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RULE §19.12Facility Certification Requirements

(a) Applicability. This section applies to any person who operates a waterfront or offshore facility. If an operator controls part of a facility which is waterfront or offshore, the entire facility in which oil is handled or stored under the control of that operator must be covered by the discharge prevention and response certificate. Pipelines, flowlines, gathering lines, or transmission lines that transfer oil across an area of coastal waters are considered facilities. A combination of interrelated or adjacent tanks, impoundments, pipelines, gathering lines, flow lines, separator or treatment facilities, and other structures, equipment, or devices under common ownership or operation will be considered a single facility under OSPRA. Interrelated means the devices are all an integral part of one commercial or industrial operation or are managed and controlled by a single entity. The term includes facilities owned by units of federal, state, or local government, as well as privately owned facilities.

(b) Current certificate and implementation of certified plan required to operate. No entity may operate a waterfront or offshore facility without implementing a current discharge prevention and response plan that has been certified by the GLO. This requirement does not apply, however, to an entity that operates a facility and has obtained a waiver from the facility certification requirement pursuant to §19.4 of this title (relating to Waiver) or if an exemption applies to the facility.

(c) Certificate void when operator changes or facility classification level increases. A discharge prevention and response certificate is issued to a specific operator and for a particular facility classification level. When the operator of a facility changes, the discharge prevention and response certificate is void. The new operator of the facility will need to submit an application for a certificate to the GLO before beginning to operate the facility. A certificate is also void when the facility changes its operations in a manner that increases its facility classification level. If an operator increases storage capacity or installs new oil transfer lines at a facility, causing the facility classification to change from small to intermediate or large or from intermediate to large, the operator will need to apply for a new certificate in accordance with 31 TAC §19.12(d).

(d) Obtaining a discharge prevention and response certificate.

  (1) The operator of a facility must apply for a discharge prevention and response certificate by submitting a completed application form to the GLO. Application forms are available from the General Land Office, Oil Spill Prevention and Response Program, 1700 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701-1495 or from any regional office of the GLO. The application form can also be downloaded from the GLO's Oil Spill Prevention and Response Program website, www.glo.texas.gov/.

  (2) The certificate application must be signed by a representative of the facility operator who has approved the facility's discharge prevention and response plan and has the authority to commit the necessary resources to implement the plan.

  (3) After consultation with the GLO, the applicant must prepare and implement a discharge prevention and response plan that meets the requirements of §19.13 of this title (relating to Requirements for Discharge Prevention and Response Plans) and make the plan available to the GLO for review.

(e) Facility audits. After the GLO determines the application is administratively complete, the GLO may contact the facility operator to discuss the classification of the facility and the discharge prevention and response plan. The GLO will schedule an on-site audit and review of the facility's discharge prevention and response plan and its implementation. The audit will cover the following elements:

  (1) the facility's compliance with applicable regulations;

  (2) whether the discharge prevention and response plan adequately addresses all the applicable elements required by §19.13;

  (3) if the facility is an intermediate or large facility, whether the discharge prevention and response plan specifically addresses the requirements of §19.13(d) and (e); and

  (4) whether the discharge prevention and response plan has been implemented, or, if the facility is new, adequate steps have been taken to implement the discharge prevention and response plan.

(f) Additional information. After the on-site audit, the GLO may require an applicant to submit additional information to resolve any issues related to the applicant's discharge prevention and response preparedness. The GLO may also require an applicant to develop and implement additional measures to prevent and respond to unauthorized discharges of oil.

(g) Notification that certification requirements have been met. When the GLO determines the facility has submitted sufficient and accurate information in its application, has made available a discharge and prevention response plan, and has implemented the plan, the GLO will notify the facility operator that the certification requirements have been met and confirm the facility classification.

(h) Change at facility. If there is a change at the facility, the GLO must be notified in writing of the change within 15 days so that a determination of whether a new certificate is required can be made. Facility operators must re-apply for certification if the changes result in higher classification within 15 days of notice from the GLO that the facility classification has changed.

(i) Term for certificates. The GLO will issue certificates with a term of five years from the date of issuance. Each certificate will be assigned an identification number. The facility operator will regularly review and amend the facility information on the GLO's Oil Spill Prevention and Response Program interactive website, as appropriate. The identification number will be sent to the person who signed the application form, with instructions on how to update data on the website.

(j) Review of discharge prevention and response plan and inspection or audit of a facility. After a certificate is issued to a facility, the GLO can require the facility operator to submit to the GLO a complete copy of its discharge prevention and response plan for review.

  (1) A review of the plan and an inspection or audit of the facility can be required if the GLO determines that there has been a complaint, a spill, a change in ownership or operation at the facility, or the facility is not compliant with these rules or may not be adequately implementing its plan to prevent and respond to unauthorized discharges of oil.

  (2) The GLO can also review a plan and perform on-site inspections or audits to review a facility's implementation of the discharge prevention and response plan as part of the renewal process.

  (3) Inspections or audits will be performed annually.

(k) Exemptions. The following facilities that handle oil do not need to apply to the GLO for a discharge prevention and response certificate:

  (1) Mobile or portable oil-handling equipment, such as a mobile offshore drilling unit, when it is fixed in place for less than 90 days.

  (2) A farm, ranch, or residential property that stores up to and including 1,320 gallons of oil for farming, ranching, or residential purposes.

  (3) A facility that stores oil exclusively in underground tanks and does not transfer oil to vessels in the water.

  (4) A facility that stores or transfers oil only in containers with a volume of 55 gallons or less.

(l) Effect of certificate on other violations. Issuance of a certificate does not estop the state in an action brought under OSPRA, or any other law, from alleging a violation of any such law, other than failure to have a certificate.

Source Note: The provisions of this §19.12 adopted to be effective October 30, 2002, 27 TexReg 10037; amended to be effective September 18, 2003, 28 TexReg 7995; amended to be effective August 9, 2020, 45 TexReg 5364

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