April 10, 2019
A Texas Senate bill aimed at allowing more personnel at the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality to be used for expedited permits is now ready to be debated by the full House.
The committee on Environmental Regulations on Wednesday voted out District 22 state Sen. Brian Birdwell‘s SB 698.
The House companion bill, Rep. J. M. Lozano‘s HB 1708, is still in committee.
SB 698 says the TCEQ should be able to increase the number of expedited permits by using fulltime employees on regular hours, in addition to the contract employees and overtime already employed by the agency to support its fast-track permit policies.
It would also allow the agency to expand the addition of a surcharge to the expedited process that would include helping pay for the full time costs as well as for contract and overtime pay needed.
SB 698 passed the Senate on March 26th.