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SB 185 would require an oil or gas well operator to give the Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TCEQ) immediate notice of a fire, leak, spill, or break at the well, and submit a letter giving a full description of the event.
This bill would prohibit TCEQ from approving an application for a permit to drill an oil or gas well if: (1) the organization that submitted the application violated a statute or TCEQ rule, order, license, certificate, or permit that relates to safety or the prevention or control of pollution, or is under investigation by a state or federal agency for an alleged violation of such statutes or rules; (2) the violation or alleged violation relates to an uncontrolled release from an oil or gas well of a substance that substantially endangered human health or the environment; and (3) the well that is the subject of the application is proposed to be drilled at a site adjacent to the site of the violation or alleged violation.
However, TCEQ would be able to approve the application if: (1) the conditions that constituted the violation have been corrected; (2) the organization has paid all administrative, civil, and criminal penalties and all cleanup and plugging costs incurred by the state relating to those conditions; and (3) the application is in compliance with all other requirements of law and TCEQ rules.
Texas Action remains neutral on SB 185 because it does not affect our liberty principles.