Austin, Texas – Late last evening, House Bill 1820 failed to pass out of the Texas House of Representatives before a key deadline. The bill relates to the regulation, monitoring, and enforcement of matters under the jurisdiction of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and would have authorized an excessive increase in civil and administrative penalties. The Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners (TIPRO) strongly opposed the legislation since its inception. The following statement can be attributed to Ed Longanecker, president of TIPRO:
“The TCEQ already has the authority to adjust penalties for bad actors in a targeted manner, without unnecessarily increasing the burden on companies that diligently are trying to comply with environmental regulations. House Bill 1820 would have discouraged economic investment in Texas, driving away potential businesses to other states due to overly burdensome penalties.
TIPRO supports appropriate penalties when necessary and a fully funded TCEQ to ensure the agency has the resources to effectively monitor activity and conduct thorough investigations. This bill would have harmed the state’s ability to attract and retain businesses, while providing no real benefit to improving compliance. We will be working diligently to ensure that this language is not amended onto another bill.”