Sen. John Carona’s statement earlier today questioned an amendment to the TxDOT sunset bill advocated by Sen. Juan Hinojosa. Hinojosa has released to the Senate (and public) a letter in response to Carona. “My amendment to HB 300 contains the entirety of SB 1572, a bill I authored in response to a growing number of unregulated tire disposal sites appearing throughout Texas. One such disposal site, located in Hawkins, Texas, just 112 miles from your Senate district, caught fire last Monday, May 25, prompting the evacuation of homes, schools, nearby colleges and an assisted living community. After three years of repeated attempts by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to compel the operators to clean their tire dump, TCEQ had to appeal to the Attorney General’s office for action. Note that the TCEQ appealed on several occasions to General Abbott for aid in forcing the operators of the Hawkins dump to account for their mess. Still, the state could not nothing,” the letter explains.   Hinojosa then goes on to explain that Hidalgo County officials contacted him about a pending permit at the TCEQ regarding a new tire site that they had no option for public comment. That prompted him to file the bill, which then passed out of the Senate on the local calendar and died in the House.   “I did not attempt an end-run around the legislative process. I went so far as to have my staff work directly with the Legislative council drafting attorney to insure that my language proved germane. TxDOT is made a partner with TCEQ in finding tire recycling alternatives prior to authorizing a new tire dump,” Hinojosa wrote.