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RULE §213.23Plan Processing and Approval

(a) Approval by executive director.

  (1) No person may begin the construction of any regulated activity until a contributing zone plan or modification to a plan as required by §213.21 of this title (relating to Applicability and Persons or Entity Required to Apply) has been:

    (A) filed with the appropriate regional office, and

    (B) the application has been reviewed and approval letter issued by the executive director.

  (2) The appropriate regional office shall provide copies of applications to affected incorporated cities, groundwater conservation districts, and counties in which the proposed regulated activity will be located. These copies will be distributed within five days of the application being determined to be administratively complete. Any person may file comments within 30 days of the date the application is mailed to local governmental entities. The executive director shall review all comments that are timely filed.

  (3) A complete application for approval of a contributing zone plan, as described in this section, must be submitted with a copy of the notice of intent and the appropriate fee as specified in §213.27 of this title (relating to Contributing Zone Plan Application and Exception Fees). The application may be submitted to the executive director for approval prior to the submittal of the notice of intent to the EPA.

(b) Contents of application. Applications for contributing zone plan approval filed under this subchapter must be made on forms provided by or approved by the executive director. Each application must, at a minimum, include the following:

  (1) the name of the development, subdivision, or facility for which the application is submitted and the name, address, and telephone number of the owner or any other persons signing the application;

  (2) a narrative description of the location of the project or facility for which the application is submitted, presenting sufficient detail and clarity so that the project site and its boundaries can be located during a field inspection;

  (3) a technical report as described under §213.24 of this title must accompany the application for plan approval; and

  (4) any additional information needed by the executive director for plan approval.

(c) Submission of application.

  (1) Submit one original and one copy for the executive director's review and additional copies as needed for each affected incorporated city, groundwater conservation district, and county in which the proposed regulated activities will be located. The copies must be submitted to the appropriate regional office.

  (2) Only the following may submit an application for review and approval by the executive director:

    (A) owner(s);

    (B) the owner(s)' authorized agent(s); or

    (C) those persons having the right to possess and control the property which is the subject of the contributing zone plan.

(d) Signatories to applications. All applications must be signed as specified under §213.4(d)(1) of this title (relating to Required Signature). The executive director requires written proof of authorization for any person signing an application.

(e) Executive director review. The executive director must complete the review of an application within 90 days after determining that it is administratively complete. The executive director must declare that the application is administratively complete or deficient within 30 days of receipt by the appropriate regional office. Grounds for a deficient application include, but are not limited to, failure to include all information listed in this section and failure to pay all applicable application fees.

(f) Additional provisions. As a condition of contributing zone plan approval, the executive director may impose additional provisions necessary to protect the Edwards Aquifer from pollution. The executive director may conditionally approve a contributing zone plan or impose special conditions on the approval of a contributing zone plan. Upon inspection, the executive director may require the applicant to take additional measures if the activities do not conform to an approved plan or the plan did not address all potential sources of pollution as required by these rules.

(g) Term of approval. The executive director's approval of a contributing zone plan will expire two years after the date of initial issuance, unless prior to the expiration date, substantial construction related to the approved plan has commenced. For purposes of this subsection, substantial construction is where more than ten percent of total construction has commenced. If a written request for an extension is filed under the provisions of this subsection, the approved plan continues in effect until the executive director acts on the request for an extension.

  (1) A written request for an extension must be received not earlier than 60 days prior to the expiration date of an approved contributing zone plan or a previously approved extension. Requests for extensions are subject to fees outlined in §213.28 of this title (relating to Fees Related to Requests For Contributing Zone Plan Approval Extension).

  (2) An executive director's approved extension will expire six months after the original expiration date of the approved contributing zone plan or a previously approved extension unless prior to the expiration date, commencement of construction, repair, or replacement related to the approved plan has occurred.

  (3) A plan approval will expire and no extension will be granted if less than 50 percent of the total construction has been completed within ten years from the initial approval of a plan. A new plan must be submitted to the appropriate regional office with the appropriate fees for review and approval by the executive director prior to commencing any additional regulated activities.

  (4) Any requests for extensions received by the executive director after the expiration date of an approved contributing zone plan or a previously approved extension will not be accepted. A new application for the purposes of this subchapter must be submitted to the appropriate regional office with the appropriate fees for the review and approval by the executive director.

  (5) An extension will not be granted if the proposed regulated activity under an approved plan has changed.

(h) Legal transfer of property. Upon legal transfer of property, the new owner(s) is required to comply with all terms of the approved contributing zone plan. If the new owner intends to commence any new regulated activity on the site, a new application for plan approval for the new activity must be filed with and approved by the executive director beforehand.

(i) Modification of a previously approved plan. The holder of any approved contributing zone plan letter must notify the appropriate regional office in writing and obtain approval from the executive director prior to initiating any of the following:

  (1) any physical or operational modification of any best management practices or structure(s), including but not limited to temporary or permanent ponds, dams, berms, silt fences, and diversionary structures;

  (2) any change in the nature or character of the regulated activity from that which was originally approved;

  (3) a change that would significantly impact the ability to prevent pollution of the Edwards Aquifer and hydrologically connected surface water; or

  (4) any development of land previously identified in a contributing zone plan as undeveloped.

(j) Compliance. The holder of the approved or conditionally approved contributing zone plan letter is responsible for compliance with this subchapter and the approved plan. The holder is also responsible for any special conditions of an approved plan through all phases of plan implementation. Failure to comply with any rule or condition of the executive director's approval is a violation of this rule and is subject to administrative orders and penalties as provided under §213.25 of this title (relating to Enforcement). Such violations may also be subject to civil penalties and injunction.

(k) Responsibility for maintenance of permanent best management practices (BMPs) and measures after construction is complete.

  (1) The applicant shall be responsible for maintaining the permanent BMPs after construction until such time as the maintenance obligation is either assumed in writing by another entity having ownership or control of the property (such as without limitation, an owner's association, a new property owner or lessee, a district, or municipality) or the ownership of the property is transferred to the entity. Such entity shall then be responsible for maintenance until another entity assumes such obligations in writing or ownership is transferred.

  (2) A copy of the transfer of responsibility must be filed with the executive director at the appropriate regional office within 30 days of the assumption of the obligation or the transfer of ownership.

  (3) This section applies to:

    (A) multiple single-family residential developments, multi-family residential, and

    (B) non-residential developments such as commercial, industrial, institutional, schools, and other sites where regulated activities occur.

Source Note: The provisions of this §213.23 adopted to be effective June 1, 1999, 23 TexReg 10489; amended to be effective July 18, 2002, 27 TexReg 6311

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