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Relating to the penalty for failure to register certain aggregate production operations with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
Under current law, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality may fine aggregate production operations that fail to register with TCEQ as required. The penalty assessed may not be less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000 for each year the operation continues without registration, but limits the total penalty which may be assessed for operating without being registered at $25,000 over a three year period.
HB 907 would increase these to not more than $20,000 in a single year, but not more than $40,000 over a three year period.
The bill would also update the frequency of inspection for active aggregate production operations to at least once every two years during the first six years of operations and at lease once every three years thereafter. The bill would also allow the commission to conduct an inspection "only after providing notice to the responsible party in accordance with commission policy" unless the operation has been issued a notice of violation in the past three years, in which case the commission may conduct unannounced inspections not more than once per year.
Texas Action opposes HB 907. Excessive penalties such as these are out of alignment with the principle of limited government.