We are writing you first with some good news on eminent domain reform. As of yesterday, Kolkhorst's omnibus bill SB421 passed. No, it doesn't look like the same bill as it first started, but it will incrementally improve the process.
Schwertner's SB555 on landowners not paying property taxes also passed the Senate. So now there are 5 bills passed through the Senate which also include SB554, SB553, and SB552 which collectively address the repurchase of property where a project doesn't progress within 10 years, the purchase of additional needed property other than the easement, and survey permission. All now move to their respective House committees.
But we write you regarding 2 bills on Monday which will be heard in Energy Resources upon House adjournment in E2.010 (I think if you got there by noon you would be good as far as your arrival to register):
HB4423 establishes monies or bonds that a pipeline needs to deposit for needed surface remediation for an easement if the proper reclamation doesn't happen per your easement agreement -- and also off the easement if the operator fails or is unable to do so.
HB4060 authorizes a fee from pipeline companies to promote pipeline emergency preparedness to be administered by the Texas Railroad Commission. This includes training, evacuation routes, training, equipment, and more. This fund is established for pipelines more than 20" in diameter and within the range of communities, counties, or districts that meet certain criteria.
These bills are both offered by Rep. Erin Zwiener of the Kyle area. Both are attached.
These are the members of the Committee you want to write or call. I encourage you, if you are a landowner and can't come Monday, that you send these Representatives photos of how your pipeline easements look or any damage outside your easement and tell them why this bill is needed:
Chris Paddie (chair - 512.463.0556)or firstname.lastname@example.org
Abel Herrero (vice chair - 512.463.0462) or email@example.com
Rafael Anchia (512.463.0746) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ernest Bailes (512.463.0570) or email@example.com
Tom Craddick (512.463.0500) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Darby, (512.463.0331) or email@example.com
Charlie Geren (512.463.0610) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Roland Gutierrez, (512.463.0452) or email@example.com
Cody Harris (512.463.0730) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Ann Perez (512.46.0460) or email@example.com
Jon Rosenthal (512.463.0722) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas Landowners for Eminent Domain Reform
PS Be sure to read our most recent newsletter -- this message from TLEDR came in a tad too late for it.