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Legislative Year: 2024 Change
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Bill Detail: HB24-1359

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Title Public Notification of Hazardous Chemical Releases
Status House Committee on Appropriations Lay Over Unamended - Amendment(s) Failed (05/14/2024)
Bill Subjects
  • Natural Resources & Environment
House Sponsors E. Hamrick (D)
E. Velasco (D)
Senate Sponsors L. Cutter (D)
S. Jaquez Lewis (D)
House Committee Energy and Environment
Senate Committee
Date Introduced 03/05/2024
Summary

Current rules of the energy and carbon management commission
(commission) require oil and gas operators to submit certain reports
(covered report) to the commission in the event of a spill or release of a
hazardous chemical (incident). The bill enacts the Community Right to
Know Act to create additional notification requirements in the event of
an incident (notification requirements). On and after July 1, 2024, oil and
gas operators must, within 24 hours after the discovery of an incident,
submit a covered report to the commission and the following state
agencies (notification agency):
  • For an incident involving air emissions or water
contamination, the department of public health and
environment;
  • For an incident involving public conveyances, the
department of transportation; and
  • For an incident that results from a clear act of sabotage,
vandalism, or a terrorist activity, the division of homeland
security and emergency management in the department of
public safety.
The oil and gas operator must also, within 24 hours after the
operator's submission of the covered report to a notification agency,
deliver the covered report to certain persons that are located near the well
site where the incident was caused (affected persons).
Within 24 hours after the receipt of a covered report from an oil
and gas operator, a notification agency must:
  • Confirm with the oil and gas operator that the oil and gas
operator has provided the covered report to any affected
persons;
  • Provide the covered report to any affected persons that
have not yet received a covered report from the oil and gas
operator;
  • Provide the covered report to the county public health
department and the county emergency notification party of
the county or counties where the incident occurred; and
  • On and after July 1, 2025, provide the covered report to the
person designated by the executive director of the
department of local affairs (DOLA) to receive covered
reports from the notification agencies (designated person).
On and after July 1, 2025, no later than 24 hours after the receipt
of a covered report for a certain heightened level of an incident
(warning-level covered report) from a notification agency, if the county
public health department has an existing opt-in notification system, the
county public health department must notify medical professionals in the
county that have opted in to the county public health department's
notification system about the incident.
On and after July 1, 2025, no later than 24 hours after the receipt
of a warning-level covered report from a notification agency, the county
emergency notification party must:
  • If the county has an existing opt-in public emergency
notification system, notify all individuals residing in the
county that have opted in; and
  • If the county does not have an existing opt-in public
emergency notification system but has an existing public
emergency notification system, notify all individuals
residing in the county.
On and after July 1, 2024, DOLA must maintain and routinely
update a list of contact information for the county public health
department and the county emergency notification party for each county
in the state on DOLA's website.
The bill also creates the hazardous chemical notification
committee (committee) in DOLA. On or before July 1, 2025, the
committee is required to develop content for a hazardous chemical
notification website (website) that includes certain informational and
educational content about hazardous chemicals, including short-term and
long-term adverse health impacts, and an entry for each covered report
received by the designated person on and after July 1, 2025.
Beginning in the 2026 calendar year, and in each calendar year
thereafter, the committee must meet on a quarterly basis to make updates
to the content of the website.
On or before July 1, 2026, and on or before each July 1 thereafter,
DOLA must submit a written report (hazardous chemical notification
report requirement) to the health and human services committee of the
house of representatives and the health and human services committee of
the senate, which report must include a summary of the notifications
made by oil and gas operators, the notification agencies, county public
health departments, and county emergency notification parties in the
previous year.
On or before July 1, 2025, and each calendar year thereafter,
county public health departments and county emergency notification
parties are required to provide a training to medical professionals and the
public on the short-term and long-term adverse health impacts of
exposure to hazardous chemicals and the notification requirements
(training requirement).
The bill provides for a repeal of the committee, the hazardous
chemical notification report requirement, and the training requirement,
effective September 1, 2034, after review in accordance with the general
assembly's sunset review process.
The bill also:
  • Creates a $1,000 per day penalty for an oil and gas operator
that does not comply with the notification requirements
(violation); and
  • Provides that if an oil and gas operator commits a violation
3 or more times, the oil and gas operator may not claim a
waiver of liability for damages related to the third or
subsequent violation.
1

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with Amendments
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