<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
RULE §523.1Scope and Jurisdiction

(a) The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (State Board) is the lead agency in this state for activity relating to abating agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint source pollution.

  (1) Nonpoint source pollution is pollution caused by diffuse sources that are not regulated as point sources and normally is associated with, but is not limited to agricultural, silvicultural, and urban runoff including construction activities. Such pollution is the result of human-made or human-induced alteration of the chemical, physical, biological, and radiological integrity of water. In practical terms nonpoint source pollution does not result from a discharge at a specific, single location (such as a single pipe) but generally results from land runoff, precipitation, atmospheric deposition, or percolation. Pollution from nonpoint sources occurs when the rate at which pollutant materials entering water bodies or groundwater exceeds natural rates or total loadings exceed natural loadings.

    (A) Possible nonpoint source pollutants associated with agricultural and silvicultural activities include nutrients, pesticides, organic matter, sediment, and animal wastes. These pollutants may be transported to surface waters in solution with runoff water, suspended in runoff water, or adsorbed on eroded soil particles. The primary concern about agricultural and silvicultural impacts on groundwater relate to use of pesticides, nutrients and potential leaching of these compounds to groundwater or surface runoff entering groundwater through avenues such as abandoned and improperly constructed wells.

    (B) Animal feeding operations, in their entirety as a single functioning facility, may be considered a point or a nonpoint source depending on size, location, and other considerations. For the purposes of this chapter, all animal feeding operations not required to obtain a permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are nonpoint sources.

  (2) Agriculture includes, but is not limited to, the following activities: cultivating the soil; producing crops for human food, animal feed, planting seed, or fiber; floriculture; viticulture; horticulture; aquaculture; raising or keeping livestock or poultry; and planting cover crops or leaving land idle for the purpose of participating in any governmental program or normal crop or livestock rotation procedure.

  (3) Silviculture includes, but is not limited to, the following activities: practices to establish, nurture, protect, and enhance the desired growth of trees for human and/or wildlife benefit; natural or planted afforestation; the propagation and culture of tree seedlings, tree saplings, and Christmas trees; controlling, suppressing, or culling unwanted woody or herbaceous vegetation in a forested area; establishing and/or maintaining strips or belts of trees for purposes of providing wildlife habitat, wind breaks, or riparian buffers; construction and maintenance of roads and fire lanes; practices and operations that facilitate the harvesting, handling, and removing timber products from a site where they were grown.

(b) As the lead agency, the State Board shall plan, implement, and manage programs and practices for abating agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint source pollution. At a minimum, these programs shall include:

  (1) a water quality management plan certification program required by Agriculture Code §201.026(g);

  (2) a nonpoint source grant program funded by §319(h) of the federal Clean Water Act, as well as available non-federal appropriations provided by the Texas Legislature, to initiate planning, assessment, education, demonstration, research, or implementation projects and programs associated with the effective administration of the Texas Nonpoint Source Management Program;

  (3) a total maximum daily load program in cooperation with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and as required by §303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act; the State Board may enter into an agreement with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality regarding the effective coordination of agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint source pollution components of total maximum daily loads and total maximum daily load implementation plans; and;

  (4) a coastal nonpoint source pollution control program as required by §6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990 in cooperation with the Coastal Coordination Council and the Texas Coastal Management Program as required by Natural Resources Code §33.052.

Source Note: The provisions of this §523.1 adopted to be effective December 22, 1993, 18 TexReg 9106; amended to be effective March 21, 2004, 29 TexReg 2652; amended to be effective June 21, 2006, 31 TexReg 4867; amended to be effective December 23, 2008, 33 TexReg 10325; amended to be effective July 8, 2013, 38 TexReg 4384

Link to Texas Secretary of State Home Page | link to Texas Register home page | link to Texas Administrative Code home page | link to Open Meetings home page