Natural Resources

Community Enhancement / Business Climate / Agenda for Economic Vitality: Business Climate / Natural Resources

An expanding area like Round Rock needs to remain aware of its impact on its natural resources and take steps to ensure those resources are continually available. The chamber is working on maintaining a balance that accounts for all needs.

Agenda for Economic Vitality natural resources positions:

Clean air attainment

  • Support efforts to achieve attainment of national ambient air quality standards that help near non-attainment areas stay in attainment, ensure that the responsibility for emission reductions is shared equitably among all emission sources, and provide sources of emissions the maximum flexibility in obtaining permit authorizations in order to efficiently achieve reductions.
  • Support efforts by the Legislature to establish the authority of the TCEQ to acknowledge the contribution of foreign sources of air pollution, incorporate foreign contributions into Texas’ air quality implementation plans and petition the EPA for approval of such plans.

Environmental regulatory structure

  • Support an environmental regulatory structure that bases state law on the enactment of federal environmental laws and regulations so that consistency is maintained, regulation occurs at the state level, and the maximum flexibility is afforded to Texas businesses as long as equivalent environmental protection is achieved.
  • Support environmental regulatory structure based on sound science and introduces compliance changes at a business friendly rate.

Cost of federal and state regulations

  • Oppose any new taxes to pay for additional environmental regulatory programs. Oppose the imposition of any new fees to recover the cost of regulatory programs unless the program can be shown to clearly address a critical environmental or public health need. Fees should only be assessed to recover the actual costs imposed on government by the activities of the regulated entities, must reasonably allocate costs between members of a regulated universe and must be adjusted periodically to actually match agency budgets and legislative appropriations.

Endangered Species Act

  • Support reforms to the Endangered Species Act to ensure that sound science, economic impacts, and cost-benefit considerations are the foundation of species-protection strategies.

Statewide water plan

  • Support appropriations to fund the state water plan.

Permit process streamlining

  • Support legislation to streamline the permitting process to ensure that businesses can maintain environmental compliance and at the same time minimize roadblocks that result in expensive procedural delays.

Texas Emissions Reductions Plan funding

  • Support Texas Emissions Reduction Plan funding to improve air quality, enhance public health, and promote economic prosperity.

Read the Agenda for Economic Vitality in its entirety.