Health & Safety Code Section 361.063
Preapplication Local Review Committee Process
(a)The commission shall encourage applicants for solid waste facilities or for hazardous waste management facilities to enter into agreements with affected persons to resolve issues of concern. During this process, persons are encouraged to identify issues of concern and work with the applicant to resolve those issues.
(b)The agreement shall be made through participation in a local review committee process that includes a good faith effort to identify issues of concern, describe them to the applicant, and attempt to resolve those issues before the hearing on the permit application begins. A person is not required to be a local review committee member to participate in a local review committee process.
(c)If an applicant decides to participate in a local review committee process, the applicant must file with the commission a notice of intent to file an application, setting forth the proposed location and type of hazardous waste management facility. A copy of the notice shall be delivered to the county judge of the county in which the facility is to be located. In addition, if the proposed facility is to be located in a municipality or the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality, a copy of the notice shall be delivered to the mayor of the municipality. The filing of the notice with the commission initiates the preapplication review process.
(d)Not later than the 15th day after the date the notice of intent is filed under Subsection (c), the local review committee shall be appointed. The commission shall adopt rules concerning the composition and appointment of a local review committee.
(e)The local review committee shall meet not later than the 21st day after the date the notice of intent is filed under Subsection (c). The preapplication review process must continue for 90 days unless the process is shortened or lengthened by agreement between the applicant and the local review committee.
(f)The commission, as appropriate, may award to a person, other than the applicant, who has participated in the local review committee process under this section concerning an application for a hazardous waste management facility all or a part of the person’s reasonable costs for technical studies and reports and expert witnesses associated with the presentation of evidence at the public hearing concerning issues that are raised by the person in the local review committee process and that are unresolved at the beginning of the hearing on the permit application. The total amount of awards granted to all persons under this subsection concerning an application may not exceed $25,000. In determining the appropriateness of the award, the commission shall consider whether:
(1)the evidence or analysis provided by the studies, reports, and witnesses is significant to the evaluation of the application;
(2)the evidence or analysis would otherwise not have been provided in the proceeding; and
(3)the local review committee was established in accordance with commission rules.
(g)Except as provided by Subsection (k), if an applicant has not entered into a local review committee process, the commission, in determining the appropriateness of an award of costs under Subsection (f), shall waive any requirement that the person affected has participated in a local review committee process.
(h)Except as provided by Subsection (k), costs awarded by the commission under Subsection (f) are assessed against the applicant. Rules shall be adopted for the award of those costs. Judicial review of an award of costs is under the substantial evidence rule as provided by Chapter 2001 (Administrative Procedure), Government Code.
(i)A local review committee shall:
(1)interact with the applicant in a structured manner during the preapplication review stage of the permitting process and, if necessary, during the technical review stage of the permitting process to raise and attempt to resolve both technical and nontechnical issues of concern; and
(2)produce a fact-finding report documenting resolved and unresolved issues and unanswered questions.
(j)The applicant must submit the report required under Subsection (i)(2) to the commission with its permit application.
(k)If an applicant, after reasonable efforts to determine if local opposition exists to its proposed facility, including discussing the proposed facility with the county judge and other elected officials, does not enter into a local review committee process because of no apparent opposition or because a local review committee is not established despite the applicant’s good faith efforts, costs may not be assessed against the applicant under Subsection (f).
(l)This section does not apply to:
(1)a solid waste or hazardous waste management facility for which an application was filed, or that was authorized to operate, as of September 1, 1985;
(2)amendments to applications that were pending on September 1, 1987; or
(3)changes in waste storage or processing operations at existing sites at which waste management activities were being conducted on September 1, 1987.
Section 361.063 — Preapplication Local Review Committee Process,
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/HS/htm/HS.361.htm#361.063 (accessed Nov. 25, 2023).