Texas Attorney General Opinion: JM-1278 Page: 4 of 11
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Dr. Robert Bernstein - Page 4 (JM-1278)
Furthermore, the testimony offered in 1987 on behalf of
House Bill 1875 supports our conclusion that the legislature
intended counties and other local entities to have the power
to adopt more stringent standards. Several speakers at a
public hearing held in 1987 on House Bill 1875 referred to
the bill as a means of implementing minimum standards
statewide. Those speakers stated that minimum state stan-
dards would discourage incompetent installers from moving
from counties that currently regulated sewage disposal
systems and installers to counties without such regula-
tions.3 They also testified that the adoption of minimum
state standards in conjunction with a grant of authority to
authorized agents to collect permit fees, sea Health &
Safety Code 366.059, would encourage additional counties
to regulate sewage disposal systems locally and thereby
avoid departmental regulation within their jurisdictions.
No mention was made of any intent to restrict more stringent
Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, 14, at 3165 (legislation
adopting the Health and Safety Code intended as
recodification only; no substantive change intended);
see also Johnson v. City of Fort Worth, 774 S.W.2d 653,
654-55 (Tex. 1989) (with regard to nonsubstantive revisions
of statutory law, former statutes control over codified
language in cases of conflict); Attorney General Opinion
3. In 1987 sections 26.031 and 26.032 of the Water
Code authorized county commissioners courts to regulate
private sewage facilities within their jurisdictions.
Testimony at the public hearing indicated that between 70
and 110 counties were regulating sewage facilities and their
installers locally. Hearings on Tex. H.B. 1875 Before the
House Comm, on Natural Resources, 70th Leg. (March 25, 1987)
(testimonies of Larry Soward and R.J. King) (tapes on file
with House Technical Services). House Bill 1875 repealed
sections 26.031 and 26.032 effective September 1, 1989, the
date that the bill required the rules to be adopted by the
state under article 4477-7e to take effect. Acts 1987, 70th
Leg., ch. 406, 2-3, at 1938. Given the current language
of section 366.032(b) of the Health and Safety Code, the
prior language of section 5(c), and the public testimony
stating minimum state standards were needed for counties not
regulating sewage disposal facilities, the repeal of
sections 26.031 and 26.032 does not indicate any intent to
deprive counties of their authority to regulate on-site
sewage disposal facilities more stringently than the
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: JM-1278, text, 1990; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth273716/m1/4/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.