SB 1509

84(R) - 2015
Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development
Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Kelly Hancock

Bill Caption

Relating to maximum penalties for certain environmental violations.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated. 

Bill Analysis

SB 1509, if passed, would modify the Water Code (Subchapter H, Chapter 7) by adding a new section which places a limitation on civil penalties. Namely, a suit brought by the state (regarding the jurisdiction of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) an individual may be assessed a civil penalty between $50 and $25,000 for each day of the violation, provided that the total amount assessed in not in excess of $4.3 million. The bill does not limit the ability of the state to make assessments and requires that factors described in Sections 7.053 and 7.361 be taken into account. The bill also requires that a suit be made no later than the fifth anniversary of the offense. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

SB 1509 is a step in the right direction, placing limits on civil penalties which may be issued by the state, requiring that certain factors in code be taken under consideration, and placing a time limit in place. The five year time limit could be shortened even further, but the bill is still a substantive positive development. We support SB 1509.

Organizations Supporting

Chesapeake Energy
Dow Chemical Company
Koch Companies
Occidental Petroleum
Shell Oil
Texans for Lawsuit Reform
Texas Association of Business
Texas Association of Manufacturers
Texas Chemical Council
Texas Civil Justice League
Texas Conservative Coalition
Texas Pipeline Association
Texas Retailers Association

Organizations Opposed

Texas Association of Counties
Texas Campaign for the Environment
Texas Conference of Urban Counties
Texas League of Conservation Voters
The Sierra Club