ACT BY 2 PM MONDAY, MARCH 15

ISSUE

If HB 631 passes, cities and other local authorities will no longer be able to regulate where a landfill is placed. This bill states that an “applicant for a permit under this sub-chapter is not required to obtain a permit for the siting, construction, or operation of a municipal solid waste facility from a local government or other political subdivision of the state as a prerequisite to a permit being issued by the commission.” See the full text of the bill here: https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/87R/billtext/html/HB00631I.htm.

But many concerns associated with landfill operations are local in nature! Do we really want local governments and residents to not be able to influence the siting and design of a landfill? Do we want the interests of landfill operators to be prioritized over the health, safety, and well-being of Texans?

Landfills pose a danger to the soil and groundwater. Water contamination is an immediate threat to residents, and if built in or close to floodplains, landfills would exacerbate this contamination. Noise, smells and an increase in vermin can also negatively impact the health of local communities.

Moreover, landfills lead to an increase in heavy truck traffic. Damage to local roads and the heightened risk of severe and fatal collisions are other concerns when control over these essential services is taken away from municipalities.

Once constructed, a landfill is a permanent fixture in a community. Landfills operate for decades, not just years. And they are not dismantled once operations cease and the landfill is closed. If a landfill creates an environmental problem for a community, it could well be a problem forever.

CONTACT HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS

Call or submit a public comment. Ask for a NO vote on House Bill 631.

House Committee on Environmental Regulations Members

  • Chair, Rep. Brooks
    Landgrafbrooks.landgraf@house.texas.gov
    (512) 463-0546
  • Vice Chair, Rep. Alex Dominguez
    alex.dominguez@house.texas.gov
    (512) 463-0640
  • Rep. Jay Dean
    jay.dean@house.texas.gov
    (512) 463-0750
  • Rep. Vikki Goodwin
    vikki.goodwin@house.texas.gov
    (512) 463-0652
  • Rep. Kyle J. Kacal
    kyle.kacal@house.texas.gov
    (512) 463-0412
  • Rep. John Kuempel
    john.kuempel@house.texas.gov
    (512) 463-0602
  • Rep. Penny Morales Shaw
    penny.moralesshaw@house.texas.gov
    (512) 463-0620
  • Rep. Geanie W. Morrison
    geanie.morrison@house.texas.gov
    (512) 463-0456
  • Rep. Ron Reynolds
    ron.reynolds@house.texas.gov
    (512) 463-0494

Submit a public comment here: https://comments.house.texas.gov/home?c=c260&link_id=1&can_id=97fa662895aef99bdf41f9a5d8cc0b4e

You’ll put in your contact information, then select “HB 631 by Darby”

What you can say:

“My name is ___________ . I am a Texan living in [city]. My zip code is ______. I am [calling/writing] because I am concerned about House Bill 631. If this bill passes, my local government will no longer have a say in the location, construction, and operation of landfills. The interests of the owners and operators of these landfills could override the legitimate concerns of local residents about their health and safety. Landfills can put groundwater at risk and lead to more traffic and higher incidents of deadly collisions. The input of local citizens and governments is essential in these matters. Waste facilities should follow local ordinances. I urge you to VOTE NO on HB 631. Thank you!”