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TITLE 31NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
PART 1GENERAL LAND OFFICE
CHAPTER 19OIL SPILL PREVENTION AND RESPONSE
SUBCHAPTER AGENERAL PROVISIONS
RULE §19.2Definitions

(a) The following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Coastal waters--All tidally influenced waters extending from the head of tide in the arms of the Gulf of Mexico seaward to the three marine league limit of Texas' jurisdiction; and non-tidally influenced waters extending from the head of tide in the arms of the Gulf of Mexico inland to the point at which navigation by regulated vessels is naturally or artificially obstructed. The term includes the entirety of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) within Texas, and the following waters: starting from Echo, Texas, located in Orange County, and proceeding south on the Sabine River to the intersection with the GIWW, thence westerly along the GIWW, including Adams Bayou, to 0.7 miles upstream of IH-10, and Cow Bayou, to IH-10. This includes the Neches River in Orange County to 7.0 miles upstream of IH-10. Then along the GIWW towards Port Arthur, including Taylors Bayou south of Highway 73. From Port Arthur along the GIWW to, and including, East Bay, Trinity Bay, Cedar Bayou to 1.4 miles upstream of IH-10 in Harris/Chambers County, Lynchburg Canal to 29 degrees 41'00"N, 94 degrees 59'00"W, San Jacinto River in Harris County to the Lake Houston Dam, and the Houston Ship Channel to the turning basin. Tidal tributaries of the Houston Ship Channel include: Buffalo Bayou to .25 miles upstream of Shepherd Drive, Brays Bayou to the Broadway Street Bridge, Sims Bayou to Highway 225, Vince Bayou to North Ritchie Street, Hunting Bayou to I-10, Greens Bayou to I-10, Boggy Bayou to Highway 225, Tucker Bayou to Old Battleground Road, Carpenter's Bayou to Sheldon Road, and Goose Creek to Highway 146. Proceed south and include Barbours Cut, Bayport Channel, Clear Lake to .063 miles upstream of FM 528 in Galveston/Harris County, Dickinson Bay, Dickinson Bayou 2.5 miles downstream of FM 517 in Galveston County, Moses Lake, Dollar Bay, Texas City Channel (including turning basin), Swan Lake, Jones Bay, and continuing at the junction of West Bay and the GIWW in Galveston County. Continue westerly along the GIWW to the Port of Freeport, including Greens Lake, Chocolate Bay, Chocolate Bayou to 2.6 miles downstream of SH 35, the Old Brazos River and the New Brazos River up to the Missouri-Pacific Railroad bridge in Brazoria County, and the Dow Barge Canal. Then southerly along the GIWW through and including Jones Lake and Creek, the San Bernard River to 2.0 miles upstream of SH 35, Cowtrap Lake, Matagorda Bay, the Colorado River to 1.3 miles downstream of the Missouri-Pacific Railroad in Matagorda County, to the Port of Bay City, Culver Cut (West Branch Colorado River to 28 degrees 42'N and the entire middle branch), Crab Lake, Oyster Lake, Tres Palacios Bay, Turtle Bay, Caranchua Bay, Keller Bay, Cox Bay, Lavaca Bay, Lavaca River to 5.3 miles downstream of U.S. 59 in Jackson County, Chocolate Bay/Bayou, Powderhorn Lake, Robinsons Lake, Blind Bayou, La Salle Bayou, Broad Bayou, and Boggy Bayou. Continuing southerly on GIWW from Port O'Connor through San Antonio Bay including: Guadalupe Bay, Mission Lake, Green Lake, Victoria Barge Canal, Guadalupe River to the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority Salt Water Barrier 0.4 miles downstream of the confluence of the San Antonio River, Goff Bayou, Hog Bayou, Corey Bay, Buffalo Lake, Alligator Slide Lake, Twin Lake, Mustang Lake, and Jones Lake. Then continuing through Mesquite Bay including: Dunham Bay, Long Lake, Sundown Bay, and the Aransas Wildlife Refuge. Continuing southerly through St. Charles Bay including: Burgentine Bay/Burgentine Creek to 28 degrees 17'N, Salt Creek to 28 degrees 16'N, and Cavaso Creek to 97 degrees 01'W. Then through Copano Bay, including Copano Creek, Mission Bay, Mission River to 4.6 miles downstream of U.S. 77, Chiltipin Creek, Aransas River to 3.3 miles upstream of Chiltipin Creek in Refugio/San Patricio County, Swan Lake, Port Bay, and Salt Lake. Then southerly including: Little Bay, Aransas Bay, Conn Brown Harbor, Redfish Cove, Redfish Bay, La Quinta Channel, Nueces River to Calallen Dam 1.1 miles upstream of U.S. 77/IH 37 in Nueces/San Patricio County, Rincon Industrial Channel, Rincon Bayou, Nueces Bay, Tule Lake, Corpus Christi Inner Harbor, Oso Creek, Oso Bay, Cayo Del Oso, and Corpus Christi Bay. Continuing south, through and including Packery Channel, Laguna Madre, Baffin Bay, Alazan Bay, Cayo del Hinoso, Petrolino Creek from the confluence of Chiltipin Creek in Kleberg County to 0.6 miles upstream of private road crossing near Laurless Ranch, Cayo Del Infiernillo, Cayo del Grullo, Laguna Salada, Laguna de los Olmos, and Comitas Lake. Continuing through the Laguna Madre to Redfish Bay, Port Mansfield Harbor, Four Mile Slough, Cayo Atascosa, Laguna Atascosa, Arroyo Colorado Cutoff, El Realito Bay, Laguna Vista Cove, Port Isabel Harbor, Brownsville Ship Channel, Bahia Grande, Vadia Ancha, San Martin Lake, South Bay, and the Arroyo Colorado River to .063 miles downstream of Cemetery Road south of Port Harlingen in Cameron County. Then southerly to the Rio Grande River to 6.7 miles downstream of the International Bridge in Cameron County. Where the coastal area is defined by a body of water such as a bay or lake, it includes any small bays or lakes encompassed therein.

  (2) Commissioner--The commissioner of the General Land Office.

  (3) Discharge cleanup organization--A corporation, partnership, proprietorship, organization, or association that intends to make itself available to engage in response actions to abate, contain, or remove an unauthorized discharge or pollution or damage from an unauthorized discharge.

  (4) Environmentally sensitive areas--Streams and water bodies, aquifer recharge zones, springs, wetlands, bird rookeries, endangered and threatened species (flora and fauna) habitat, wildlife preserves or conservation areas, parks, beaches, dunes, or any other area protected or managed for its natural resource value.

  (5) Facility--Any waterfront or offshore pipeline, structure, equipment, or device used for the purposes of drilling for, pumping, storing, handling, or transferring oil and operating where a discharge of oil from the facility could threaten coastal waters, including but not limited to any such facility owned or operated by a public utility or a governmental or quasi-governmental body, but does not include any temporary storage facilities used only in connection with the containment and cleanup of unauthorized discharges of oil.

  (6) Fund--The coastal protection fund established under OSPRA.

  (7) Federal fund--The oil spill liability trust fund established under OPA.

  (8) Handle--To transfer, transport, pump, treat, process, store, dispose of, drill for, or produce.

  (9) Harmful quantity of oil--The presence of oil from an unauthorized discharge in a quantity sufficient either to create a visible film or sheen upon or discoloration of the surface of the water or a shoreline, tidal flat, beach, or marsh, or to cause a sludge or emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or on a shoreline, tidal flat, beach, or marsh.

  (10) National contingency plan--The plan prepared under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 United States Code §1321 et seq.) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 United States Code §9601 et seq.), as revised from time to time.

  (11) Oil--Means oil of any kind or in any form, including but not limited to crude oil, petroleum, fuel oil, sludge, oil refuse, and oil mixed with wastes other than dredged spoil, but does not include petroleum, including crude oil or any fraction thereof, which is specifically listed or designated as a hazardous substance under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), §101(14), Subparagraphs (A)-(F) (42 United States Code §9601 et seq.), and which is subject to the provisions of that Act, and which is so designated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

  (12) OPA--The Oil Pollution Act of 1990, Public Law 101-380.

  (13) OSPRA--The Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act of 1991, Natural Resources Code, Chapter 40.

  (14) Owner or operator--Any person, individual, partnership, corporation, association, governmental unit, or public or private organization of any character:

    (A) owning, operating or responsible for operating, or chartering by demise a vessel;

    (B) owning, operating, or responsible for operating a facility; or

    (C) operating a facility by lease, contract, or other form of agreement. The term does not include a person who owns only the land underlying a facility or a person who owns only a security interest in a vessel or facility if the person does not participate in the operation of the vessel or facility, does not own a controlling interest in the owner or operator of the vessel or facility, and is not controlled by or under common ownership with the owner or operator of the vessel or facility.

  (15) Regulated vessel--A vessel with a capacity to carry 10,000 U.S. gallons or more of oil as fuel or cargo.

  (16) Secondary Containment--appropriate and functioning impervious containment or diversionary structures or equipment, including walls and floors, that must capture and contain oil and are constructed to hold the full capacity of any discharge from the associated structure, or hold the full capacity of the largest primary containment structure in a system, so that the discharge will not escape the containment system before cleanup is complete. Secondary containment may include:

    (A) For onshore facilities:

      (i) Dikes, berms, retaining walls, and weirs;

      (ii) Culverts, gutters, and other draining systems;

      (iii) Curbing and drip pans;

      (iv) Sumps, retention ponds, and other collection systems; and

      (v) Double-walled tanks.

    (B) For offshore facilities:

      (i) Curbing and drip pans;

      (ii) Sumps, retention ponds, and collection systems; and

      (iii) Double-walled tanks.

  (17) Unauthorized discharge--Discharges; excluding those authorized by and in compliance with a government permit, seepage from the earth solely from natural causes, and unavoidable, minute discharges of oil from a properly functioning engine, of a harmful quantity of oil:

    (A) into coastal waters; or

    (B) on any waters or land adjacent to coastal waters where harmful quantities of oil may enter coastal waters or threaten to enter coastal waters if the discharge is not abated nor contained and the oil is not removed.

  (18) Underground storage tank--Any tank or container used for storing oil which is located completely under the surface of the earth. Tanks which are partially buried, or which are contained in aboveground vaults or other aboveground containment structures are not considered underground tanks for the purpose of certification requirements under these sections.

  (19) Underwriter--An insurer, a surety company, a guarantor, or any other person, other than an owner or operator of a vessel or facility, that undertakes to pay all or part of the liability of an owner or operator.

  (20) Waste--Oil or contaminated soil, debris, and other substances removed from coastal waters and adjacent waters, shorelines, estuaries, tidal flats, beaches, or marshes in response to an unauthorized discharge. Waste means any solid, liquid, or other material intended to be disposed of or discarded and generated as a result of an unauthorized discharge of oil. Waste does not include substances intended to be recycled if they are in fact recycled within 90 days of their generation or if they are brought to a recycling facility within that time.

  (21) Worst case unauthorized discharge--The largest foreseeable unauthorized discharge under adverse weather conditions. For facilities located above the high water line of coastal waters, a worst case discharge includes those occurring in weather conditions most likely to cause oil discharged from the facility to enter coastal waters.

  (22) Coastal Facility Designation Line--The Coastal Facility Designation Line delineates the area within which a facility may be subject to the certification requirements of §19.12 of this title (relating to Facility Certification). The line does not delineate OSPRA's response or notification requirements; rather, it gives notice to facilities located coastward of the line that they may be subject to facility certification requirements. A description of the coastal facility designation line and a map can be found in Appendix 1.

Attached Graphic

  (23) Offshore--Located on submerged lands below mean high tide in coastal waters.

  (24) Waterfront--Located within 100 yards of coastal waters.

(b) All other terms used in this chapter and defined in OSPRA have the meaning assigned to them by OSPRA.


Source Note: The provisions of this §19.2 adopted to be effective February 21, 1992, 17 TexReg 1109; amended to be effective September 16, 1992, 17 TexReg 6009; amended to be effective May 14, 1993, 18 TexReg 2849; amended to be effective March 6, 1995, 20 TexReg 1261; amended to be effective October 30, 2002, 27 TexReg 10036; amended to be effective September 18, 2003, 28 TexReg 7994; amended to be effective January 27, 2013, 38 TexReg 295; amended to be effective August 9, 2020, 45 TexReg 5361

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