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RULE §19.33Response

(a) When the General Land Office (GLO) receives notice of an actual or threatened unauthorized discharge of oil into Texas coastal waters, the GLO will determine whether state response action is required. If state response action is required, the GLO will assess the discharge and determine whether further response actions should be initiated or required. If assessments of the discharge indicate it involves predominantly a hazardous substance, the GLO shall coordinate all response actions until the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality can assume responsibility over hazardous substance discharge response operations. A substance is predominantly a hazardous substance when analytical testing of a representative sample indicates the presence of more than 50% of a substance that is not oil as defined by OSPRA, and that is a hazardous substance as defined by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or its successor agency. Pending results of analytical tests of the substance, the determination of its predominant characteristics shall be made by investigating the source of the discharge, its physical properties, and its behavior in the environment. The GLO will notify the trustees of the actual or threatened unauthorized discharge.

(b) In response to any actual or threatened unauthorized discharge, the commissioner may designate a state on-scene coordinator to act on the commissioner's behalf at the site of the actual or threatened discharge. It is the duty of the state on-scene coordinator, in cooperation with the federal on-scene coordinator, to assess in detail all aspects of the actual or threatened unauthorized discharge, evaluate and direct the responsible person's response activities, initiate and direct other response activities, carry out orders of the commissioner, and report at regular intervals to the commissioner. The state on-scene coordinator has an ongoing duty to evaluate, assess, and direct all response activities in order to insure compliance with applicable contingency plans, discharge response plans, and to ensure public health and safety, and to minimize to the greatest extent possible property damage and damages to natural resources.

(c) The GLO will coordinate its response with the federal on-scene coordinator and will contact other state agencies who have jurisdiction over the unauthorized discharge.

(d) Based on the assessment of the state on-scene coordinator, the GLO will determine whether and where to establish an on-scene command post. The state on-scene command post will serve as the single point of communication and coordination for state oversight and coordination of response actions. The post will be staffed until response operations are declared complete.

(e) The GLO will utilize the Incident Command System for all spills where a state on-scene coordinator is appointed by the commissioner.

Source Note: The provisions of this §19.33 adopted to be effective February 21, 1992, 17 TexReg 1109; amended to be effective March 6, 1995, 20 TexReg 1261; amended to be effective September 18, 2003, 28 TexReg 7996; amended to be effective January 27, 2013, 38 TexReg 296

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