March 12, 2021

Austin, TX — Today, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bie­der­mann (R‑Fredericksburg) filed HB 4341 , which would trans­fer aggre­gate pro­duc­tion oper­a­tions (APOs) from the Texas Com­mis­sion on Envi­ron­men­tal Qual­i­ty (TCEQ) to the Rail­road Com­mis­sion of Texas (RRC). HB 4341 is the cul­mi­na­tion of years of delib­er­a­tions between the TCEQ, RRC and var­i­ous stake­hold­ers. The RRC will assume over­sight of the APO Pro­gram for the State of Texas by no lat­er than 2023. We are con­fi­dent that the lead­er­ship of RRC will place addi­tion­al empha­sis on air qual­i­ty for those in affect­ed areas, and take seri­ous­ly the health con­cerns of the pub­lic that arise from aggre­gate min­ing operations.

“APOs are cru­cial eco­nom­ic engines for this state and sup­port impor­tant indus­tries,” says Rep. Bie­der­man, “How­ev­er, a com­pelling inter­est is the health and safe­ty of my con­stituents, and Tex­ans across this state. Prof­itabil­i­ty and safe­ty are not mutu­al­ly exclu­sive con­cepts, and this bill reflects that belief.”

Trans­fer­ring per­mit­ting and over­sight author­i­ty of APOs between these two agen­cies would ensure con­ti­nu­ity of oper­a­tions, as the RRC cur­rent­ly admin­is­ters open-pit min­ing. Addi­tion­al­ly, the lead­er­ship of the RRC has shown demon­stra­ble com­pe­tence over the admin­is­tra­tion of relat­ed pro­grams, and has earned the con­fi­dence of the APO indus­try and notable sub­ject mat­ter experts.

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