The Wise Report - June 4, 2017

The Wise Report

Henry M. Wise, P.G.

June 4, 2017


Gov. Greg Abbott signed the Railroad Commission's Sunset Bill, House Bill 1818 (HB 1818) into law May 22, 2017 reauthorizing the RRC for 12 more years until Sept. 1, 2029. The bill also provides the agency with the authority to assess pipeline safety fees to support its pipeline safety regulatory program; jurisdiction over preventing interstate pipeline damage and a mandate to publish an annual oil and gas monitoring report.


Under this legislation, the RRC's Oil & Gas Division is directed to develop and publish an oil and gas monitoring strategic annual plan each fiscal year to ensure the agency's resources are used to protect public safety and the environment. The RRC is directed to publish this report on its website by July 1, 2017 preceding each state fiscal year.


HB 1818 authorizes the RRC to establish pipeline safety and regulatory fees to support all the agency's pipeline safety and regulatory program costs. The legislation also provides the RRC with jurisdiction over pipeline damage prevention over interstate pipelines that cross state boundaries. Currently, the RRC has jurisdiction over preventing damage on intrastate pipelines that begin and end in the state. The legislation requires all Commission contractors register with and participate in an "E-verify program" to verify employee information.


The State Legislature is now out of session. Two of the bills we’ve been following were passed and awaiting the Governor’s signature:


HB 2377, by Larson and Lucio III, Relating to the development of brackish groundwater. A landowner may drill and operate a well for a single-family dwelling, a landowner may drill and operate a well if, among other things, the well is used only for outdoor watering of landscape plantings on the property. 5/30/2017 Sent to the Governor. For more information go to:


SB 1525, by Perry, Relating to a study by the Texas Water Development Board of water needs and availability in this state. 5/28/2017 Sent to the Governor. For more information go to:


Henry M. Wise, P.G.

The Wise Report



Henry M. Wise, PG
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Government Update