HB 92 Modifies provisions relating to the Department of Natural Resources

Current Bill Summary

- Prepared by Senate Research -


SS/HB 92 - This act modifies provisions relating to the Department of Natural Resources.

STATE OIL AND GAS COUNCIL (Sections 259.010-259.030, 259.070) - Currently, the State Oil and Gas Council is composed of 8 members with 1 being from the Division of Geology and Land Survey. This act replaces this member with the State Geologist. This act also removes the requirement that one of the public members on the Council be a resident of a third or fourth class county. Additionally, this act removes the Division of Geology and Land Survey from the advisory committee to the Council and replaces it with the Department of Natural Resources.

Currently, the State Oil and Gas Council has certain authority, including entering property for inspecting oil and gas wells and initiating investigations by the Attorney General. This act also confers this authority to the Department of Natural Resources. Conversely, the State Oil and Gas Council is currently authorized to inspect or investigate property believed to be subject to regulation. This act transfers this authority from the Council to the Department of Natural Resources.

OIL AND GAS RESOURCES FUND & OIL AND GAS REMEDIAL FUND (Sections 259.052 & 259.190) - This act creates the Oil and Gas Resources Fund consisting of appropriated moneys as well as permit application fees, operating fees, closure fees, late fees, severance fees, and gifts. Such money shall be use to administer provisions of law relating to oil and gas.

Currently, the Oil and Gas Remedial Fund may be used to pay the expenses incurred by the State Oil and Gas Council. This act repeals this provision.

SURETY BONDS (Section 259.100) - Currently, applicants seeking a permit for noncommercial gas wells are required to file a bond or other instrument of credit. This act removes the allowance to file any other instrument of credit.

PERMITS (Section 259.080) - This act requires that a permit be obtained from the State Geologist prior to commencing injection activities for enhanced recovery of oil or gas or for the disposal of fluid.

FEE STRUCTURE (Section 259.080) - Currently, the State Oil and Gas Council does not charge a fee for obtaining a permit for drilling operations. Under this act, the State Oil and Gas Council may authorize the Department of Natural Resources to file an order of rulemaking amending the fee structure for permit application fees, operating fees, closure fees, late fees, and extraction or severance fees after certain procedures are followed as set forth in this act. Such authority to revise the fee structure in this manner shall expire in 2025. If any applicant fails to pay the appropriate fee, a penalty may be assessed and relief may be sought by the Department of Natural Resources in the appropriate circuit court.

SPACING UNITS (Section 259.100) - Currently, orders regarding spacing units are entered by the State Geologist. This act instead requires that the Department of Natural Resources enter the order.

Currently, spacing units set by the Council do not apply to noncommercial gas wells. This act removes this exemption.

PENALTIES (Section 259.210) - Currently, the State Oil and Gas Council is required to bring suit against any person appearing to violate provisions of law relating to oil and gas. Under this act, the Department of Natural Resources or the Council may request that the Attorney General bring such suit.

AUDITS (Sections 29.380 & 260.325) - Currently, the State Auditor shall conduct audits of solid waste management districts and may request reimbursement for such audits. Under this act, the State Auditor may conduct audits and may request reimbursement for such audits with the reimbursement deposited in the Petition Audit Revolving Trust Fund. If the Auditor does request such reimbursement, the solid waste management districts shall reimburse the Auditor for such audits. Such reimbursement shall be limited to 2% of the solid waste management district's annual allocation.

This act also modifies the frequency of financial audits for solid waste management districts. Currently, districts receiving more than $200,000 annually are required to have an annual audit while districts receiving less than $200,000 are required to have an audit every 2 years. The Department of Natural Resources is required to audit district grants every 3 years. Under this act, districts receiving more than $800,000 annually are required to have an annual audit, while districts receiving $800,000 or less but more than $250,000 are required to have an audit every 2 years. All other districts shall be monitored every 2 years by the Department of Natural Resources, and they may be required to arrange an independent audit. Further, the Department shall audit district grants every 5 years, or as deemed necessary based upon district grantee performance.

SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PROJECTS (Sections 260.200 & 260.335) - This act defines the term "solid waste management projects" and changes certain references to "projects" to "solid waste management projects".

TEXTILES (Section 260.250) - Currently, solid waste management districts are required to address the recycling, reuse and handling of certain products. This act adds textiles to this requirement.

EXECUTIVE BOARDS (Sections 260.320 & 260.324) - Currently, Solid Waste Management District Executive Boards are required to encourage small businesses to engage and compete in the delivery of recycling and solid waste management services. Under this act, an executive board shall not perform solid waste management projects that compete with a qualified private enterprise.

No person shall be disqualified from receiving a grant for providing solid waste management and recycling services if they have a familial relationship with any member of the Solid Waste Management District Executive Board. However, their grant application must be approved by a vote of 2/3 of the board and such executive board member shall abstain from voting on the grant application or such member shall forfeit membership on the Solid Waste Management District Executive Board and Council.

SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PLANS (Sections 260.225 & 260.325) -

The Department of Natural Resources is required to prepare model solid waste management plans. This act requires that the plans provide for economical recycling and waste management through regional and district cooperation.

Currently, any county within a region that is not a member of a district is required to submit a solid waste management plan to the Department of Natural Resources. This act repeals this requirement.

ALLOCATION OF SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT FUND MONEYS & GRANTS (Sections 260.330 & 260.335) - Currently, the moratorium on increasing the sanitary landfill tipping fee, the demolition landfill tipping fee, and the transfer station tipping fee is set to expire in 2017. This act extends the moratorium to 2027.

This act lists criteria that solid waste management districts may use in establishing district grant priority. Any allocated district moneys remaining at the fiscal year due to inadequate grant applications shall be reallocated for grant applications in subsequent years and projects other than district operations. Any district moneys remaining after 5 years shall revert to the Solid Waste Management Fund.

Currently, the Department of Natural Resources is not required to approve or deny grant applications in a specified number of days. This act sets forth a timeline for which DNR is required to either approve or deny an application.

SOLID WASTE ADVISORY BOARD (Section 260.345) - Currently, the Solid Waste Advisory Board is composed of the chairman of the executive board of each solid waste management district. Under this act, the Board shall be composed of the chairman of the executive board of each solid waste management district, or his or her designee. Currently, 5 additional members are appointed to the Board by the Director of the Department of Natural Resources. This act changes the appointing authority from the Director of the Department to the Program Director of the Solid Waste Management Program.

This act modifies the duties of the Solid Waste Advisory Board by requiring that the Board submit an annual report to the Department of Natural Resources on a number of subjects, including unfunded solid waste management projects. This act also requires the Board to prepare an annual report to committees in the General Assembly regarding solid waste.

Under this act, the Solid Waste Advisory Board is required to hold regular meetings on a quarterly basis. A special meeting of the Board may occur under certain conditions. In addition, this act modifies the conditions under which the Board may conduct business.

The provisions of this act relating specifically to solid waste are substantially similar to the perfected SCS/SB 152 (2015).

WATERS OF THE STATE (Sections 260.500 & 644.016) - This act modifies the definition of "waters of the state" by adding that such waters include all waters that are within the jurisdiction of this state and removing the words "and includes waters of the United States lying within the state" in relation to the provisions of law relating to hazardous substance cleanup and the Missouri Clean Water Law.

These provisions are identical to a provision contained in HCS/SS/SB 476 (2015), and is similar to SB 285 (2015).

SULFUR DIOXIDE AMBIENT AIR QUALITY (Section 643.650) - This act requires owners of a coal-fired electric generating source in a National Ambient Air Quality Standards nonattainment area to develop an ambient air quality monitoring or modeling network to characterize the sulfur dioxide air quality surrounding the source. The network shall operate for at least 12 consecutive quarters. This act requires the owner of such source to notify the Department of Natural Resources of the manner in which it intends to characterize the air quality around the source, and if the owner elects to use monitoring the owner shall be consulted by the Department and the location of such monitoring network shall be approved by the Department.

Under this act, the Department of Natural Resources shall not submit its recommendation on the designation process to the Environmental Protection Agency on the manner of air quality data collection that is inconsistent with monitoring or modeling elections. Additionally, the Department of Natural Resource shall not propose to the Air Conservation Commission any sulfur dioxide emission limitation unless such limitation has been agreed to by both the Department and the owner of the affected source. Nothing in this act shall prohibit the Department from entering into an agreement with an owner of an electric generating source to limit or reduce sulfur dioxide emissions.

This provision is identical to the perfected SCS/SB 445 (2015), and is substantially similar to HB 1084 (2015).

MISSOURI CLEAN WATER LAW POLICY STATEMENT (Section 644.011) - This act modifies the policy statement of the Missouri Clean Water Law by stating that it is the policy of this state to strive to meet the objectives of the Missouri Clean Water Law while maintaining maximum employment and full industrial development of this state. This act also states that the Clean Water Commission shall seek the accomplishment of the objectives of the Missouri Clean Water Law by all practical and economically feasible methods.

This provision is identical to SB 358 (2015).

FINDING OF AFFORDABILITY (Section 644.145) - Currently, the Department of Natural Resources is required to perform a finding of affordability when issuing permits under the Missouri Clean Water Law for discharges from certain publicly owned treatment works. This act also requires that such finding of affordability be performed when issuing permits for discharges from water or sewer treatment works.

Currently, the definitions of "affordability" and "finding of affordability" are measured by whether an individual customer or household with an income equal to the lower of the median household income can pay the utility bill without undue hardship. Under this act, the measurement would be whether such household with an income equal to or lower than the median household income can pay such bill without hardship and without making unreasonable sacrifices in the individual or household's lifestyle.

This provision is identical to HCS/HB 1058 (2015).

DNR PERMIT DECISION APPEAL PROCEDURES (Sections 260.235,260.395, 444.600, 444.773, 444.980, 621.250, 640.115, 643.075, 643.078, 644.051, 644.056) - Currently, when certain permits or licenses are issued, renewed, denied, suspended, or revoked by the Department of Natural Resources, the decision is often appealable to the commission with appropriate jurisdiction within the Department, including the Hazardous Waste Management Commission, the Safe Drinking Water Commission, the Air Conservation Commission, the Clean Water Commission, and the Missouri Mining Commission. Under this aact, when certain permits or licenses are issued, renewed, denied, suspended, or revoked by the Department, the applicant, or in some cases any aggrieved party, may appeal such decision by filing a petition with the Administrative Hearing Commission within 30 days. The Administrative Hearing Commission may consider certain factors regarding permit decisions for mining as set forth in this act. Under this act, the Administrative Hearing Commission would then issue a recommended decision to the commission with appropriate jurisdiction within the Department regarding the permit or license. The commission with appropriate jurisdiction shall then issue the final decision, and such decision shall be subject to judicial review except the Administrative Hearing Commission shall issue the final decision for all permits relating to solid waste.

Currently, the Director of the Department of Natural Resources is required to order an abatement, file an abatement complaint with the Clean Water Commission, or file a complaint to revoke a permit when a violation of the Missouri Clean Water Law has failed to be corrected. Under this act, the Director may not revoke a permit but may request legal action by the Attorney General.

These provisions are substantially similar to SB 225 (2015).

This act is similar to SCS/SB 968 (2014) and the perfected SS/SB 476 (2015).

KAYLA CRIDER


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