has launched the Texas Red Tape Challenge. The Texas Red Tape Challenge is a web-site that allows members of the public to offer their ideas on how to reduce the burden of state laws and regulations, or provide recommendations on how to make government work better. All members of the public are welcome to participate by offering their own ideas, or commenting on the recommendations made by others.

The Challenge will focus on four subjects, including occupational licensing, public education mandates, state agency rulemaking, and manufacturing in Texas. Specific laws and regulations relating to each subject area will be introduced for the public's consideration and comment.

For example, the initial occupational licensing regulations on the Texas Red Tape Challenge site include those for auctioneers, geoscientists, athletic trainers, court reporters, and stevedores. The Challenge also asks for ideas on various aspects of state rulemaking, including small business and environmental regulation impact statements, as well as the Texas Register and the rulemaking process.

The Texas Red Tape Challenge will run from July through October, but the portion regarding Geoscientists is only open until July 31, 2012. In November, the Government Efficiency and Reform Committee will meet for formally consider the ideas and recommendations generated through the Challenge web-site. Those ideas that the Committee adopts will be included in its report to the 83rd Texas Legislature beginning in January 2013.

The Texas Red Tape Challenge may be accessed at http://www.texasredtapechallenge.com/. Anyone is welcome to read the contents and comments on the site. Individuals wishing to offer their own ideas or comments on the Texas Red Tape Challenge must register with the site in order to participate.

The portion of the website that relates to geoscientists can be found at: http://texasredtapechallenge.ideascale.com

This is a definite threat to the PG in Texas. Please don't ignore this. It's important that you review this site every day or two and make comments to the comments. The more negative comments they get, the less likely we'll have a problem next year. We need to watch this carefully and begin our defense (once again) now, not later.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
July 1, 2012

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has posted updated Texas Risk Reduction Plan (TRRP) Protective Contentration Levels (PCL) documents to the TRRP PCL web page (http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/remediation).

The updated documents are Tables 1 - 5, Tables 6 - 10, and Toxicity and Chemical/Physical Properties.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
June 23, 2012

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) proposes amendments to 22 TAC §§851.104, 851.152, and 851.156, concerning the licensure and regulation of Professional Geoscientists to clarify the section on Dishonest Practice; to clarify the application requirements for Geoscience Firms; and to specify and clarify the requirements regarding use of the Professional Geoscientist seal. For more information, go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us


The TBPG adopts an amendment to 22 TAC §851.29, concerning the licensure of Professional Geoscientists by endorsement, reciprocal agreement, and reciprocal licensure by similar examination. The amendment is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the March 16, 2012, issue of the Texas Register. The adopted amendment to §851.29 mitigates the barriers to reciprocal licensure of persons licensed in other states and jurisdictions who were licensed under a grandfather provision, provided that they meet certain qualifications for licensure. The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the section will be enhancement of the professional practice of geoscientists by allowing professional license holders from other states that don't have reciprocity with Texas who have practiced competently for a number of years and have adhered to the professional requirement of licensure in their respective state(s) or jurisdiction(s) to qualify for licensure in Texas. For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
June 3, 2012

I try to be accurate, but occasionally errors are made in my reporting. I want to thank those of you who caught them and reported them to me. There were several errors in the last two Wise Reports that need correction.

Steven Polunsky, Director of the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce pointed out that Talmadge Heflin was a member of the Texas House of Representatives, not the Senate. Also, the TDLR Executive Director is Bill Kuntz, not Kunz.

The correct number of PGs registered in Texas is 4,830, not 1,830, as reported (typo on my part, several people caught this one).

Charles Horton, Executive Director of the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists writes, “I also noticed that the statement regarding action taken by the Board on 851.156 might appear to the reader to have been adoption of a rule change. The actions approved by the Board was to post both proposed changes rules 851.104(d) and 851.156 for posting to the Texas Register for public comment. The Board will not consider final action on those two proposed changes public comments have been received and reviewed by the Board.

"We plan to send a mass e-mail to our licensees/others on our mailing list to give an update on the Board' meeting soon, but we will probably send it after we can give the date the proposed changes will be published in the Texas Register for public comment."

Mr. Horton also pointed out that "The Board also approved proposed changes to §851.152, regarding Firm Compliance for posting to the Texas Register for public comment: The Board proposed to add the words "non-exempt" before the words "geoscience work" in three places in the rule; and to clarify application requirements for firms that file "assumed name certificates" in Texas." I didn't report this one because it was simply a clarification.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
May 26, 2012

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) met on May 18, 2012. The following is a brief synopsis of the highlights.

There are currently 1830 licensed Texas Professional Geoscientists.

Proposed amendment to 22 TAC §851.29 regarding "cooperative licensure" was passed despite most public comments were against granting reciprocity to PG's from states that Texas has no reciprocity agreement.

A proposal for amending 22 TAC §851.104 (d), regarding dishonest practice was passed. Originally, the proposal was to remove it completely, but since the object of concern was the word "agency", since it would include the TBPG, it was decided that only the word would be removed.

For the Continuing Education Program audits you'll need to give the number of credits, title of the talk and speaker's name, plus evidence of attendance. This can be a certificate issued by the organization sponsoring the talk, a copy of the sign-in sheet, or a receipt showing the talk and date.

An amendment to 22 TAC §851.156 regarding Professional Geoscientist's Seals was approved. Basically, if the map, drawings, cross sections or other figures representing geoscientific work, regardless of their size or binding can be separated from the rest of the report, it needs to be sealed. Personally, I always seal these anyway, in case someone decides to photocopy them.

The outreach and compliance plan originally drafted by former member Glenn Lowenstein will be reviewed and continued to be used. Outreach to the TCEQ and Railroad Commission and Underground Injection Group of the TCEQ will also continue.

14 complaints were processed last month.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
May 22, 2012

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Christopher C. Mathewson of College Station to the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2017. The board licenses and regulates the public practice of geoscience.

Mathewson is a regents professor emeritus and a senior professor of geology at Texas A&&M University. He is a licensed professional engineer in Texas and Arizona, and a licensed professional geologist in Texas and Oregon. He is a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Society of American Military Engineers, a fellow of the Geological Society of America, and is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Division of Environmental Geosciences, and the American Geophysical Union. He is also a member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical & Petroleum Engineers, American Institute of Professional Geologists, the International Association of Engineering Geologists, the International Code Council, National Association of Geology Teachers and the South African Institute of Engineering Geologists. Mathewson is also a member of the Council of Examiners of the National Association of State Boards of Geology and participates in the writing and review of the licensure examination for professional geologists. He is past president and former executive director of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, and is past chairman of the Texas Section of the Association of Engineering Geologists, the Geological Society of America Engineering Geology Division, and the U.S. National Committee for International Association of Engineering Geologists. He is past president of the American Geological Institute and a former trustee of the Geological Society of America Foundation. He also served as a commissioned officer in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Mathewson received a bachelor's degree from Case Institute of Technology, and a Master's Degree and Doctorate of Geological Engineering from the University of Arizona.


Seems the movement to get rid of the TBPG during the next legislative session is beginning once again. On April 10, 2012 the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce held a hearing (http://www.senate.state.tx.us) during which Occupational licensing was discussed (starting at the 49.21 mark). The item consisted of 1) Bill Kunz (TDLR Executive Director) providing testimony regarding TDLR's work; 2) Sherri Greenberg, Director, Center for Politics & Governance providing more general comments about the need to be judicious in licensing professions and the impact on the economy; and finally, 3) Marc Levin, Director, Center for Effective Justice, Texas Public Policy Foundation. Mr. Levin's written testimony can be found at: http://www.texaspolicy.com/pdf. He lists the TBPG as one of the licenses that should be considered for elimination. While Mr. Levin's suggestions, in general, were very good, the TBPG should never have been included in the list as it serves a legitimate purpose.

In an editorial in the April 18, 2012 Houston Chronicle (http://www.chron.com), Senator Talmadge Heflin, director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee in 2003, used the TBPG as a waste of taxpayer dollars that should be targeted for sunsetting. Ron Kitchens, Chairman of the TBPG, responded to the editorial to Senator Heflin and the Houston Chronicle via email on April 25, 2012, who pointed out that the TBPG actually brings in more than twice as much revenue to the State of Texas than it spends, so getting rid of the TBPG would actually be a net loss of revenue to the State, not a net savings. Chairman Kitchens also pointed out that "the general public's health and safety is impacted to a great deal by decisions made every day by geoscientists throughout the state, and I feel that assuring that these decisions are made by competent and trained geoscientists is an important service to our citizens." He also suggested that they meet to discuss this matter.

It appears that we may have another fight on our hands in the next Legislative Session, again. We'll need to impress on the legislators that we aren't an expense to the State, but a revenue generator and that we need and deserve a Board of our own. The idea of "getting government off people's backs" has become very popular over that past few years, but we need to impress upon them that, prior to the instituting of the TBPG (at the request of the Geologic Community of Texas, not some faceless bureaucrat) there were many unqualified persons performing geology and making geologic decisions and recommendations that were affecting the health and welfare of the public that resulted in improper environmental assessments, recommendations and remediation, as well as not taking geology into proper account for a number of building projects (housing, pipelines, drainage, etc.).


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
April 28, 2012

On March 28, 2012, the TCEQ adopted rule amendments to Title 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 334, Underground and Aboveground Storage Tanks, Subchapter A, General Prohibitions, and Subchapter D, Release Reporting and Corrective Action. The revisions implement provisions in the TCEQ Sunset Legislation, House Bill 2694 from the 82nd Legislature.

The revisions reinstate common carrier liability, decrease the fee on delivery of petroleum products (see http://www.tceq.texas.gov for a breakdown of the revised fee), and provide authorization for the TCEQ to remove non-compliant underground and aboveground storage tanks that pose a risk of contamination and are owned by financially unable persons or entities (State Lead may be able to remove them). The revisions were effective April 19, 2012.

The adopted rule changes can be found at: http://info.sos.state.tx.us

The TCEQ is going to update TCEQ Method 1005 and finalize TCEQ Method 1006. If you are interested in participating in this effort, please e-mail Ann.Strahl@tceq.texas.gov.

If you are associated with a laboratory that performs or would like to perform these methods, please review the procedures your laboratory uses, or would like to use, when performing these methods, and send your comments and recommendations to Ann.Strahl@tceq.texas.gov.

Schedule for Updating TCEQ Methods 1005 and 1006


Due Date

Action

May 15

TCEQ receives e-mails from interested entities, and creates e-mail group for distributing information

May 25

TCEQ sends Word version of methods to participants for review and markup.

Jul 16

Labs submit suggestions and recommendations regarding methods 1005 and 1006

July 26

TCEQ holds telephone conference live meeting via the web to discuss the changes to be made

Aug 9

TCEQ sends drafts of methods to laboratories for review.

Sep 18

Labs submit comments/concurrence on drafts

Oct 16

TCEQ sends final draft of methods to laboratories for concurrence

Nov 15

Labs send concurrence on the methods

Nov 29

TCEQ submits final methods to executive management for approval

Jan 30

TCEQ publishes approved methods


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
March 18, 2012

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) proposes an amendment to 22 TAC §851.29, regarding licensure by endorsement, reciprocal agreement, and reciprocal licensure by similar examination. The proposed amendment would mitigate the barriers to reciprocal licensure of persons licensed in other states and jurisdictions who were licensed under a grandfather provision, provided they meet certain qualifications for licensure.

In a nutshell, this proposal will allow geologists who are grandfathered in other states and practicing for a certain number of years to obtain a Professional Geoscientist license in Texas without having to take any ASBOG exam. There is no provision for other states to do the same thing for Texas PGs.

For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us

You have until April 15, 2012 to make comments.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
March 11, 2012

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) has published it's official Advisory Opinion - AOR #7 (2011) in the Texas Register:

What geoscientific work is exempt from licensure requirements under Texas Occupations Code §1002.252 (3)? This section states that: "geoscientific work performed exclusively in exploring for and developing oil, gas, or other energy resources, base metals, or precious or nonprecious minerals, including sand, gravel, or aggregate, if the work is done in and for the benefit of private industry" are activities that do not require a license under this chapter.

The Board has had questions for many years concerning the intent of the word "exclusively" and the phrase "for the benefit of private industry" that is included in the above cited section of the Texas Geoscience Practice Act (Act). The Board has attempted to determine if this word and this phrase were included in the statute with the intent that some oil and gas activities would not be exempt from the requirements of the Act. For example, is geoscientific interpretation presented for the sole purpose of securing financing from the public exclusively part of the exploration and development process? Could the fact that the benefits of oil and gas exploration are not exclusively for the benefit of private industry since the public also benefits in the form of severance tax paid to the state be a cause to require a license? These are the types of questions that have been posed to the Board in the form of inquiries and complaints over the years.

The Board has had an ad-hoc Legal Interpretation Committee explore the question and this activity did not conclusively resolve the issue. The Board also encouraged the development of an advisory workgroup to involve the oil and gas community to assist with answering the issue. Attempts were made to secure wide participation in the workgroup, and included liaison representatives with involvement in the Houston Geological Society, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists. Over a period of more than a year, the workgroup met and finally petitioned the Board with a rule proposal that would define that certain activities involving oil and gas exploration and development would not be exempt. All members of the workgroup had ample and equal opportunity to provide input to the rule proposal. The workgroup members felt that the issue should be made available to a broader audience for further review.

The Board finally agreed to publish the rule proposal for the purpose of receiving more widespread public input to help with the determination of exemption applicability but only if certified by legal counsel that the proposal was within the Board's authority to adopt. Based on the subsequent overwhelming public opinion against adoption of the proposal, and legislative intent brought to the attention of the Board, the Board has withdrawn the proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY

It is the opinion of the Board that those who engage in the work performed in the exploration for and development of oil, gas, or other energy resources, base metals, or precious, or nonprecious minerals, including sand, gravel, or aggregate, are not required to be licensed under the Texas Geoscience Practice Act.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
February 18, 2012

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) met on Friday, February 17, 2012. Highlights of this meeting are as follows:

  • The TBPG has proposed a new rule to allow wavier of exams for those who grandfathered in another state. This would allow PGs who were grandfathered into their licenses to practice geology in Texas, but not require reciprocity with that state for Texas PGs who were grandfathered. Currently, grandfathered PGs can only practice geology in other states that have reciprocity with Texas. Passage of this rule would not help grandfathered Texas PGs to practice in non-reciprocity states.
  • Advisory Opinion #6 (AOR #6) has been withdrawn from consideration. This advisory opinion was to determine if any or all geoscientific work that is conducted through an academic institution or non-profit research institution or for-profit organization automatically qualify as "geoscientific research".
  • A motion was made to refer AOR #7 to committee. This advisory opinion determined that those who engage in the work performed in the exploration for and development of oil, gas, or other energy resources, base metals, or precious, or non-precious minerals, including sand, gravel, or aggregate, are not required to be licensed under the Texas Geoscience Practice Act. The motion was made on behalf of a request by the Texas Mining Reclamation Association (TMRA) uranium division. This has to do with the requirement by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) that all underground injection control (UIC) permits for in-situ mining permits have their cross-sections and boring logs sealed by a PG. The general feeling was that the PG exemption relates only to exploration and production, and not to environmental issues or requirements. This issue may need to be addressed sometime in the future. Matt Cowan, President of the Texas Association of Professional Geoscientists (TAPG) and Secretary of the Houston Geological Society (HGS) spoke out against this motion, saying that it's time to bring finality to this issue, as was promised to the Texas geoscience community. The motion was defeated and the Board granted final approval to AOR #7 with a vote of 8-0.
  • The Oil and Gas Advisory Work Group has been dissolved by the Board.
  • Dr. Judy A. Reeves has given notice that she intends to resign from the Board for personal reasons. She is a Professional Member of the Board and her term expires on February 1, 2017.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will hold a public hearing on proposed rules regarding the use of a Class I well for disposal of certain wastes through underground injection into a bedded salt formation in Austin on March 20, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in Building E, Room 201S, at the TCEQ's central office located at 12100 Park 35 Circle.

Henry M. Wise, P.G.
The Wise Report
2/18/2012


To The American Institute of Professional Geologists, particularly the Texas and Oklahoma Sections,

My name is Ian Ghrist and I am a student staff member with the Texas Wesleyan Law Review located in Fort Worth, Texas. Our Law Review will host the Fourth Annual Energy Symposium on March 29 and 30, 2012. The event is sponsored by XTO Energy and will feature 20 speakers representing 9 different states. In addition, we will be distributing a first-of-its-kind 23-State Annual Survey on Oil & Gas free of charge with registration.

The symposium will offer 12 CLE credits for attorneys, and cost $75 for single day registration or $140 for both days. Please see the attached program:

http://www.texaswesleyanlawreview.com

Our presenters will be traveling from Alabama, California, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia. These presenters will discuss emerging issues in the area of oil and gas law both on a state-specific and national level.

If possible, would you mind placing our ad on your website or forwarding this information to your membership? This will be a one-of-a-kind opportunity for attorneys and industry professionals to gain first-hand insight into emerging, salient, multi-state legal issues surrounding the oil and gas industry. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

As a side note, we have a discount program for the symposium called the "Friends of the Law Review" discount. Anyone who lists the name of the staff member who referred them on the "Friends of the Law Review" section of the registration form gets an automatic 50% discount on the registration fees. Please feel free to let any of your members use my name, Ian Ghrist, to get the discount. The registration form can be found on our website - http://www.texaswesleyanlawreview.com. Anyone wanting to sign up can simply fill it out online and email it to texwesenergysymposium@gmail.com.

Thank you and have a great day!

Best,
Ian Ghrist


Best CEO, Best Engineer, Best Geoscientist and Best Landman.

The Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO) has partnered with the publishers of Texas Monthly and the Best Companies Group to recognize the greats of the Texas oil and gas industry. Together, these three organizations will design and administer a review process that invites petroleum professionals to cast their vote for those whom they believe are worthy of the title of: Best CEO, Best Engineer, Best Geoscientist and Best Landman.

Before February 1, 2012, all professionals who have worked in the Texas oil and gas industry and are interested in participating must individually register on the TIPRO website in order to receive an electronic ballot and cast a vote within their respective profession. Corporate officers may select more than one profession in which to vote.

To register, visit http://www.tipro.org

All registered voters will then be sent a survey distributed via email in late February. The final deadline for casting votes will be March 16, 2012.

All votes will be gathered and tallied by Best Companies Group, a third party polling and research company. Survey results will be formally announced in a special section entitled "Texas Top Producers, Lone Star Leaders in the Oil and Gas Industry" within Texas Monthly's August 2012 issue. Awards will be presented during TIPRO's next Summer Conference.

We ask for your active participation and help in getting the word out about this exciting new program, the first of what we hope to be an annual tradition. We believe this will be an effective way to honor those individuals who excel in trades or positions that are key to the Texas oil and gas industry.

Please share information regarding this unique opportunity with your colleagues by forwarding this email. This is a terrific way to showcase the industry to the entire state and highlight individuals worthy of recognition.

For questions, visit http://www.tipro.org or contact Laura Stubbins at laura@tipro.org.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
January 15, 2012

The General Issues Committee of the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists will be meeting on January 27, 2012 in Austin, Texas. The proposed agenda includes:

A. Discussion and possible action on setting dates, times, and locations for continued public discourse on developing proposed wording to answer AOR #6, involving geoscientific research performed at universities and practice of geoscience as it relates to exemptions to the Texas Geoscience Practice Act. No action will be taken on AOR #6 at this meeting.

B. Discussion and possible action on AOR #8 regarding P.G. Seal Requirements and "bound reports"

C. Discussion and possible action on AOR #9 regarding UIC plugging reports

D. Discussion and possible action on AOR #10 regarding whether geologic cross sections need to be sealed by a P.G. if they are bound or unbound when submitted to TCEQ

E. Discussion and possible action on electronically generated signatures for P.G. seals

F. Discussion and possible action on permissive practice regulations for house foundation design development based on soil borings or geotechnical investigations and interpretation

G. Discussion and possible action on underground waste injection disposal and underground natural gas sequestration--review of current industry practices and regulation

The public is invited to attend. The complete agenda can be found at: http://www.tbpg.state.tx.us


The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has revised Regulatory Guidance document RG-482 Common Environmental Requirements for Regulated Oil and Gas Operations. This document explains TCEQ regulations on oil and gas exploration and production. It is not a comprehensive review of such regulations. The document is found at: http://www.tceq.texas.gov


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
January 1, 2012

The Railroad Commission of Texas proposes amendments to §3.30, relating to Memorandum of Understanding between the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the TCEQ and the RRC was last updated substantively in August 2010. Article 2 of House Bill (HB) 2694, passed by the 82nd Texas Legislature and signed by the Governor, transferred from the TCEQ to the RRC duties relating to the protection of groundwater resources from oil and gas associated activities. Specifically, the law transfers from the TCEQ to the RRC, effective September 1, 2011, those duties pertaining to the responsibility of preparing groundwater protection advisory/recommendation letters. After the transfer, the RRC will be responsible for providing surface casing and/or groundwater protection recommendations for oil and gas activities under the jurisdiction of the RRC. In addition, Article 2 of HB 2694 amended Texas Water Code, §27.046, transferring from the TCEQ to the RRC the responsibility of issuing to permit applicants for geologic storage of anthropogenic carbon dioxide a letter of determination stating that drilling and operating the anthropogenic carbon dioxide injection well for geologic storage or operating the geologic storage facility will not injure any freshwater strata in that area and that the formation or stratum to be used for the geologic storage facility is not freshwater sand. For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us


The RRC adopts new §3.29, relating to Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Disclosure Requirements, with changes to the proposed text as published in the September 9, 2011, issue of the Texas Register (36 TexReg 5765). The e new rule is adopted to implement Texas Natural Resources Code, Chapter 91, Subchapter S, §91.851, relating to Disclosure of Composition of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids, as enacted by House Bill (HB) 3328 (82nd Legislature, Regular Session, 2011). For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us


The RRC adopts new §4.635, relating to Memorandum of Understanding between the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Regarding Radiation Control Functions, without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 28, 2011, issue of the Texas Register (36 TexReg 7224). The purpose of the new rule is to delineate areas of respective jurisdiction and to coordinate the respective responsibilities and duties of the RRC and the DSHS in the regulation of sources of radiation in accordance with Texas Health and Safety Code (HSC) §401.414, to provide consistency, effectiveness and efficiency in radiation control functions. For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us


The Wise Report
Henry M. wise, P.G.
December 26, 2011

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) has adopted amendments to 22 TAC §§851.104, 851.108, and §851.156, concerning the licensure and regulation of Professional Geoscientists. The amendments to §851.104 and §851.156 are adopted with changes to the proposed text as published in the September 30, 2011, issue of the Texas Register (36 TexReg 6440). Section 851.108 is adopted without changes to the proposed text and will not be republished. The adopted amendments to §851.104 clarify the requirements regarding the designation of licensure, registration, and certification on printed items. The adopted amendments to §851.108 clarify the information regarding the application of a license or suspending or revoking an existing license due to conviction of a crime that directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of a Professional Geoscientist. The adopted amendments to §851.156 clarify the requirements regarding usage of a Professional Geoscientist's seal. For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
December 17, 2011

The following is update regarding professional registration of geoscientists in Louisiana came from Wendy Davidson, AIPG. If you wish to be grandfathered there, please read:

As some of you may recall, the Louisiana Board of Professional Geoscientists was created by Act 974 of the 2010 Legislative Session. Like most things run by government, it is underfunded and behind schedule. About the only thing done so far was the election of Dr. Madhurendu Kumar as acting Chairman of the Board, even though there is no board as of yet.

Unfortunately, there are several dates and deadlines involved with the board. Anyone applying for the Professional Geoscientist designation before January 1, 2012 will not be required to submit a written examination if they meet other statutory requirements. Here is the rub: At this time, there is no application, examination, or statutory requirements. Dr. Kumar is offering the following remedy, to "put everyone's mind at peace." If you submit a letter to him, stating your name and personal information, and that you intend to apply for Professional Geoscientist designation, he will consider that as an application that can be grandfathered in. And you can even email him. Dr. Kumar explained he is going to lobby to have the grandfather date pushed back, as the board is far from up and running, but that will take an act of the Louisiana 2012 Legislature.

There is no way of knowing if and when that will happen. So we are recommending to everyone that is interested in having the Professional Geoscientist designation, they should go ahead and act now.

USPS ADDRESS:
Dr. Madhurendu Kumar
LADNR-Office of Conservation
617 N. Third, 9th Floor
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
EMAIL:
madhurendu.kumar@la.gov
PHONE:
225-342-5501

I've sent in my information, including a resume to Dr. Kumar.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
November 26, 2011

At the regularly scheduled Board meeting held on November 18, 2011, the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists reviewed public comments that had been submitted and heard public testimony regarding the draft Advisory Opinion (AOR #6), which can be found at https://tbpg.state.tx.us/Advisory-Opinions.html. The Board unanimously approved taking no formal action on the draft opinion that was published in the September 23, 2011 edition of the Texas Register. The Board instead referred the draft Advisory Opinion (AOR #6) back to the General Issues Committee for follow up with the academic community and/or state and local professional organizations to develop a recommended response to the question posed in AOR #6. The General Issues Committee will be working with TBPG staff to set up meeting forums to invite interested stakeholders to work with the Committee to draft a response to the question posed in AOR #6 that considers issues raised by the geoscience community.

It appears that the TBPG has taken the advice of the Texas geological community and is reaching out for additional information. This is our opportunity to help them improve relations with the community and the PG licence in general. Take advantage of it.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
November 19, 2011

The TCEQ Sunset legislation, House Bill (HB) 2694, was adopted during the 82nd Legislature, 2011, and signed by the Governor on June 17, 2011. Included in the legislation were statutory changes addressing petroleum storage tank (PST) regulation. This rulemaking is required to address several of the statutory changes: underground storage tank (UST) delivery prohibition; State Lead tank removal authorization; and the setting of the PST delivery fee. The most interesting change of the three is that the TCEQ PST State Lead will now be able to remove UST systems at facilities which meet certain criteria, including a determination of financial inability of the tank owner or operator to remove the tank and the assessment of the potential risk of contamination from the site. This change is being made to implement HB 2694, §4.17 and §4.18. The statutory change to TWC, §26.351 was intended to clarify that section of the statute. Under that section, the commission was clearly authorized to undertake corrective action "in response to a release or a threatened release" under certain conditions. The conditions were: if the owner or operator "is unwilling," "cannot be found," "is unable" or "more expeditious corrective action is necessary." However, the term "threatened release" was not defined. In addition, TWC, §26.351(a), the subsection defining corrective action to include tank removal, referred only to corrective action being done "in response to a release." This subsection did not mention "threatened release." One interpretation was that the TCEQ State Lead program was authorized to remove tanks only as part of corrective action where a release had already been confirmed (by another party). However, additional ambiguity existed since the statute already defined, "risk-based corrective action" in TWC, §26.342(15) as including "site assessment or site remediation (emphasis added)." Thus, it was questionable whether "corrective action" by State Lead could include "assessment" to determine whether tanks had leaked. The TCEQ Sunset legislation clarified the authorization for the TCEQ to undertake corrective action to remove an underground or aboveground storage tank.

In accordance with the legislation, rules will authorize tank system removal when the tank: 1) is not in compliance with the requirements of this chapter; 2) is temporarily out of service or out of operation; 3) presents a contamination risk; and 4) is owned or operated by a person who is financially unable to remove the tank. The proposed rules describe the factors for determining financial inability and for the assessment of the potential risk of contamination from the site. Also, the term "out of service" in the statute is being clarified in the rule as referring to "temporarily out of service as described in 30 TAC §334.54(a) or out of operation as defined in 30 TAC §334.2(71)." This language is intended to avoid confusion because the phrase "out of service" is not defined; however, commission rules already have several defined terms relating to tank status, such as "in operation," "in service," "out of operation," "temporary removal from service," and "permanent removal from service." For more information go to: http://www.sos.state.tx.us


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
November 12, 2011

Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you're all aware of the controversy at the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists with the Oil & Gas geologists. Executive Director Charles Horton sent out an email to all registered Texas geologists stating that the Board unanimously approved an immediate withdrawal of proposed new rules 22 Texas Administrative Code, Sections 851.33, and 851.34, and proposed amendment 851.10 in a vote of 8-0, with one member absent.

The Board also unanimously approved a draft Advisory Opinion (AOR #7) that re-affirmed the exemption of geoscientists working in the exploration and development of oil, gas, or other energy resources, base metals, or precious or non-precious minerals, including sand, gravel or aggregate from licensure under the Texas Geoscience Practice Act. The draft Advisory Opinion (AOR #7) is currently available on the TBPG website at https://tbpg.state.tx.us/Advisory-Opinions.html and will be posted in the November 18, 2011 issue of the Texas Register for a thirty (30) day public comment period. Comments on the draft opinion may be sent to Charles Horton chorton@tbpg.state.tx.us. Please submit comments by December 18, 2011.

Approximately 25 people attended the special Board meeting on November 7, 2011. Chairman Ron Kitchens stated that the Board wanted to resolve the question of public vs private practice of O&G because over the past several years they had recieved 13 complaints about O&G oversight, and one inquiry from the SEC. The O&G Workgroup was set up to get input from the O&G industry on this issue. The O&G Workgroup furnished their recommendations to the Board with a petition for rule proposal. The Board published it in the Texas Register to get input from the geologic comunity. As sever persons pointed out, both prior to and during the meeting, this was probably the worst method for obtaining comments. The General Counsul to the Board felt that the Board could publish this rules.

The Board recieved 375 comments through their email portal, and only four were in favor of the rules. Two of the letters against the proposed rules had a total of 170 signatures on it, 14 letters suggested changes, and 20 letters were from professional organizations, state legislators, or agencies. Several comments accused the Board of a power and money grab, a charge that Chairman Kitchens categorically denied. Another comment was made that the proposed rules infringed in academic freedom by placing Board policy above academic freedom. Another individual called for the resignation of Mr. Horton and unnamed members of the Board in favor of those more knowledgable and interested in these problems.

Of those testifying at the meeting, all reittered the that the intent of the original PG legislative was to omit the O&G and minerals geologists. It was intended to level the playing field with engineers who were practicing geology.

Chairman Kitchens acknowledged that the Board has a lot of fence mending to do and will work harder on outreach to the Texas PG community. In addition to the withdrawl of the offensive rules and proposing Advisory Opinion #7, the Corpus Christi Geological Society has met with Representative Hunter to open the Statute to add/remove language to make it perfectly clear that O&G and minerals are exempt from the Board in all cases. Unfortunately, this can't be done until the 2013 legislative session. If you are interested in helping in this endeavor, contact the Corpus Christi Geological Society.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
October 29, 2011

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) has canceled the General Issues Committee on November 9, 2011. They have called for a Special Board meeting for November 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm at 333 Guadalupe Street, Room 100 (tentative), Austin, Texas. Only three items are on the agenda:

A. Consideration and possible action on immediate withdrawal of the Board's proposed rules 22 Texas Administrative Code §851.33 and §851.34 and the Board's proposed amendment to 22 Texas Administrative Code §851.10

B. Consideration and possible action on posting of a Board initiated Advisory Opinion concerning the re-affirmation of the exemption of exploration and development of oil, gas, or other energy resources described in Section 1002.252 of the Texas Geoscience Practice Act

C. Public comment. Limited to five (5) minutes per person who has signed up to speak using TBPG's speaker request form (time may be extended at the discretion of the Board Chairman)

Evidently the TBPG has heard the uproar and is acting on it. If you wish to re-iterate your comments to the Board, or add to them, this would be the meeting to go to.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
October 23, 2011

For those interested in speaking directly to the General Issues (GI) Committee of the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) regarding the proposed new rules, the GI committee is now scheduled for 2:00 pm on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 333 Guadalupe Street, Tower 2, Suite 500, Austin, Texas 78701.


Opinion Piece Follows: It appears that the proposed new rules by the TBPG has stirred up quite a hornet's nest. I know of at least two persons in Texas who've already written to the Governor asking him to dissolve the Board, calling it, among other things, "power grab" and a desire to increase revenue. Let's not forget that not only did Govenor Perry sign the legislation that created the Board and appoints its members, but he tried to get rid of it this past legislative session.

I think calling for the dissolving of the Board is pre-mature. Nothing's been finalized yet, so you should give your opinions directly to the Board, in writing and/or during their meetings. Personally, I believe the Board did a poor job of outreach on this one. Yes, they did base it on the Oil & Gas Work Group, which is commendable, but they should have gone around Texas to the various Geological Society Meetings to discuss these proposed new rules prior to publishing them. If this had been done I believe the general reaction wouldn't have been as virulent.

As far as the O&G folks trying to get rid of the Board, I think they'd be shooting themselves in the foot eventually. While I fully support their being exempt, I can see the day's coming when the Federal Government, as a result of the SEC reserve problems in the past and the BP blowout last year, will say they want someone to seal reserve reports and other documents. In today's political climate the Federal Government could make such a ruling or law. Right now, that would mean only Engineers would be able to do this work, since O&G geologists are exempt in Texas. Do you really want an engineer doing geology?

The O&G folks I've spoken with appear to have no problem with voluntary signing, but not mandatory. The way things currently stand, if the Federal Government required those documents to be sealed starting tomorrow, the Board would be forced to change the rules to include O&G geologists. At this time, that would require at least two years or so to implement because the statute that created the Board can't be changed until the next legislative session, a little over a year away, and then another year or so to write the rule and get it approved. In the meantime, O&G geologists would have to work under engineers. If the current proposed rule is approved, with the amendments that most groups appear to be making (voluntary sealing only, no mandatory sealing), the O&G folks who already are PGs could voluntarily sign without fear of being accused of misusing the PG seal (sealing a document that was exempt from the rules).

The Board could also help the situation, if the Federal Government were to require PG stamps on O&G work, by allowing O&G geologists with the proper credentials to obtain the PG without taking the ASBOG exam, similar to the original Grandfathering period. After all, they have been told all this time they're exempt, and it'd only be fair, if the Federal Government started to require it. The TBPG rules allow the Board waive requirements if they wish it, and they have for some.

Don't misunderstand what I'm saying. I don't believe that the Board should be requiring O&G geologists to register on their own. It wasn't part of the original intent of the statute. It should only be done if the Board is forced to by the Federal Government. In that case, the Board would simply be modifying the regulations to match Federal Law.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
October 9, 2011

On Thursday, October 6, 2011 Charles Knoblock met with representatives of the Houston Geological Society (HGS), the Geophysical Society of Houston (GSH), the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists (SIPES), the Texas Association of Professional Geoscientists (TAPG), and several members of the Oil & Gas Workgroup to discuss the rule-making process and how people can contribute to it. Due to the complexity of the new proposed rules Mr. Knoblock was asked if it would be possible to allow more time to make comments. Mr. Knoblock said that he believed that the 30 days for comments is a statute, and therefore can't be extended. However, after the comment period closes there will be at least two additional times when comments could be made, in person. They are when the General Issues Committee meets to discuss the propose rules and review the written comments, and when the full PG Board meets. the General Issues Committee will need to meet and review the written comments before passing their recommendations on to the full TBPG board. The dates and times of these meetings will be posted on the TBPG website (https://tbpg.state.tx.us/). The next meeting of the General Issues Committee hasn't been scheduled yet. The next full TBPG board meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 18, 2011. There is a very good chance that the proposed rules will be discussed at several TBPG meetings, although not guarrenteed.

Mr. Knoblock said that the TBPG and Oil & Gas Workgroup have been working on these rules for two years and wanted to get comments from the general public, which is the main reason for publishing them in the Texas Register. They encourage you to make constructive comments, the more specific the better. If you think things should be added or removed state what and why. Make sure that your proposed changes or comments are based on the statutes that authorized the TBPG in the first place. The statutes can also be found on the TBPG website.

As a reminder, you have until September 30, 2011 to make written comments to the TBPG, by mail to TBPG, PO Box 13225, Austin TX 78711 or by e-mail to chorton@tbpg.state.tx.us.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
October 1, 2011

The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) has published the proposed rules discussed in last week's Wise Report in the Texas Register. It can be found at: http://www.sos.state.tx.us

Editorial Comments Follow:

There has been quite a bit of controversy that's developed over Section 851.33 Permissive Professional Geoscience Practice and Section 851.34 Non-exempted Geoscintific Work. Both of these sections represent a major revision and help to define what are considered to be geological practices that will or will not require a PG seal. These rules incorporate recommendations from the Oil and Gas Workgroup. The PG board is looking to the geological community of Texas to help improve the wording of these proposed rules. I believe this is badly needed, as several geologists, including myself, misunderstood the intent, based on the way things were worded, and thought they were planing on regulating O&G, minerals, and climate change studies.

Upon re-reading the rules, I remembered a discussion I had a couple of weeks earlier, after the last TBPG board meeting, when I saw a preliminary version of the rule changes, that the proposed rules under Section 851.33 Permissive Professional Geoscience Practice were supposed to be voluntary. That is, if O&G, mineral, and other exempt geologists want to seal their work, those listed here are what should be sealed. Section 851.34 Non-exempted Geoscientific Work lists work that must be sealed by a PG.

I think what we're dealing with, for Section 851.33, is a situation where there is insufficient definition of what a permissive professional geoscience practice is and why it needs a rule. I believe most people will look at it and at first glance assume, like we did, that O&G, etc. geologists will need to be registered to conduct their business. This is not the case. This section lists reports that may be sealed on a volutary basis. It is not required. The wording for this section needs revision to make it perfectly clear.

Section 851.34 is supposed to clarify which geologic reports in the exempted fields, when used in the Public Sector, need to be sealed. I also believe that some, if not most of this is coming from complaints to the SEC in recent years about bad reserve estimates estimates resulting in inflated stock prices, etc. Again, I'll remind you that these rules were written after consulting with the Oil & Gas Workgroup.

It's my understanding that the major oil companies are infavor of these changes and that the independants/small O&G companies are not.

I believe that much of this controversy could have been avoided by more preliminary outreach by the TBPG to the geologic community. It's great that they did form an O&G Workgroup for this, but most people didn't know there was an O&G workgroup, let alone who's on it. You have until October 30, 2011 to make comments to the TBPG. Please make all comments as specific as possible, including improvements in any or all wording, and your reasons for it. I know the TBPG will welcome your comments and will take them into consideration for improving these rules.

For those of you who don't believe that these rules are needed, you should state your reasons to the Board at this time. I would remind you that, in my opinon, unfortunately, the day is coming whereby reserve estimates will need to be sealed by either a PE or a PG. The PE's are already positioning themselves for this. As reported in a previous Wise Report, HB 2067 (http://www.capitol.state.tx.us) was passed and signed, and allows out-of-state PE's to perform reserve estimates. Geologists aren't mentioned in this bill. While geologists may still be allowed to perform reserve estimates, if the Federal Government ever decided that a licensed individual needs to sign and seal these estimates, PEs are the only ones in this state that could legally do it.


The TCEQ has several new publications of interest:

Closure of Waste-Management Units Subject to TRRP, RG-366/TRRP-02A (new publication)
A guide for the regulated community and environmental professionals on regulation and administration of such closures.
http://www.tceq.texas.gov

Joint Groundwater Monitoring and Contamination Report 2010, SFR-056/10 (new publication)
Groundwater monitoring activities; includes a list of all groundwater contamination cases documented during the previous calendar year for which enforcement action was incomplete at the time of the preceding report:
http://www.tceq.texas.gov

Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, RG-394 (revised)
A general permit covering eligible storm water discharges from industrial facilities. Also covers certain discharges other than storm water. http://www.tceq.texas.gov


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
September 3, 2011

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is publishing a proposed revision to permitting in the Texas Register amending the current non-rule standard permit for the construction and/or modification of oil and gas production facilities. This non-rule standard permit became effective on April 1, 2011 and applies only in the following counties making up the Barnett Shale region of the state: Archer, Bosque, Clay, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, Eastland, Ellis, Erath, Hill, Hood, Jack, Johnson, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, Shackelford, Somervell, Stephens, Tarrant, and Wise. The TCEQ is proposing a correction to the standard permit that would amend subsection (m), table 8 to remove unnecessary, repetitive language under the heading Control Devices, Control with process combustion or heating devices (for example reboilers, heaters and furnaces), and make other administrative, non-substantive corrections to numbering and references.

A public meeting on the proposed standard permit will be held on October 3, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Building E, Room 201S, 12100 Park 35 Circle, 78753 in Austin. Call the TCEQ's Air Permits Division at 512-239-1250 for copies of the proposed standard permit for oil and gas production facilities, or go to the TCEQ website at: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/rules/prop.html.

Comments may be mailed to Blake Stewart, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Air Permits Division, MC 163, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087 or faxed to 512-239-1070. All comments should reference the standard permit for oil and gas production facilities. Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on October 3, 2011. For further information, contact Mr. Stewart at 512-239-6931. Si desea información en Español, puede llamar al 800-687-4040.


At its open meeting on August 29, 2011, the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) approved the publication of proposed new §3.29, relating to Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Disclosure Requirements. The rule implements House Bill 3328 from the 2011 regular session. The proposed new rule will be published in the September 9, 2011, issue of the Texas Register, but can also be found at: http://www.rrc.state.tx.us.

The comment period ends at noon on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. As stated in the preamble, the Commission will hold a public comment meeting on the proposed new rule on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. at the Commission's offices at the William B. Travis Building, 1701 N. Congress Avenue, Room 1-111, First Floor, Austin, Texas.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P. G.
August 28, 2011

The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) has issued the interum Surface Casing/Groundwater Advisory Unit application form 0051p_rrc. Please start using this form immediately. It can be found at: http://content.govdelivery.com


The RRC has revised three existing forms:

  • Form H-10, Annual Disposal/Injection Well Monitoring Report
  • Form P-3, authority to Transport Recovered Load or Frac Oil
  • Form P-5, Organization Report

The RRC has adopted five new forms:

  • Form PSA-12, Production Sharing Agreement Code Sheet
  • Form P-5A, Organization Report Non-Employee Agent Listing
  • Form P-5O, Organization Report Officer Listing
  • Form W-3C, Certification of Surface Equipment Removal for an Inactive Well
  • Form W-3X, Application Application for an Extension of Deadline for Plugging an Inactive Well

The RRC has deleted five existing forms:

  • Form OW-1, Application for Aughtoity to Conduct a Surface Inspection of Orphaned Oil or Gas Well
  • Form OW-2, Applicaton for Certificate of Designation as the Operator of Orphaned Oil or Gas Well
  • Form P-51WB, Individual Well Bond
  • Form P-51WLC, Individual Well Irrevocable Documentary Letter of Credit
  • Form P-58, P-5 Supplemental Officer Listing

These forms are effective September 12, 2011 and can be found at: http://www.rrc.state.tx.us


The following is a synopsis of some of the more interesting business conducted at the last Texas Board of Professional Geologists (TBPG) Board meeting held on August 12, 2011.

Letters from the TAPG, HGS, and AEG were presented to the Board in support of looking for a geologist to fill the position of Executive Director, which opened due to the retirement of Col. Hess. The Board appointed Mr. Charles Horton as the next Executive Director of the TBPG pending the retirement of Col. Hess. Col. Hess has done an excellant serving both the Board and his country and we wish him a well-deserved retirement. We're also sure that Mr. Horton will do an excellant job as the new Executive Director of the TBPG and we wish him the best of luck in this position.

The Compliance and Enforcement Committee (C&&E) Report, proposed revisions to the PG Seal Guidance Document and FAQs (to be published after Board approval) and recommended two Board Members serve on the Complaint Review Team (CRT). The CRT and C&&E continue to direct enforcement case decision-making and process improvement, and that the staff insure confidentiality of complaints.

The General Issues Committee Report addressed Advisory Opinion Request #5 (approved and found at: https://tbpg.state.tx.us/Advisory-Opinions.html; the Oil/Gas workgroup's proposed rule changes. The Workgroup had met earlier this week and they are pleased with the direction of the Board. The Workgroup has submitted a petition for proposed amendment to the TBPG rules. The Board adopted:

  1. A proposed amendment to §851.10 for posting as a proposed rule to the Texas Register for public comment;
  2. A proposed new rule section §851.33 after debate and amendment for posting as a proposed rule to the Texas Register for public comment; and
  3. A proposed new rule section §851.34 after debate and contingent upon certification that the proposed rule has been reviewed by legal counsel and is found to be within the Board's statutory authority. The approved motion also included the contingency that if the proposed new rule section §851.34 was not certified as within the Board's statutory authority for posting to the Texas Register for public comment, the text of §851.34 would be posted as an Advisory Opinion in response to the question of, "Are the following not exempt from the requirement of licensure as a Professional Geoscientist?"

Other, miscellaneous proposed amendments were approved for publication in the Texas Register. As usual, we will bring you this information when it becomes available.


Henry M. Wise, P.G. Cited by the State of Texas

Henry Wise has beed cited by Governor Perry and the State of Texas for his contributions to the geological community of Texas over the past 15 years. See Citation awarded to Henry Wise, Admiral of the Texas Navy.


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
August 14, 2011

Effective September 1, 2011, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Petroleum Storage Tank (PST) program is revising the Action Levels and Plan A Target Concentrations for Leaking Petroleum Storage Tank (LPST) releases. The new target concentrations reflect the current toxicity parameters as revised by the toxicology staff of the TCEQ, and the chemical/physical factors as posted by the Technical Support Section of the Remediation Division. For additional information, please refer to the equations used to derive the target concentrations as well as the toxicity parameters and chemical/physical factors. All of this can be found at: http://www.tceq.texas.gov

The revised Plan A target concentrations apply target risk goals as established in the PST rules (Chapter 334, Subchapter G, Section 203.(1) (I) and (J)) and the methodologies developed in the regulatory guidance, Risk-Based Corrective Action for Leaking Petroleum Storage Tank sites (RG-36) and subsequent amendments in March 6, 1997 and August 12, 1997 Interoffice Memoranda. All methodologies, default values and exposure factors used in the equations are supported by ASTM standards (E-1739-95) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).


The Wise Report
Henry M. Wise, P.G.
August 6, 2011

New legislation, passed as part of the Sunset Review of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), allows the Executive Director of the agency to suspend or adjust water rights during times of drought or emergency shortage of water. House Bill 2694 requires that the TCEQ enact rules to define "drought" and "emergency shortage of water," as well as establish procedures. To comply, TCEQ staff is proposing the creation of new 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 36, relating to Suspension or Adjustment of Water Rights During Water Shortage. A stakeholder meeting, to solicit informal comment prior to developing rule language, will be held on Thursday, August 11, 2011, at 9:00 a.m., at TCEQ's Offices at 12100 Park 35 Circle, Building E, Room 201, Austin, Texas, 78753. It will also be webcast at http://www.texasadmin.com. If you are unable to attend the scheduled meeting, or wish to submit written comments, please submit your written comments no later than August 15, 2011, to Robin Smith, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 13087, MC 173, Austin, Texas 78711-3087.

Article 2 of House Bill 2694, passed by the 82nd Texas Legislature and signed by the Governor, transferred from the TCEQ to the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) duties relating to the protection of groundwater resources from oil and gas associated activities. Specifically, the law transfers from the TCEQ to the RRC, effective September 1, 2011, duties pertaining to the responsibility of preparing groundwater protection advisory/recommendation letters. After the transfer, the RRC will be responsible for providing surface casing and/or groundwater protection recommendations for the following activities:

  • Exploration, development, or production of oil and gas resources - new drilling, other drilling activities including, but not limited to, enhanced recovery injection wells, injection wells for brine mining, injection wells for underground storage of hydrocarbons, seismic exploration and cathodic protection wells, well integrity tests, plugging of abandoned wells, core holes, and micro-seismic boreholes;
  • Subsurface disposal and injection of oil and gas waste - saltwater disposal wells; and
  • Anthropogenic carbon dioxide injection wells and geologic storage facilities under the RRC's jurisdiction.

The TCEQ and RRC staff are working cooperatively to facilitate the transfer, including the transfer of staff to the RRC. The Surface Casing program transfer and relocation to the RRC office located in the William B. Travis Building, 1701 North Congress, Austin, is scheduled for August 25, 2011. The program transfer and relocation are expected to be completed by August 31, 2011. The TCEQ and RRC staff will make every effort to minimize disruptions to surface casing program customers and groundwater protection advisory letter applicants during the transition.

Please continue to submit applications for groundwater protection advisory letters to the TCEQ until August 31, 2011 (postmark date or email). On or after September 1, 2011, please send applications or correspondence pertaining to groundwater protection advisory letters to the RRC at the following address:

By courier or express mail:
Railroad Commission of Texas
(Attn: Groundwater Advisory Unit)
William B. Travis Building
1701 North Congress
Austin, TX 78701
By U.S. Postal Service:
Railroad Commission of Texas
(Attn: Groundwater Advisory Unit)
P.O. Box 12967
Austin, TX 78711-2967

If you have any questions pertaining to this notification, please contact the TCEQ's Surface Casing Program at (512) 239-0515 or by email at SC@tceq.texas.gov. On or after September 1, 2011, the surface casing staff can be contacted at (512) 463-2741 or by email at gau@rrc.state.tx.us.

The complete announcement can be found at: http://content.govdelivery....20Surface%20Casing.pdf

For corrections, suggestions, or other input, contact the AIPG-TX Webmaster via info@aipg-tx.org
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