Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
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.
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.