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RULE §80.105Preliminary Hearings

(a) After the required notice has been issued, the judge shall convene a preliminary hearing to consider the jurisdiction of the commission over the proceeding. A preliminary hearing is not required in an enforcement matter, except in those under federally authorized underground injection control or Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System programs. A preliminary hearing is required for applications referred to the State Office of Administrative Hearings under §55.210 of this title (relating to Direct Referrals).

(b) If jurisdiction is established, the judge shall:

  (1) name the parties;

  (2) accept public comment in the following matters:

    (A) enforcement hearings; and

    (B) applications under Texas Water Code (TWC), §11.036 or §11.041 and TWC, Chapter 13;

  (3) establish a docket control order designed to complete the proceeding within the maximum expected duration set by the commission. The order should include a discovery and procedural schedule including a mechanism for the timely and expeditious resolution of discovery disputes; and

  (4) allow the parties an opportunity for settlement negotiations.

(c) When agreed to by all parties in attendance at the preliminary hearing, the judge may proceed with the evidentiary hearing on the same date of the first preliminary hearing.

(d) One or more preliminary hearings may be held to discuss:

  (1) formulating and simplifying issues;

  (2) evaluating the necessity or desirability of amending pleadings;

  (3) all pending motions;

  (4) stipulations;

  (5) the procedure at the hearing;

  (6) specifying the number and identity of witnesses;

  (7) filing and exchanging prepared testimony and exhibits;

  (8) scheduling discovery;

  (9) setting a schedule for filing, responding to, and hearing of dispositive motions; and

  (10) other matters that may expedite or facilitate the hearing process.

(e) For applications directly referred under §55.210 of this title, a preliminary hearing may not be held until the executive director's response to public comment has been provided.

Source Note: The provisions of this §80.105 adopted to be effective June 6, 1996, 21 TexReg 4763; amended to be effective December 1, 1997, 22 TexReg 11381; amended to be effective September 23, 1999, 24 TexReg 8276; amended to be effective December 27, 2001, 26 TexReg 10611; amended to be effective December 31, 2015, 40 TexReg 9680; amended to be effective January 3, 2019, 43 TexReg 8611

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