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RULE §9.27Application for an Exception to a Safety Rule

(a) A person may apply for an exception to the provisions of this chapter by filing LPG Form 25 along with supporting documentation, and a $50 filing fee with AFS.

(b) The application shall contain the following:

  (1) the section number of any rules for which an exception is being requested;

  (2) the type of relief desired, including the exception requested and any information which may assist AFS in comprehending the requested exception;

  (3) a concise statement of facts which support the applicant's request for the exception, such as the reason for the exception, the safety aspects of the exception, and the social and/or economic impact of the exception;

  (4) for all stationary installations, regardless of size, a description of the acreage and/or address upon which the subject of the exception will be located. The description shall be in writing and shall include:

    (A) a site drawing;

    (B) sufficient identification of the site so that determination of property boundaries may be made;

    (C) a plat from the applicable appraisal district indicating the ownership of the land;

    (D) the legal authority under which the applicant, if not the owner, is permitted occupancy;

  (5) the name, business address, and telephone number of the applicant and of the authorized agent, if any; and

  (6) a list of the names and addresses of all interested entities as defined in subsection (c) of this section.

(c) Notice of the application for an exception to a safety rule.

  (1) The applicant shall send a copy of LPG Form 25 by certified mail, return receipt requested, or otherwise delivered to all affected entities as specified in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection on the same date on which the form or application is filed with or sent to AFS. The applicant shall include a notice to the affected entities that any objection shall be filed with AFS within 18 calendar days of postmark or other delivery of the application. The applicant shall file all return receipts with AFS as proof of notice.

  (2) If an exception is requested for a stationary site, affected entities to whom the applicant shall give notice shall include but not be limited to:

    (A) persons and businesses owning or occupying property adjacent to the site;

    (B) the city council or fire marshal, if the site is within municipal limits; and

    (C) the county Commission, if the site is not within any municipal limits.

  (3) If an exception is requested for a motor or mobile fuel installation affected entities to whom the applicant shall give notice shall include but not be limited to:

    (A) the Texas Department of Public Safety; and

    (B) all processed gas loading and unloading facilities utilized by the applicant.

  (4) AFS may require an applicant to give notice to persons in addition to those listed in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection if doing so will not prejudice the rights of any entity.

(d) Objections to the requested exception shall be in writing, filed at AFS within 18 calendar days of the postmark of the application, and shall be based on facts that tend to demonstrate that, as proposed, the exception would have an adverse effect on public health, safety, or welfare. AFS may decline to consider objections based solely on claims of diminished property or esthetic values in the area.

(e) AFS shall review the application within 21 business days of receipt of the application.

  (1) If AFS does not receive any objections from any affected entities as defined in subsection (c) of this section, the director may administratively grant the exception if the director determines that the installation, as proposed, does not adversely affect the health or safety of the public. AFS shall notify the applicant in writing by the end of the 21-day review period and, if approved, the installation shall be installed within one year from the date of approval. AFS shall also advise the applicant at the end of the objection period as to whether any objections were received and whether the applicant may proceed.

  (2) If the AFS director denies the exception, AFS shall notify the applicant in writing, outlining the reasons and any specific deficiencies.

  (3) The applicant may modify the application to correct the deficiencies and resubmit the application along with a $30 resubmission fee, or may request a hearing on the matter.

  (4) To be granted a hearing, the applicant shall file a written request for hearing within 14 calendar days of receiving notice of the administrative denial.

  (5) A hearing shall be held when AFS receives an objection as set out in subsection (d) of this section from any affected entity, or when the applicant requests one following an administrative denial. AFS shall forward the request for hearing to the Hearings Division.

(f) Applicants intentionally submitting incorrect or misleading information are subject to penalties in the Texas Natural Resources Code, §91.143, and the filing of incorrect or misleading information shall be grounds for dismissing the application with prejudice.

(g) After hearing, exceptions to this chapter may be granted by the Commission if the Commission finds that granting the exception for the installation, as proposed, will not adversely affect the safety of the public.

(h) A request for an exception shall expire if it is inactive for three months after the date of the letter in which the applicant was notified by AFS of an incomplete request. The applicant may restart the application process.

Source Note: The provisions of this §9.27 adopted to be effective February 1, 2001, 26 TexReg 947; amended to be effective September 1, 2005, 30 TexReg 4810; amended to be effective February 1, 2008, 33 TexReg 122; amended to be effective December 24, 2012, 37 TexReg 9913; amended to be effective January 6, 2020, 45 TexReg 127

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