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RULE §15.13Disaster Recovery Orders

  (1) A local government may issue a certificate or permit for persons to construct clay core dunes and dunes created solely with beach quality sand landward of the public beach and seaward of the boundary of the public beach in the restoration area. A local government shall ensure that the restoration area shall follow the natural meander or migration of the post-storm boundary of the public beach. A local government may issue permits and certification to allow the restoration of dunes on the public beach only under the following conditions:

    (A) Restored dunes may be located farther seaward than the restoration area only to the limited extent necessary to minimize further damage to coastal residents and littoral property, provided such dunes shall not substantially restrict or interfere with the public use of the beach at normal high tide.

    (B) A local government shall not allow any person to restore dunes, even within the restoration area, if such dunes would effectively prohibit access to or use of the public beach at normal high tide.

  (2) Under no circumstances may sand or other materials be placed below mean high tide without the consent of the commissioner.

(h) Authorized methods and materials for recovery dune restoration. A local government may allow the following methods or materials for recovery dune restoration:

  (1) Dune restoration methods or materials allowed in §15.7(e)(6) of this title (relating to Local Government Management of the Public Beach);

  (2) Clay core dunes; provided, that clay or sandy clay used for this purpose must be covered with beach-quality sand, to a depth of at least 24 inches, and such sand cover must be maintained; provided, if clay is exposed, it must be recovered with sand to maintain the minimum 24-inch cover or removed; and

  (3) Recovery dunes constructed under this section must not:

    (A) result in increased flooding to the site or adjacent property;

    (B) aggravate erosion;

    (C) result in adverse effects to dune hydrology;

    (D) increase the vulnerability to washouts or blowouts; or

    (E) interfere with the public's access to the beach at normal high tide.

  (4) A local government shall require persons using vegetation to restore dunes to use indigenous dune vegetation.

(i) Review of dune protection line. A local government having the authority to set the dune protection line shall review the dune protection line within one year from the date of the disaster recovery order issued under this section rather than 90 days required under §15.3(k) of this title. All other requirements of §15.3(k) of this title shall apply.

(j) Authorized beach access and dune protection measures.

  (1) In areas within 200 feet of the line of vegetation in an eroding area, the local government may:

    (A) use the landward toe of a restored dune for determining the area in which the use of fibercrete is allowed unless natural dunes form further landward. In eroding areas where there is no dune or the dune has been obliterated by the disaster that precipitated the order, the provisions of §15.6(f)(5) of this title (relating to Concurrent Dune Protection and Beachfront Construction Standards) apply until a restored dune has been established in the area as determined by a local government.

    (B) allow construction underneath, outside, or around the house that includes fibercrete or other materials necessary to restore reasonable access to a house for disabled persons; provided that such access existed prior to the disaster that is the subject of an order under this section. This provision also applies to a house that has become located on the beach or where there is no dune.

  (2) A local government may provide temporary access to beaches from off-beach parking areas by directing the public to the nearest existing pathways to minimize the effects on dunes and dune vegetation until dunes and walkovers are re-established or rebuilt. Temporary pathways shall be conspicuously marked as beach access paths.

  (3) A local government may, without a plan amendment, temporarily close beach access points damaged beyond repair or temporarily blocked by emergency shore protection projects to prevent damage to infrastructure. In order to comply with this rule a local government must notify the commissioner in writing of the temporary closure of such damaged beach access point within 10 calendar days and specify the duration of the closure. The local government must ensure that the period of limited beach access in that area does not exceed the duration of the disaster recovery order and must submit to the commissioner a timeline for amending the local plan or a remedy to restore access no later than six months prior to the expiration of the disaster recovery order issued under this section.

(k) Shoreline protection project repairs. Except for the general prohibition on maintaining or repairing erosion response structures in §15.6(d) of this title, a local government may authorize repairs to an existing shoreline protection project, subject to the following limitations:

  (1) Repairs to existing shoreline protection projects may be permitted to minimize further damage to coastal residences and littoral property, provided the existing shoreline protection project does not substantially restrict or interfere with the public use and access of the beach at normal high tide;

  (2) A local government shall not authorize any person to repair a shoreline protection project that is located below the boundary of coastal public land; and

  (3) The existing shoreline protection project must conform to the policies of the General Land Office promulgated in §26.26(b) of this title (relating to Policies for Construction in the Beach/Dune System).

(l) Prohibition on certain materials. A local government shall not allow any person to undertake dune restoration projects or temporary shoreline protection projects using any of the following methods or materials:

  (1) Materials such as bulkheads, riprap, concrete (including sprayed concrete), or asphalt rubble, building construction materials, and any non-biodegradable items;

  (2) Sediments containing the hazardous substances listed in Appendix A to §302.4 in Volume 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 302 in concentrations which are harmful to people, flora, and fauna as determined by applicable, relevant, and appropriate requirements for toxicity standards established by the local, state, and federal governments; or

  (3) Sand obtained by scraping or grading dunes, or from beaches in eroding areas.

(m) Repair of sewage or septic systems. If the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or its designated local authority, the Texas Department of State Health Services, or a local health department has made a determination that a sewage or septic system located on or adjacent to the public beach poses a threat to the health of the occupants of the property or public health, safety, or welfare, and requires removal of the sewage or septic system, the sewage or septic system shall be located in accordance with §15.5(b)(1) of this title (relating to Beachfront Construction Standards) and §15.6(b) and (e)(1) of this title.

(n) Authorized beach maintenance practices. If a material change in conditions occurs, such as significant beach erosion caused by a declared or natural disaster, the commissioner may require a local government affected by an order issued under this section to suspend the authority of a permittee to scrape a beach under a previously issued beach maintenance permit. The local government may require a permittee to obtain a new permit incorporating beach maintenance practices consistent with the changed conditions. The commissioner shall be given an opportunity to comment on any such new permit application.

(o) Removal of beach debris. The GLO is responsible for clearing debris from the public beach in accordance with Texas Natural Resources Code, §61.067. While an order issued under this section is in effect, a local government with the duty to clean and maintain the public beach shall coordinate with the GLO and, where appropriate, littoral property owners to remove beach debris from the public beach as soon as possible. All beach debris collected from the public beach shall be removed from the beach/dune system and disposed of in an appropriate landfill.

(p) GLO review. A local government shall submit the certificate or permit applications for recovery repair, recovery dune restoration, or any other activity authorized under this section to the commissioner for review. If the commissioner does not object to or otherwise comment on the application within 10 working days of receipt of an application, the local government may act on the application. Local governments shall require that all permit and certificate applicants fully disclose in the application all items and information necessary for the local government to make a determination Cont'd...

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