Bill Text: TX HB860 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the imposition of administrative, civil, and criminal penalties for violating certain statutes under the jurisdiction of, rules or orders adopted by, or licenses, permits, or certificates issued by the Railroad Commission of Texas; increasing criminal penalties.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-25 - Referred to Energy Resources [HB860 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB860-Introduced.html
  86R240 JAM-F
 
  By: Anchia H.B. No. 860
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the imposition of administrative, civil, and criminal
  penalties for violating certain statutes under the jurisdiction of,
  rules or orders adopted by, or licenses, permits, or certificates
  issued by the Railroad Commission of Texas; increasing criminal
  penalties.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Sections 81.0531(b), (c), and (d), Natural
  Resources Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  The penalty may not exceed:
               (1)  $25,000 [$10,000] a day for each violation that is
  not related to pipeline safety; or
               (2)  $200,000 a day for each violation that is related
  to pipeline safety.
         (c)  In determining the amount of the penalty, the commission
  shall consider the [permittee's history of previous violations, the
  seriousness of the violation, any hazard to the health or safety of
  the public, and the demonstrated good faith of the person charged.
  In determining the amount of the penalty for a violation of a
  provision of this title or a rule, order, license, permit, or
  certificate that relates to pipeline safety, the commission shall
  consider the] guidelines adopted under Subsection (d).
         (d)  The commission [by rule] shall adopt guidelines to be
  used in determining the amount of the penalty. The commission shall
  provide an opportunity for public input on the guidelines [for a
  violation of a provision of this title or a rule, order, license,
  permit, or certificate that relates to pipeline safety]. The
  guidelines must [shall] include a penalty calculation worksheet
  that specifies the typical penalty for certain violations,
  circumstances justifying enhancement of a penalty and the amount of
  the enhancement, and circumstances justifying a reduction in a
  penalty and the amount of the reduction. The guidelines must
  provide for different penalties for different violations based on
  the seriousness of the violation and any hazard to the health or
  safety of the public resulting from the violation. The guidelines
  must [shall] take into account:
               (1)  the permittee's history of previous violations,
  including the number of previous violations;
               (2)  the seriousness of the violation and of any
  pollution resulting from the violation;
               (3)  any hazard to the health or safety of the public;
               (4)  the degree of culpability;
               (5)  the demonstrated good faith of the person charged;
  [and]
               (6)  the number of times the permittee's certificate of
  compliance issued under Subchapter P, Chapter 91, has been
  canceled;
               (7)  any economic benefit gained through the violation;
               (8)  the penalty necessary to deter future violations;
  and
               (9)  any other factor the commission considers
  relevant.
         SECTION 2.  Section 81.058(d), Natural Resources Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (d)  An administrative penalty imposed under this section
  may not exceed $25,000 [$5,000] a day for each violation.  Each day
  a violation continues or occurs is a separate violation for
  purposes of imposing a penalty under this section.
         SECTION 3.  Section 91.002(b), Natural Resources Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  An offense under Subsection (a) of this section is
  punishable by a fine of not more than $25,000 [$10,000] a day for
  each day a violation is committed.
         SECTION 4.  Section 27.101(a), Water Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  A person who violates any provision of this chapter
  under the jurisdiction of the railroad commission, any rule of the
  railroad commission made under this chapter, or any term,
  condition, or provision of a permit issued by the railroad
  commission under this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty in
  any sum not exceeding $25,000 [$5,000] for each day of
  noncompliance and for each act of noncompliance. A violation under
  the jurisdiction of the commission is enforceable as provided by
  Chapter 7.
         SECTION 5.  Section 27.1011(b), Water Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  The penalty may not exceed $25,000 [$10,000] a day for
  each violation. Each day a violation continues may be considered a
  separate violation for purposes of penalty assessments.
         SECTION 6.  Section 27.105(a), Water Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  A person who knowingly or intentionally violates a
  provision of this chapter under the jurisdiction of the railroad
  commission, a rule of the railroad commission, or a term,
  condition, or provision of a permit issued by the railroad
  commission under this chapter is subject to a fine of not more than
  $25,000 [$5,000] for each violation and for each day of violation.
  A violation under the jurisdiction of the commission is enforceable
  under Section 7.157.
         SECTION 7.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
  a violation committed on or after the effective date of this Act. A
  violation committed before the effective date of this Act is
  governed by the law in effect when the violation was committed, and
  the former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For
  purposes of this section, a violation was committed before the
  effective date of this Act if any element of the violation was
  committed before that date.
         SECTION 8.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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