Regulatory Updates and Resources

 

SB 940 (Professional Geologists)

This bill has passed the House and has been sent to the Governor for his signature. Below is the analysis of the bill.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

Currently, the Occupations Code provides for the regulation of the public practice of geosciences; the science of the earth and its origin and history; the investigation of the earth's environment and its constituent soils, rocks, minerals, fossil fuels, solids, and fluids; and the study of the natural and introduced agents, forces, and processes that cause changes in and on the earth. The process by which a complaint against a geoscientist is handled is not specific enough and does not allow for the sufficient oversight and regulation of the geoscientist profession. There is no procedure for Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) to initiate an investigation, maintain the confidentiality of the investigation, or issue advisory opinions.

As proposed, S.B. 940 expands the role of TBPG and streamlines the complaint and investigation process outlining the various steps and procedures that are required to be taken. This bill requires TBPG to prioritize by rule complaints and investigations, creating two types of complaints: those received from members of the public and those that are initiated by TBPG as a result of information that becomes known to TBPG. S.B. 940 requires that complaints by the public be in writing, sworn to by the person making the complaint, and filed with the secretary-treasurer; requires that complaints initiated by TBPG be in writing and signed by the person that became aware of the information; and requires that all complaints contain sufficient information for TBPG to determine jurisdiction and authority for TBPG to commence an investigation. This bill also requires that the complaint remain confidential during the investigation and until a formal charge is filed. The bill requires that frivolous complaints remain confidential. The bill requires TBPG to issue advisory opinions and make the opinions available on the Internet. The bill authorizes a person who expresses the intent to become a licensed geoscientist to register with TBPG as a geoscientist in training.


Two new proposed Environmental laws in Mexico - Renewable Energies and Financing of the Energy Transition Law and the Sustainable Use of Energy Law

On the 23rd of October, 2008, a proposal for the approval of the Renewable Energies and Financing of the Energy Transition Law (“Law”) was sent for the approval of the Mexican House of Representatives, and on the 25th of October, 2008, this same proposal was approved by the Energy Committee of the same House. On the 28th of October, 2008, the Mexican Energy Commission published their proposal for the approval of the Sustainable Use of Energy Law in the Parliamentary Gazette. The following links provide summaries of the contents of both laws by a private party.

Renewable Energies and Financing
Sustainable Use of Energy


 

What's New in TCEQ Rules

EPA's Key Management Challenges

40 CFR 63 - NESHAPS; Delegation of Authority to Texas

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TCEQ - Implementation of Enforcement Process Review Recommendations

Congressional Task Force Recommends Changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

Final Rule - Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries

Update on the 6/16/2006 Senate Natural Resources Committee Hearing

Texas Water Rights And Wastewater Reuse

Prepared by the Reuse Committee of the Texas Water Conservation Association

Joint Committee on the Study Commission on Water for Environmental Flows - Interim Report to the 79th Legislature