|(a) Definitions. The following words and terms, when
used in this section, have the following meanings, unless the context
clearly indicates otherwise.
(1) Beneficial use project--The productive and positive
use of dredged material as proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
(2) Federal interagency coordination team--A group
established to review proposed federal development projects related
to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and whose duties include advising
on the determinations of consistency with the Texas Coastal Management
(3) (GIWW) Gulf Intracoastal Waterway--The main channel,
not including tributaries or branches, of the shallow draft navigation
channel running from the Sabine River southward along the Texas coast
to the Brownsville Ship Channel near Port Isabel.
(4) (GIWAC) Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Advisory Committee--An
interagency committee comprised of members appointed by the department
to represent state agencies having jurisdiction in the protection
of the state's natural, historic, and economic resources. The GIWAC
is created for the purpose of advising and assisting the department:
(A) in developing a unified method to address problems
and recommend solutions for the needs of the GIWW, for the protection
of the environment and the state's natural and historic resources
affected by the GIWW, and for the promotion of the economic welfare
of the state's interest in the GIWW;
(B) in developing proposals for a disposal plan or
a beneficial use project that will address dredged material disposal
involving a segment of the GIWW identified by the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers as in need of maintenance dredging; and
(C) on the acquisition of disposal sites in an environmentally
sensitive and operationally suitable manner.
(A) for a city, the area within the incorporated city
limits and the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a city; and
(B) for a county, any area within the boundaries of
that county, excluding incorporated areas and areas within the extraterritorial
jurisdiction of a city.
(b) Federal and nonfederal sponsorship. The U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers is responsible for maintaining the GIWW. The commission,
under Transportation Code, Chapter 51, is the nonfederal sponsor of
(c) Initiation of proposed disposal plans or beneficial
(1) Disposal plan. The department may participate in
the development of a disposal plan for dredged material.
(2) Laguna Madre disposal plans. Legislative approval
is necessary for any substantive changes to the disposal plan developed
for the Laguna Madre reach of the GIWW dated October 11, 2002.
(3) Beneficial use project. The department may participate
in the development of a beneficial use project for dredged material.
(A) Proposals. The department will accept from the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposals for beneficial use projects
in the broad use categories of:
(i) habitat development;
(ii) beach nourishment;
(iv) parks and recreation;
(v) agriculture, forestry, and horticulture;
(vi) strip mine reclamation and solid waste management;
(vii) shoreline stabilization and erosion control;
(viii) construction and industrial use;
(ix) material transfer, such as transfer for fill,
dikes, levees, parking lots, roads; and
(x) multiple purposes, which is a combination of two
or more of the categories listed in this subparagraph on a single
(B) Submittal of proposals. The U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers will submit proposals in writing to the executive director
or the executive director's designee. The proposals will include:
(i) a description of the proposed beneficial use project
and anticipated benefits;
(ii) a map delineating the location or locations of
the proposed beneficial use project;
(iii) a proposed project schedule including an anticipated
(iv) a detailed estimate of the project cost, including
an estimate of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' financial contributions
to the project; and
(v) a plan addressing the operation and maintenance
of the facility created by or benefiting from the beneficial use project.
(4) Early coordination. The department will initiate
and oversee early coordination with appropriate state and federal
agencies to develop a proposal for disposal plans or beneficial use
(A) The department will use a task force to investigate
disposal plans and beneficial use projects and evaluate the environmental
and operational suitability of each. The task force will include representatives
from state and federal agencies having jurisdiction in the protection
of the state's natural, historic, and economic resources, and the
GIWAC or federal interagency coordination team.
(B) The department or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
will lead any field investigations. The task force agencies will be
requested to participate in field investigations and to provide to
the department written evaluations of the disposal plans and beneficial
use projects investigated.
(C) The GIWAC or federal interagency coordination team
will review the investigations and discuss with the department any
proposed disposal alternatives or beneficial use projects.
(d) Preparation of environmental review document. Upon
the identification of a disposal proposal or beneficial use proposal
related to the GIWW, the department will assist with the preparation
of the environmental review document by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
under 42 U.S.C. §§4321 et seq. and applicable federal rules.
The department will assist with any public participation process conducted
by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
(e) Procedures for state acquisition of real property.
If the commission proposes the acquisition of real property necessary
to enable it to meet its responsibilities as the nonfederal sponsor
of the GIWW, or if the commission proposes to participate in the cost
of a project to beneficially use dredge material that requires the
acquisition of an interest in real property, the commission will complete
the following procedures.
(1) Public hearing. The commission, through the department,
will hold a public hearing to receive evidence and testimony concerning
the desirability of the plan or project.
(A) The department will publish notice of a plan or
project and the date, time, and place of a hearing at least once a
week for three successive weeks before the hearing in a newspaper
of general circulation that is published in the county seat of each
county in which any part of a proposed dredge material disposal site,
channel alteration, or beneficial use project would be located.
(B) The commission also will publish notice of the
hearing in at least one edition of the Texas
(C) The department will also publish notice of the
hearing on the department's website.
(D) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' environmental
documents and findings will be on display at the public hearing.
(E) Comments, testimony, or evidence may be given in
person or in writing during the public hearing or may be submitted
in writing to the department during the prescribed public comment
(2) Commission approval. After the public hearing the
commission may approve a plan or project under this paragraph, and
implement it including the acquisition of real property, if it determines
(A) The proposed plan or project can be accomplished
without an unjustifiable waste of publicly or privately owned natural
resources or a permanent and substantial adverse impact on the environment,
wildlife, or fisheries.
(B) For a project to beneficially use dredge material,
in addition to the requirements of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph,
(i) is proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;
(ii) proposes one or more beneficial use activities
having a direct relationship of function or impact to the GIWW;
(iii) has substantial local support, as evidenced through
the public participation process and documentation, including, at
a minimum, a resolution or other official document from the governing
body of the city or county with jurisdiction over the project area
or if the project area is located in more than one jurisdiction, from
the governing body of the city or county within which a majority of
the project area is located, in consultation with the other involved
jurisdictions. For the purposes of this clause, the jurisdiction of
a city is the area within the incorporated limits and the extraterritorial
jurisdiction of the city, and the jurisdiction of a county is the
area within the boundaries of the county, excluding incorporated areas
and areas within the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a city;
(iv) is limited to a logical unit of work and capable
of being implemented and completed within a reasonable time as determined
by the department;
(v) is consistent with the Texas Coastal Management
(vi) is consistent with the financial participation
requirements of this clause.
(I) The commission will establish an eligible cost
of the proposed beneficial use project by calculating the total estimated
cost of the project in excess of the established federal standard
for dredged material disposal. Except as provided in subclause (II)
of this clause, the department's financial participation in the project
will not exceed 50 percent of eligible cost.
(II) The commission may authorize participation at
levels exceeding 50 percent if the commission determines the additional
participation will result in extraordinary environmental or economic
benefits or the costs are reasonably comparable to the costs of providing
property to accommodate traditional upland disposal.
(III) Department funding may not be used for maintenance
or operation of a beneficial use project.
(3) Commission agreement. If the commission approves
department participation in a beneficial use project, the commission
will enter into an agreement with the U.S. Department of the Army
to participate in the cost of the project.
(f) Public participation for state acquisition of real
property. Before conducting a public hearing required by subsection
(e) of this section, the department will conduct the following additional
(1) Preliminary involvement.
(A) The department will notify a public or private
landowner of a parcel's environmental and operational suitability
for the proposed disposal plan or beneficial use project, and offer
to meet with the landowner to answer any questions about the proposed
disposal plan or beneficial use project.
(B) The department also will notify the landowner of
any public meeting or public hearing on the proposed disposal plan
or beneficial use project.
(C) Meetings on the proposed disposal plan or beneficial
use project, as one form of public participation, will be held with
individuals owning property adjacent to the project and with other
affected property owners, such as businesses and governmental entities
that may be affected, if those individuals or owners request such
(D) Public meetings, as another form of public participation,
may be held in accordance with paragraph (2) of this subsection.
(2) Public meetings. Notice of a public meeting will
be advertised through legal notices in a newspaper of general circulation
published in the county seat of each county in which the proposed
dredged material disposal plan or beneficial use project is located.
The notice will also be posted on the department's website.