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RULE §20.3Violations and Enforcement Actions

(a) Violations. In addition to any other violations that may arise under requirements of the Texas Agriculture Code, Chapter 74, or regulations adopted pursuant to the Texas Agriculture Code, Chapter 71 or Chapter 74:

  (1) Failure to comply with cotton stalk destruction requirements outlined in Subchapter C of this chapter (relating to Stalk Destruction Program) or Subchapter D of this chapter (relating to Regulation of Volunteer and Other Noncommercial Cotton; Hostable Cotton Fee) constitutes a violation.

  (2) Cotton that is allowed to develop fruiting structures after the destruction deadline constitutes a violation, if the producer or responsible party fails to submit a required hostable commercial cotton fee or a hostable noncommercial cotton fee.

(b) Enforcement Actions.

  (1) The department may direct any means of conveyance containing plants, plant products, or other items susceptible to cotton pest contamination to an authorized inspection point for treatment or reinspection prior to entering a restricted area. To minimize the risk of contamination of a restricted area by such means of conveyance discovered or apprehended in restricted areas, the department may seize and maintain control over the means of conveyance and it's relevant contents until the department is satisfied that they are safely decontaminated or that they no longer pose a threat to the quarantine. Any costs associated with such decontamination (including the cost of decontamination, transportation of the means of conveyance, destruction of contaminated materials, and special materials that the department may deem necessary to prevent regulated materials from leaving the means of conveyance) are the responsibility of the violator(s).

  (2) Any violation of these rules is subject to civil and criminal penalties. In addition, the department may revoke a certificate or compliance agreement, and/or assess administrative penalties as prescribed in the Texas Agriculture Code, §12.020, against any person for a violation of these rules and/or for failure to adhere to the conditions of a protection plan.

Source Note: The provisions of this §20.3 adopted to be effective September 2, 1996, 21 TexReg 7967; amended to be effective July 9, 2001, 26 TexReg 4996; amended to be effective August 25, 2002, 27 TexReg 7511; amended to be effective August 1, 2004, 29 TexReg 7089; amended to be effective September 1, 2009, 34 TexReg 5897

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