Energy, Environment & Utilities

 

SB 235(1) (Easley/Beutler): Addresses natural gas gathering. After being vetoed by the Governor last year and many collaborative efforts during this session; this version of gas gathering passed both houses with no opposition. The bill outlines a complaint procedure at the Corporation Commission, which provides a hearing for any person who is treated in an unfair, unjust or unduly discriminatory manner by a gas gatherer. The bill provides a method for the Commission to remedy such situations by ordering adjustments in fees or terms and conditions of service after a hearing. The bill also provides for the Commission to maintain an index of all its orders relating to this act. The index will contain findings of facts and conclusions of law and the Commission's reasoning on the case. Such information may be beneficial to parties seeking information on such issues prior to filing a complaint with the Commission. Effective 6-4-99

SB 549(1) (Price/Leist): After interim studies by both the House and Senate and numerous meetings of interested agencies and environmental issue groups, SB 549 was introduced in an effort to clarify the state environmental agencies areas of jurisdiction over ground and surface water. The bill requires that federally required water quality reports and lists, including the 303(d) list of impaired waters, go through a formal public review process consistent with the Administrative Procedures Act. It also creates a Water Quality Standards Implementation Advisory Committee, which will review water quality standards implementation plans which the state environmental agencies are now required to develop. The bill instructs the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to report to the Legislature on the status of water quality monitoring in the state every even-numbered year. In SB 549 the OWRB is authorized to promulgate use support assessment protocols, anti-degradation policy and implementation, and policies generally affecting Oklahoma Water Quality Standards application and implementation which includes mixing zones, low flows and variances, in relation to statewide water quality standards.

SB 549 further requires the Secretary of Environment to coordinate water complaint management activities and develop a common database for water quality information to be used by all state agencies. The Department of Environmental Quality is directed in the bill to develop a computerized information system of water quality data. The system will be accessible to other state agencies and the public.

SB 549 clarifies for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture statutes regarding point source discharges and nonpoint source runoff, and defines nonpoint source pollutant. The bill gives ODA authority over agriculture nonpoint source runoff. Effective 6-10-99

HB 1841 (Rice/Easley): Modifies the original Oklahoma Civil Defense and Emergency Resources Management Act of 1967 by renaming the State Civil Defense Agency the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and providing statutes governing flood hazard mitigation. The bill creates a State Hazard Mitigation Team composed of the administrative heads of 14 state agencies and a representative of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the purpose of reviewing and updating the State Comprehensive Hazard Mitigation Plan and reviewing and making recommendations for loan and grant applications to the Oklahoma Flood Hazard Mitigation Program. The Oklahoma Flood Hazard Mitigation Program is created in the bill to allow the state to assist counties and cities in their efforts to alleviate flood damages by: providing state assistance programs for public losses and needs following flood disasters; developing comprehensive disaster preparedness and assistance plans; encouraging greater coordination and responsiveness of flood relief programs; and developing land-use and construction regulations, floodplain management, and environmental planning to reduce losses from flood disasters. The bill allows for political subdivisions of the state to apply for grants or loans for flood hazard mitigation projects, which shall be reviewed and approved by the State Hazard Mitigation Team. The bill authorizes municipalities to acquire real property to reduce losses from flood disasters and allows public funds to be used for this purpose. The bill also establishes a Flood Hazard Mitigation Financial Assistance Program, declaring financing projects to mitigate flooding to be a public purpose. The bill creates a special account within the Water Resources Fund and specifies how the account will be funded and for what purposes the money may be appropriated.

(See also HB 1003X in Revenue and Taxation Section)


(1) Passed, signed by Governor (2) Passed, pending Governor's approval/disapproval (3) Vetoed by Governor
(4) Pending in Legislature (5) Failed in Legislature (6) Enrolled with the Sec. of State
 

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