Radioactive Substance Release Bill Ready for Final Round In the Senate

May 9, 2019

 

A bill calling for quick notification of local areas where a radioactive substance has been released into the environment is was voted out of the Senate Natural Resources committee on a 10-0 vote Thursday and will go before the full Senate.

If it passes there it will go on to Governor Abbott to become law, the bill having already passed the House.

Rep. Rick Miller‘s CSHB 2203 — which passed to the local and uncontested calendar — is in response to a 2015 incident in Sugar Land, southwest of Houston, in which radioactive material was released when an oil and gas gauge container with Cesium 137 ruptured, with the radioactive material accidentally released at a business.

The material ended up on workers’ clothing and in a nearby ditch, according to court records in a lawsuit brought by company employee.

CSHB 2203 would require any state agency receiving a notice of the release of any radioactive substance to immediately notify “each political subdivision of the state into which the substance was released,” including the name of the business or home, address and identification of the substance, if known.

The bill calls for the information to be “confidential” and “not subject to disclosure under state public information law,” which, along with naming the substance and address, were modification made in the committee substitute.