By Rep. Trent Ashby
As we near the 2022 General Election Day on November 8, I’d like to offer a friendly reminder that the early voting period will begin on October 24 and will end on November 4. While I always encourage folks to take advantage of the early voting period to avoid Election Day lines, what’s most important is that you plan to participate in the process by exercising your right to vote. For more information about early voting locations, what you’ll need to bring with you to the polling locations, or any other questions you may have, please visit www.votetexas.gov. With that, we’ll dive back into our examination of House interim charges. . .
House Interim Charge: Environmental Regulation
The House Committee on Environmental Regulation is up next on our tour of House Committees. With nine sitting members, the Committee focuses on policies relating to air, land, and water pollution, waste disposal, and the regulation of industrial development as it pertains to the environment. The House Committee on Environmental Regulation also oversees several state agencies, including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission.
Like most committees, Environmental Regulation will monitor policies enacted during the 87th Legislative Session to ensure the implementation of the measures align with the intent of the legislation. For instance, HB 1680 streamlines the regulation of on-site sewage disposal systems on federal land leases by establishing that each tract of leased land is considered separate to allow lessees to update or replace their existing septic systems. Another bill, HB 4472 amends the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) to expand the number of projects eligible for grant funding, while also allowing for enhanced investments in our state’s infrastructure funding. In addition to the review of HB 4472, the Committee has also been tasked with evaluating the TERP program’s effectiveness and identifying unrealized opportunities that would further the program’s goal.
The Committee has been charged to review the recent passage of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and how the federal funds may be used to complement the state’s efforts to clean up polluted sites, plug wells, and carry out various pollution mitigation initiatives. The Committee will also monitor various federal regulations that could directly impact the state’s economic development, manufacturing, and industrial activities within the purview of the House Committee on Environmental Regulation, including regulations adopted or proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my Official Facebook Page, where I will post regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and share information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.