The Facts

  • Texas does not currently require state agencies to perform a cost-benefit analysis for new regulations in most circumstances. A current requirement that RIA be done for “major” new environmental rules has been invoked only once in 14 years.
  • The Texas Administrative Procedures Act requires an estimate of the fiscal implications of new rules for state and local government but not for costs for private business and Texas residents.
  • In the 82nd Legislature, Rep. Ken Legler introduced HB 125, which would have implemented RIA requirements for new TCEQ regulations. HB 125 passed the House, but did not make it to the Senate floor in time for passage.



  • Before imposing new regulations, Texas agencies should be required to do a three-step regulatory impact analysis that: 1) identifies the problem the rule is intended to address, 2) estimates the rule’s environmental effectiveness, and 3) estimates the financial cost directly on regulated entities and indirectly on Texas citizens.
  • In conducting this analysis, actual monitored data (credible, representative measures of actual air quality) should trump modeled data (computer simulations of projected air quality).
  • Performance measures for regulatory agencies should include measured outcomes (i.e., measurable improvement in air quality, water quality) and not merely outputs (i.e., number of permits, enforcement actions).