Law:Title 4. Navigation (Texas)

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Subtitle A. Waterways And Ports

Contents

Chapter 51. Texas Coastal Waterway Act

Section  51.001.  Short Title.

This chapter may be cited as the Texas Coastal Waterway Act.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  51.002.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Coastal marshes" means those soft, low-lying watery or wet lands and drainage areas in the coastal areas of the state that are of ecological significance to the environment and to the maintenance, preservation, and enhancement of wildlife and fisheries.

(2)  "Coastal public land" means:

(A)  the state-owned submerged land and the water overlying that land; and

(B)  state-owned islands or portions of islands that may be affected by the ebb and flow of the tide.

(3)  "Commission" means the Texas Transportation Commission.

(4)  "Gulf Intracoastal Waterway" means the main channel, not including tributaries or branches, of the shallow draft navigation channel running from the Sabine River southward to the Brownsville Ship Channel near Port Isabel that is known as the Gulf Intracoastal Canal.

(5)  "Department" means the Texas Department of Transportation.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.06(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  51.003.  Purpose.

In recognition of the economic benefit to the state of the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway, this state shall act as the nonfederal sponsor of the main channel of the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway from the Sabine River to the Brownsville Ship Channel in order to:

(1)  support the marine commerce and economy of this state by providing for the shallow draft navigation of the state's coastal waters in an environmentally sound manner;

(2)  prevent waste of publicly and privately owned natural resources;

(3)  prevent or minimize adverse impacts on the environment; and

(4)  maintain, preserve, and enhance wildlife and fisheries.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 191, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  51.004.  Cooperation With Other Entities.

(a) The commission shall cooperate with the Department of the Army, other federal and state agencies, navigation districts, port authorities, counties, and other appropriate persons to determine the state's federal local sponsorship requirements relating to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, shall fulfill those requirements, and shall satisfy the responsibilities of the nonfederal sponsor as determined by federal law.

(b)  The commission shall coordinate actions taken under this chapter that may have a significant environmental impact or effect on coastal public land, coastal marshes, wildlife, and fisheries with appropriate federal and state agencies that have environmental, wildlife, and fisheries responsibilities.

(c)  Within its authority and available resources, an agency or political subdivision of the state shall assist the commission in performing its duties under this chapter.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  51.005.  Land Acquisition.

(a) The commission may acquire by gift, purchase, or condemnation property or an interest in property that the commission considers necessary to enable it to meet its responsibilities under this chapter, including, except as provided by Subsection (b)(3), easements and rights-of-way for dredge material disposal sites or channel alteration.

(b)  The commission may not:

(1)  acquire oil, gas, sulphur, or other minerals that may be recovered without using the surface of land acquired by the commission for exploration, drilling, or mining purposes;

(2)  condemn any submerged public land under the jurisdiction of the School Land Board; or

(3)  condemn private property along Reach 1, Reach 2, Reach 4, Reach 5, and Reach 6 of the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway as defined by the Draft Laguna Madre GIWW Dredged Material Management Plan prepared by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Interagency Coordination Team dated October 11, 2002, for use as a disposal site for dredged material from the Laguna Madre unless the commission determines that:

(A)  there is no state or federal land available that can be used for that purpose; and

(B)  the state's failure to acquire the property will result in the closure of any segment of the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway located in this state.

(c)  An agency or political subdivision of the state may convey, without advertisement, title or rights and easements owned by the agency or political subdivision to any property the commission needs to meet its responsibilities under this chapter.

(d)  Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 191, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1457, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 191, Sec. 2, 4 eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  51.006.  Hearing Required Before Acquisition Of Property.

(a) Before the commission approves or implements a plan or project to acquire property or an interest in property under Section 51.005 for a dredge material disposal site or for an alteration of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway that requires the acquisition of additional property or an interest in property to meet its responsibilities under this chapter, the commission shall hold a public hearing to receive evidence and testimony concerning the desirability of the proposed dredge material disposal site or channel alteration.

(b)  The commission shall publish notice of a plan or project and the date, time, and place of a hearing at least once a week for three successive weeks before the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation that is published in the county seat of each county in which any part of a proposed dredge material disposal site or channel alteration is located.

(c)  The commission may approve the plan or project and implement it and acquire additional property if the commission determines, after the public hearing, that the proposed plan or project can be accomplished without an unjustifiable waste of publicly or privately owned natural resources or a permanent and substantial adverse impact on the environment, wildlife, or fisheries.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  51.007.  Evaluation And Report.

(a) In cooperation with appropriate persons, the commission shall continually evaluate the impact of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway on the state. The evaluation shall include:

(1)  an assessment of the importance of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway that includes identification of its direct and indirect beneficiaries;

(2)  identification of principal problems and possible solutions to those problems that includes estimated costs, economic benefits, and environmental effects;

(3)  an evaluation of the need for significant modifications to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway; and

(4)  specific recommendations for legislative action that the commission believes are in the best interest of the state in carrying out the state's duties under this chapter.

(b)  The commission shall publish a report of its evaluation and present the report to each regular session of the legislature.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  51.008.  School Land Board Power.

This chapter does not diminish the duty or power of the School Land Board to manage the coastal public land of the state.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  51.009.  Beneficial Use Of Dredge Material.

(a) The commission, through the department, may enter into an agreement with the Department of the Army to participate in the cost of a project to beneficially use material dredged from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

(b)  The commission by rule shall establish eligibility criteria for a project to beneficially use the dredge material.

(c)  In this section and Sections 51.010 and 51.011, beneficial use of dredge material means any productive and positive use of dredge material and includes broad use categories such as fish and wildlife habitat development, human recreation, and industrial and commercial uses.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.06(b), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  51.010.  Property Acquisition. The

commission, through the department, may acquire an interest in property required for a project to beneficially use dredge material in the manner provided by Section 51.005.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.06(b), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  51.011.  Hearing Required Before Participation In Project.

(a) Before the department agrees to participate in the cost of a project to beneficially use dredge material that requires the acquisition of an interest in property, the commission shall hold a public hearing on the desirability of the project.

(b)  The commission shall publish notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing at least once a week for three successive weeks before the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county seat of each county in which the project is located.

(c)  The department may agree to participate in the cost of the project if the commission determines, after the public hearing, that the project can be accomplished without unjustifiable waste of publicly or privately owned natural resources or a permanent and substantial adverse effect on the environment, wildlife, or fisheries.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.06(b), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  51.012.  Contracts With Landowners.

The commission may contract with a landowner for the use of land as a disposal site for dredged material.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 191, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section 51.013.  Dredged Material Disposal.

(a) The department shall condemn land for disposal of dredged material for the Laguna Madre section of the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway only in accordance with the Draft Laguna Madre GIWW Dredged Material Management Plan prepared by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Interagency Coordination Team dated October 11, 2002.

(b)  On request by a political subdivision, the commission may enter into a contract with a political subdivision to dispose of dredged material from the Highland Bayou Diversionary Canal on Placement Area 58A of the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway.

(c)  The commission may not charge a fee for disposal under Subsection (b).

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 191, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 242, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  51.014.  Substantive Changes To Dredged Material Disposal Plan.

The department shall seek approval of the legislature for any substantive changes to dredged material disposal management made in the final Laguna Madre GIWW Dredged Material Management Plan once the plan is published.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 191, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Chapter 52. Texas Deepwater Port Procedures Act

Section  52.001.  Short Title.

This chapter may be cited as the Texas Deepwater Port Procedures Act.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  52.002.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Adjacent coastal county" means a county bordering the Gulf of Mexico that has an onshore storage facility for a deepwater port for which an application has been filed.

(2)  "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the General Land Office or the commissioner's designated representative.

(3)  "Deepwater port" means a facility defined in Section 3(10), Deepwater Port Act of 1974 (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1502(10)), and includes an onshore storage tank facility and the pipelines located in this state that connect the onshore storage tank facility with an offshore facility of a deepwater port.

(4)  "Person" means an individual, association, organization, trust, partnership, or corporation.

(5)  "Secretary" means the United States secretary of transportation.

(6)  "State or local agency" means a board, commission, department, office, agency, or political subdivision of the state or of a county or municipality, or another public body created by or under state law.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  52.003.  General Administration. (a)

The governor shall approve or disapprove an application made to the secretary under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 (33 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) to own, construct, or operate a deepwater port off the Texas Gulf Coast.

(b)  The commissioner shall administer, implement, and coordinate the provisions of this chapter regarding a determination by state and local agencies of the application's compliance with state and local laws regarding environmental protection, land and water use, and coastal zone management.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  52.004.  Application: Governor's Duties.

(a) On receipt of a copy of an application from the secretary, the governor shall immediately send a copy to the attorney general and the commissioner.

(b)  If the governor determines that the application is substantially similar to an application previously reviewed under this chapter, the governor may approve or disapprove the application without further action under this chapter and notify the secretary of the action taken.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  52.005.  Application To Be Filed; Fee For Duplication And Mailing.

(a) A copy of the application shall be filed in the General Land Office and in the office of the county judge of the adjacent coastal county.

(b)  The public may inspect or duplicate the application during normal business hours. A reasonable fee may be charged for duplicating and mailing the application.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  52.006.  Duties Of Attorney General And Commissioner; Fee For Duplication And Mailing.

(a) Not later than the 30th day after the date of receiving a copy of the application from the governor, the attorney general shall send the governor and the commissioner a list of each state or local agency that the attorney general determines has jurisdiction to administer laws regarding environmental protection, land and water use, and coastal zone management in the area in which the deepwater port is located.

(b)  On receipt of the list, the commissioner shall immediately send a copy of the application to each state and local agency.

(c)  The applicant may be charged a reasonable fee to cover the cost of duplicating and mailing the application to the state and local agencies unless the applicant provides the necessary copies.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  52.007.  Publication Of Notice.

Not later than the 15th day after the date of receiving a copy of the application from the governor, the commissioner shall publish notice of the application in:

(1)  the Texas Register;

(2)  the newspaper having the greatest general circulation in Travis County and in each of the five most populous counties in the state; and

(3)  a newspaper in the adjacent coastal county and in each county that adjoins the adjacent coastal county in which notice is not otherwise required to be published under this section.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  52.008.  Report By Agencies.

(a) Not later than the 60th day after the date of receiving a copy of the application from the commissioner, a state or local agency notified under Section 52.006 shall report in writing to the commissioner the agency's determination of whether the application complies with laws, including rules and regulations, administered by the agency.

(b)  If an agency determines that the application does not comply with laws administered by that agency, the agency shall include in the report:

(1)  a detailed description of the manner in which the application does not comply; and

(2)  recommended changes that would enable the application to comply with those laws.

(c)  The commissioner shall send a copy of the agency's report to the applicant.

(d)  An applicant is entitled to:

(1)  respond in writing to the agency that issued the report; and

(2)  request and receive a public hearing before the commissioner on the provisions of the application that an agency has determined do not comply with laws administered by that agency.

(e)  If an agency fails to file a report within the period prescribed by Subsection (a), the application is presumed to comply with the laws administered by that agency.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  52.009.  Hearings. (a)

The commissioner may hold a public hearing after receiving the reports required under Section 52.008.

(b)  If the commissioner decides to hold a public hearing or if the applicant requests a hearing under Section 52.008(d)(2), the commissioner shall publish notice of the hearing in the publications described by Section 52.007.

(c)  Notice of the hearing must:

(1)  describe the purpose of the hearing; and

(2)  provide the date, time, and place of the hearing.

(d)  Notice of the hearing must be published and personal notice of the hearing, if any, must be given not later than the 10th day before the date set for the hearing.

(e)  The commissioner may consolidate a hearing held under this section with the hearing that is required to be held in this state by the secretary under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1501 et seq.).

(f)  A hearing held under this section must be concluded not later than the 120th day after the date the commissioner receives the application from the governor. The commissioner may hold a hearing after that date if:

(1)  the required federal hearing in this state has not been held; and

(2)  the commissioner decides to consolidate the hearings and gives notice of the decision.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  52.010.  Report By Commissioner.

(a) Notwithstanding Section 52.009(f), not later than the 150th day after the date of receiving a copy of the application from the governor, the commissioner shall send the governor:

(1)  a written report summarizing the reports submitted by state and local agencies under Section 52.008; and

(2)  a transcript of the testimony from each public hearing the commissioner held on the application, including each consolidated hearing.

(b)  If the commissioner's report contains a determination by a state or local agency that the application does not comply with a law relating to environmental protection, land and water use, or coastal zone management, the commissioner shall include in the report:

(1)  the manner in which the application does not comply; and

(2)  recommended changes that would enable the application to comply with the law.

(c)  If the commissioner fails to report to the governor within the period prescribed by Subsection (a), the application is presumed to comply with state and local law.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  52.011.  Approval By Governor. (a)

On receipt of the commissioner's report and not later than 45 days after the last public hearing held by the secretary as required by Section 5(g) of the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1504(g)), the governor shall notify the secretary whether the governor approves or disapproves an application.

(b)  The governor may disapprove an application if the governor concludes the application does not comply with state law regarding environmental protection, land and water use, and coastal zone management.

(c)  If the governor determines the application can be amended to comply with those state laws, the governor may approve the application and notify the secretary of:

(1)  the manner in which the application does not comply; and

(2)  recommended changes that would enable the application to comply with those state laws.

(d)  The governor shall send a copy of the notification to the secretary, the applicant, the commissioner, and each state and local agency that was notified under Section 52.006.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  52.012.  Effect On Other Laws.

This chapter does not affect the power or activities of a state or local agency and does not change or repeal the statutes regarding those agencies.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.


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