FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2019
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
REP. GUILLEN MEASURE TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY
AUSTIN - Today in a hearing held by the Natural Resources committee, State Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rural South Texas) laid out HB 3142, which would establish a system in order to provide automatic reminders to operators of water systems and increase oversight in an effort to improve the quality of Texas' public drinking water.
"The results of multiple studies show that thousands of Texans drink water that contains hazardous materials, including arsenic, radium and lead in amounts that exceed federal standards," Guillen informed. "This is simply unacceptable and an issue that we need to work to address immediately."
During 2016-2017, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) issued 21,890 violations to public water systems that did not employ minimally acceptable operating practices for water quality testing, water quality violations for lead and copper and for failure to provide public notification in a timely manner. Approximately 85.1% of total reports annually submitted are violations of reporting or notification requirements. Failure to submit valid analytical data and proper reporting limits TCEQ's ability to verify compliance with drinking water standards.
The issue can largely be attributed to the current lack of consistent oversight of water systems throughout the state. HB 3142 would address this through the establishment of a system for providing automatic reminders to operators of water systems, helping to ensure reports are completed and submitted. The cost for creating the system is not anticipated to be significant and could be absorbed within existing resources.
"Access to clean drinking water is a basic necessity that cannot be taken for granted," added Guillen. "Texans deserve the peace of mind knowing that the water they drink is safe."
Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at ryanguillen.com, facebook.com/representative.guillen, and twitter.com/ryanguillen