MABWA Government Relations Committee / Legislative Activities Report

  • Intro
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Kansas
  • Colorado

TX Department of State Health Services Final Rules
Effective 8/2/2017: Food Safety Standards 

The Texas Department of State Health Services adopted amendments to its food safety regulations, including those which address bottled drinking water. Among many other revisions, the amendments incorporate by reference "21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 129, Processing and Bottling of Bottled Drinking Water, as amended”. The amendments also incorporate state drinking water standards for public and nonpublic water sources and specify safe practices by plant employees. 

The Department adopted the rules and published notice of the final rules in the Texas Register. The rules are effective 8/2/2017. The Department published notice of the proposed rules in the Texas Register. A public hearing was held 3/28/2017. Comments were due 5/2/2017.

The issue on Food Safety was first reported on March 16, 2017 and updated on July 30, 2017. For further information contact Julie Loera of the TX Department of State Health Services at (512) 776-6972.

Notice of the Final Rule can be found at
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/archive/July282017/Adopted%20Rules/25.HEALTH%20SERVICES.html#116 

Notice of the Proposed Rules can be found at
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/archive/March32017/Proposed%20Rules/25.HEALTH%20SERVICES.html#45 

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The MABWA Government Relations Committee reviews and reports on State and Federal level Legislative and Regulatory activities impacting MABWA region members.

MABWA Government Relations Committee Chairman – John Cooke, Primo Water Houston – jccooke@swbell.net

NEW MEXICO

Legislative Session Calendar

Each Legislature lasts for two years and the first of the two years convenes in odd numbered years. The second year is limited to budget, veto review and governor's bills. The Legislature convenes the third Tuesday in January. Session convenes January 21, 2014. The session adjourns in odd years after 60 legislative days and in even years after 30 legislative days. Session adjourns February 20, 2014.

Water and Natural Resources Committee - GROUNDWATER

The Water and Natural Resources Committee was scheduled to meet on August 28-30 to discuss the management of domestic water wells, hydraulic fracturing and water use, and pre-treatment of water for reuse. Testimony to be provided by the New Mexico Groundwater Association, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources and Break Water Valve Systems.

The chairs of the Water and Natural Resources Committee are Senator Phil Griego (D) and Representative Larry Larrañaga (R). The committee does not propose legislation for the upcoming session; however they can discuss policy proposals for introduction and would then endorse legislation that would be introduced by a member of the committee.

Water and Natural Resources Committee website:
http:­//www­.nmle­gis.g­ov/lc­s/com­mitte­e_det­ail.a­spx?C­ommit­teeCo­de=WN­R­

OKLAHOMA

Legislative Session Calendar

Each Legislature lasts for two years and first of the two years convenes in odd numbered years. The Legislature convenes in regular session at the seat of government at noon on the first Monday in February of each year. The 2014 session is to convene February 3, 2014. The regular session adjourns sine die not later than 5:00 p.m. on the last Friday in May of each year. Session adjourns May 30, 2014.

H.B. 1022 - LABELING (FOOD PACKAGING)
Sponsored by Representative David Perryman (D)

Prevents frivolous law suits against manufacturers, packers, distributors, carriers, holders, sellers, marketers or advertisers of food products that comply with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. Establishes that manufacturers, packers, distributors, carriers, holders, sellers, marketers or advertisers of food products shall not be subject to civil liability for any claim arising out of weight gain, obesity or a health condition associated with weight gain or obesity. States that if the claim of weight gain, obesity or a health condition is based on a material violation of an adulteration or misbranding requirement, then the claim is valid.

Bill introduced in the House 9/3/2013.

The sponsor is a member of the minority party. A similar measure was introduced in the Senate, S.B. 12, sponsored by the Senate President, Senator Brian Bingham (R). This measure was introduced during Oklahoma's special session, which was convened to address tort reform. This measure has no additional co-sponsors. Legislative staff confirmed that bill must be read in the House then will likely be heard in Judiciary Committee. The Governor's office as well as both chambers of the legislature, are controlled by Republicans.

H.B. 1274 - GROUNDWATER

Sponsored by Representative Brian Renegar (D)

Creates the Regional Water Planning Act. Requires the State be divided into a minimum of 13 areas for which regional water plans be developed. Requires the regional water planning group, in each regional water planning area, prepare a regional water plan using the 2012 Update to the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan as a guide. Requires each regional water plan provide for the: orderly development, management and conservation of water resources and the preparation for, and response to, drought conditions in order that sufficient water will be available at a reasonable cost to ensure public health, safety and welfare; and verification and identification of each source of water supply in the regional water planning area, including information supplied by the Board on the amount of managed available groundwater and surface water.

Bill was prefiled 1/16/2013. Introduced and referred to Utility and Environmental Regulations Committee 2/4/2013. Failed to meet committee reporting deadline 2/28/2013. Carried over to 2014 legislative session 5/24/2013.

The Legislature adjourned May 24. This bill has been carried over to the 2014 legislative session, which is scheduled to convene February 3.

H.B. 1582 - GROUNDWATER

Sponsored by Representative Seneca Scott (D)

Provides that beginning November 1, 2013, subject to all preexisting rights and permits, all public water, standing or flowing within the State, will become the property of the Regional Water Authorities of the respective regions in which the public water is located. Requires that the water will be controlled, permitted and managed by each Regional Water Authority for the use and benefit of the people within the region.

Bill prefiled 1/17/2012. Introduced and referred to Utility and Environmental Regulations Committee 2/4/2013. Failed to meet committee reporting deadline 2/28/2013. Carried over to 2014 legislative session 5/24/2013.

The Legislature adjourned May 24. This bill has been carried over to the 2014 legislative session, which is scheduled to convene February 3.

H.B. 1615 - GROUNDWATER

Sponsored by Representative Ed Cannaday (D)

Summary: Requires that prior to the Oklahoma Water Resources Board instituting a suit for the determination of rights to the use of water in a stream system as authorized, the Board will fulfill the following conditions: provide notice to all persons in every county where the stream may exist; explain to all persons who receive notice the reasons why the suit is, in its view, in the interests of the persons claiming rights in the stream system; consider impacts to the natural resources of the area and groundwater flows; hold a public hearing and allow a reasonable period of public comment on any planned adjudication; and fully and adequately respond to all comments received.

Bill prefiled 1/17/2013. Introduced and referred to utility and Environmental Regulation Committee 2/4/2013. Failed to meet committee reporting deadline 2/28/2013. Carried over to 2014 legislative session 5/24/2013.

The Legislature adjourned May 24. This bill has been carried over to the 2014 legislative session, which is scheduled to convene February 3.

S.B. 12 - FOOD SAFETY, LABELING (FOOD PACKAGING)

Sponsored by Senator Brian Bingman (R)

Summary: Prevents frivolous law suits against manufacturers, packers, distributors, carriers, holders, sellers, marketers or advertisers of food products that comply with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. Establishes that manufacturers, packers, distributors, carriers, holders, sellers, marketers or advertisers of food products shall not be subject to civil liability for any claim arising out of weight gain, obesity or a health condition associated with weight gain or obesity. States that if the claim of weight gain, obesity or a health condition is based on a material violation of an adulteration or misbranding requirement, then the claim is valid.

Bill introduced in Senate 9/3/2013.

The sponsor of this legislation is a member of the majority party and serves as the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Oklahoma is currently in a special session to address Tort reform. This piece of legislation is also sponsored by Representative Anthony Sykes (R), Chair of the Judiciary Committee and Speaker of the House. Legislative staff confirmed that bill must be read in the Senate then will likely be heard in Judiciary Committee.

S.B. 348 - GROUNDWATER

Sponsored by Senator AJ Griffin (R)

Summary: Current version (2/21/2013) prohibits the Oklahoma Water Resources Board from adopting any proposed Class I Groundwater Aquifer designations prior to a formalized interagency working group meeting, which will be held in accordance with the provisions of the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act and the Oklahoma Open Records Act, for the purpose of evaluating potential impacts of such aquifer designation as it relates to other statutory Water Quality Standards or rules governing or implementing Water Quality Standards criteria.

Bill prefiled 1/14/2013. Introduced and referred to Energy Committee 2/4/2013. Hearing held, amended and passed committee 2/21/2013. Failed to meet chamber of origin deadline 3/14/2013. Carried over to 2014 legislative session 5/24/2013.

The Legislature adjourned May 24. This bill has been carried over to the 2014 legislative session, which is scheduled to convene February 3.

Texas

Legislative Session Calendar

The Legislature meets every other year and convenes in a regular session on the second Tuesday in January of every odd-numbered year. These biennial sessions are limited to 140 days. The Legislature convenes at noon on the second Tuesday in January of odd numbered years. January 13, 2015. The session is limited to 140 days.

H.B. 3903 - GROUNDWATER
Sponsored by Representative Jason Isaac (R)

Summary: Final version (6/14/2013) Provides that a landowner must provide notification the water conservation district of any new well constructed after September 1, 2013. Provides a well owner must obtain a permit and pay any required fees, including a well construction fee, before using any groundwater withdrawn from a well for purposes other than those exempted.

Exempts: (1) a well used for domestic use by a single private residential household and incapable of producing more than 25,000 gallons per day; and (2)a well used for conventional farming and ranching activities, including such intensive operations as aquaculture, livestock feedlots, or poultry operations.

Provides the district may charge and collect a new well construction fee not to exceed $1,000 for a new well.

Bill introduced 3/29/2013. Referred to House Natural Resources Committee 4/8/2013. Hearing held 4/16/2013. Hearing held; passed 4/23/2013. Passed House; referred to Natural Resources 5/8/2013. Amended; passed Senate 5/21/2013. House Concurred 5/26/2013. Sent to Governor 5/27/2013. Signed by Governor Rick Perry (R) 6/14/2013.

H.B. 3934 - GROUNDWATER
Sponsored by Representative Debbie Riddle (R)

Summary: Final version (5/22/2013) allows the North Harris County Regional Water Authority to impose a charge on a well, or class of wells, located within the boundaries of the authority that, on or after June 30, 2013; (1) ceases to be subject to a groundwater reduction requirement imposed by the subsidence district; or (2) is no longer subject to the regulatory provisions, permitting requirements or jurisdiction of the subsidence district.

Introduced and referred to House Natural Resources Committee 4/15/2013. Hearing held; amended; passed 4/26/2013. Passed House 5/10/2013. Referred to Senate Natural Resources Committee 5/14/2013. Hearing held; passed 5/16/2013. Passed Senate 5/22/2013. Sent to Governor 5/26/2013. Signed by Governor Rick Perry (R) 6/14/2013.

Companion Bill: 2013 H.B. 3885

Effective Date: July 1, 2013

S.B. 595 - GROUNDWATER
Sponsored by Senator Glenn Hegar (R)

Summary: Final version (3/5/2013) allows the North Fort Bend Water Authority to impose a charge on a well or class of wells: (1) located in Harris or Fort Bend County that ceases on or after February 1, 2013, to be subject to a groundwater reduction requirement imposed by the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District or the Fort Bend Subsidence District; or (2) that are no longer subject to the regulatory provisions, permitting requirements or jurisdiction of the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District or the Fort Bend Subsidence District.

Status: Introduced 2/18/2013. Referred to Senate Natural Resources Committee 2/25/2013. Hearing held; amended and passed 3/5/2013. Passed Senate 3/21/2013. Referred to House Natural Resources Committee 4/8/2013. Hearing held; passed 4/16/2013. Substituted for House Companion; Passed House 5/2/2013. Sent to Governor Rick Perry (R) 5/3/2013. Signed by Governor Rick Perry (R) 5/18/2013.

Companion Bill: 2013 H.B. 1547

Effective Date: Upon enactment

S.B. 1299 - GROUNDWATER
Sponsored by Senator Dan Patrick (R)

Summary: Final version (6/14/2013) grants the West Harris County Regional Water Authority with the power to impose a charge on a well or class of wells located in Harris or Fort Bend County that ceases on or after February 1, 2013, to be subject to a groundwater reduction requirement imposed by the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District.

Status: Introduced 3/7/2013. Referred to Senate Natural Resources Committee 3/13/2013. Hearing held 3/26/2013. Hearing held; amended and passed 3/26/2013. Passed Senate 4/11/2013. Referred to House Natural Resources Committee 4/15/2013. Hearing held; passed 4/23/2013. Passed House 5/20/2013. Sent to Governor 5/25/2013. Signed by Governor Rick Perry (R) 6/14/2013.

Companion Bill: 2013 H.B. 2193

Effective Date: September 1, 2013

S.B. 1532 - GROUNDWATER
Sponsored by Senator Judith Zaffirini (D)

Summary: Final version (6/14/2013) prohibits the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) from authorizing, by rule or permit, an injection well that transects or terminates in the Edwards Aquifer. Authorizes TCEQ by rule to authorize the injection of fresh water withdrawn from the Edwards Aquifer into a well that transects or terminates in the Edwards Aquifer for the purpose of providing additional recharge or the injection of rainwater, storm water, flood water or groundwater into the Edwards Aquifer by means of an improved natural recharge feature such as a sinkhole or cave located in a karst topographic area for the purpose of providing additional recharge. Grants authorities to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Status: Introduced; referred to Senate Natural Resources Committee 3/19/2013. Hearing held 4/9/2013. Hearing held; amended; passed favorably 4/15/2013. Passed Senate 4/23/2013. Referred to House Natural Resources Committee 5/24/2013. Hearing held; passed 5/7/2013. Passed House; sent to Governor 5/14/2013. Signed by Governor Rick Perry (R) 6/14/2013.

Effective Date: September 1, 2013

S.B. 1811 - GROUNDWATER
Sponsored by Senator Glenn Hegar (R)

Summary: Final version (5/10/2013) requires the Fort Bend Subsidence District board to hold an annual hearing to determine the effects, during the preceding calendar year, of groundwater withdrawal on subsidence in the district. Authorizes the board to issue permits to drill new wells, and, by rule, to provide exemptions from the permit requirements. Requires the district to grant a permit to drill and operate a new well inside a platted subdivision, if water service from a retail public utility is not available to the lot where the well is to be located. Provides exemptions.

Introduced 3/8/2013. Referred to Senate Natural Resources Committee 4/25/2013. Hearing held; amended; passed 4/2/2013. Amended; passed Senate 4/10/2013. Referred to House Natural Resources Committee 4/15/2013. Hearing held; passed 5/7/2013. Substituted for House Companion; passed House 5/10/2013. Sent to Governor Rick Perry (R) 5/14/2013. Signed by Governor Rick Perry (R) 5/25/2013.

Companion Bill: 2013 H.B. 3807

Effective Date: Upon enactment

S.B. 1840 - GROUNDWATER
Sponsored by Senator Robert Nichols (R)

Summary: Final version (6/14/2013) creates the Deep East Texas Groundwater Conservation District. Provides that the governing board may require a person to obtain a permit from the district to transfer groundwater out of the district and regulate the terms of a transfer of groundwater out of the district. Provides that the district shall refund a fee collected by the district that relates to an application for, or the issuance of, a permit, if the permit relates to a well that is incapable of producing more than 25,000 gallons of groundwater per day and the applicant for the permit has complied with the applicable law and district rules relating to the issuance of the permit. Prohibits the board from exercising the power of eminent domain, metering a well that is incapable of producing more than 25,000 gallons of groundwater per day or producing groundwater for the purpose of sale.

Bill introduced; referred to Senate Natural Resources Committee 3/20/2013. Hearing scheduled 4/9/2013. Hearing held; amended; passed 4/9/2013. Passed Senate 4/25/2013. Referred to House Special Purpose Districts Committee 4/30/2013. Hearing held; passed 5/8/2013. Passed House 5/17/2013. Sent to Governor 5/22/2013. Signed by Governor Rick Perry (R) 6/14/2013.

Companion Bill: 2013 H.B. 3880

Effective Date: Immediately

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