Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Protect Texans' Rights - Oppose House Bill 1865


Texans use an important process called “Contested Case Hearings” to protect private property interests, community and neighborhood health, and the environment.  Unfortunately, the contested case hearing process is under attack by big special interests who are trying to curtail Texans' rights through the passage of House Bill 1865, which would erode citizen
participation in environmental permitting on fence line projects such as new landfills, power plants, refineries, cement plants, or wastewater treatment plants.

HB 1865 switches the "burden of proof" in administrative hearings on draft environmental permits from deep pocketed applicants to everyday citizens.  It is not the citizens who are asking the state for permission to potentially pollute the environment and impact a community — the applicant should have to prove its case.  Also, applicants often have a bevy of high-priced attorneys working in their corner — shifting the financial burden in administrative hearings to Texas citizens,
generally with less resources, stacks the deck deeply in favor of industry.

The bill also gives the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality almost unlimited discretion to decide who is an "affected person" and can have a Contested Case Hearing.  In fact, the bill states TCEQ can use the draft permit as a basis for denying affected person status -- effectively undermining the entire purpose of holding administrative hearings on environmental projects.

It is critically important that your House member hear your opposition to this bill.  Click on the "Act Now" button below to take action.

Act Now

No comments:

Post a Comment