|(a) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to set
out procedures for commission review of groundwater conservation district
(GCD) noncompliance with requirements of Texas Water Code (TWC), Chapter
36. This section provides a process for a GCD to achieve compliance,
enforcement procedures if compliance is not achieved, and commission
enforcement actions. Management plan noncompliance review and commission
action are required under TWC as the result of a GCD's failure to:
(1) adopt a management plan in accordance with TWC, §36.1071
and §36.1072 and submit the plan for review and approval to the
executive administrator of the Texas Water Development Board within
three years of either the effective date of creation of the district
or the date the district was confirmed by election if an election
(2) receive within 60 days of submittal, written approval
from the executive administrator of the Texas Water Development Board
for a management plan, an amended management plan, or a readopted
management plan as provided by TWC, §36.1072 and §36.1073;
(3) readopt and resubmit the management plan for review
and approval to the executive administrator of the Texas Water Development
Board at least once every five years after the date of the most recent
management plan approval;
(4) be actively engaged and operational in achieving
the objectives of its groundwater management plan based on the State
Auditor's Office review of the district's performance as provided
by TWC, §36.302; or
(5) adopt, implement, or enforce district management
plans and rules to protect groundwater as evidenced in a report prepared
by a commission-appointed review panel as provided by TWC, §36.3011
and §293.23 of this title (relating to Petition Requesting Commission
(b) Noncompliance review. The executive director shall
investigate the facts and circumstances of any violations of this
chapter or order of the commission under this chapter or provisions
of TWC, §§36.301, 36.3011, and 36.302.
(1) The executive director shall notify the district
and may attempt to resolve any noncompliance set out in subsection
(a) of this section with the district.
(2) After review of the facts and identification of
noncompliance issues, the executive director shall submit a compliance
agreement to the district. The compliance agreement must clearly identify
the noncompliance issue(s) and provide district actions and a schedule
for the district to achieve compliance.
(3) The district shall be provided a specified time
frame not to exceed 60 days after the date of receipt of the compliance
agreement, to consider and agree to the terms of the compliance agreement
and schedule. If the district wants to amend the compliance agreement
schedule, it must contact the executive director within 30 days of
receipt of the compliance agreement so that the compliance agreement
can be considered and signed by the district and its board of directors
within the 60-day time frame.
(4) If the district agrees with and signs the compliance
agreement, the executive director shall monitor the district's implementation
of the agreement terms. If the district accomplishes compliance within
the agreed schedule, the executive director shall notify the district
that it has achieved compliance and is no longer under review by the
(c) Executive director recommendations filed with commission.
If unable to resolve the violation under subsection (b) of this section,
or if the facts of the noncompliance issue warrant, the executive
director shall follow the procedures for commission enforcement actions
set out in Chapter 70, Subchapter C of this title (relating to Enforcement
Referrals to SOAH). The executive director shall prepare and file
a written report with the commission and the district and include
any actions the executive director believes the commission should
take under TWC, §36.303 and subsection (e) of this section.
(d) Notice and hearing. The commission shall provide
notice in accordance with §70.104 of this title (relating to
Notice of Executive Director's Preliminary Report). If the executive
director's report recommends dissolution of a district or of a board
of directors or referral of the matter to the Office of the Attorney
General requesting the placement of a district into receivership,
the commission shall hold an enforcement hearing.
(1) The commission shall publish notice once each week
for two consecutive weeks before the day of the hearing to receive
evidence on the dissolution of a district or of a board of directors
or referral of the matter to the Office of the Attorney General requesting
the placement of a district into receivership in a newspaper of general
circulation in the area in which the district is located with the
first publication being 30 days before the day of hearing.
(2) The commission shall give notice of the hearing
by first-class mail addressed to the directors of the district according
to the last record on file with the executive director.
(e) Commission enforcement actions. In accordance with
TWC, §§36.301, 36.3011, and 36.302, the commission, after
notice and hearing, shall take all actions it considers appropriate,
(1) issuing an order requiring the district to take
certain actions or to refrain from taking certain actions;
(2) dissolving the board in accordance with TWC, §36.305
and §36.307 and calling an election for the purpose of electing
a new board;
(3) requesting the attorney general to bring suit for
the appointment of a receiver to collect the assets and carry on the
business of the GCD in accordance with TWC, §36.3035;
(4) dissolving the district in accordance with TWC, §§36.304,
36.305, and 36.308; or
(5) recommending to the legislature in the commission's
report concerning priority groundwater management areas required by
TWC, §35.018, actions the commission deems necessary to accomplish
comprehensive management in the district.
(f) District dissolution. TWC, §§36.304 -
36.310 authorize the commission to dissolve any district as defined
in TWC, §36.001(1), that has no outstanding bonded indebtedness.
(1) A district that is composed of territory entirely
within one county may be dissolved even if it has outstanding indebtedness
that matures after the year in which the district is dissolved. If
a district is in more than one county, and has outstanding bond indebtedness,
it may not be dissolved.
(2) Upon the dissolution of a district by the commission,
all assets of the district shall be sold at public auction and the
proceeds given to the county if it is a single county district. If
it is a multi-county district, the proceeds shall be divided with
the counties in proportion to the surface land area in each county
served by the district.
(3) The commission shall file a certified copy of an
order for the dissolution of a GCD in the deed records of the county
or counties in which the district is located. If the district was
created by a special Act of the legislature, the commission shall
file a certified copy of the order of dissolution with the Secretary
(g) Dissolution of board. If the commission enters
an order to dissolve the board of a GCD, the commission shall notify
the county commissioners court of each county which contains territory
in the district. The commission shall appoint five temporary directors
under TWC, §36.016, that shall serve until an election for a
new board can be held under TWC, §36.017. However, district confirmation
shall not be required for continued existence of the district and
shall not be an issue in the election.
(h) Receivership. If the commission enters an order
to request the attorney general to bring suit for the appointment
of a receiver to collect the assets and carry on the business of a
district, the executive director shall forward the order and the request
to the attorney general and provide any relevant commission correspondence.
The executive director shall assist the attorney general as requested
and shall continue to track the status of attorney general actions.
(i) Appeals. Appeals from any commission order issued
under this section shall be filed and heard in the district court
of any of the counties in which the district is located.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §293.22 adopted to be effective August 29, 2002, 27 TexReg 7942; amended to be effective October 26, 2006, 31 TexReg 8699; amended to be effective August 16, 2012, 37 TexReg 6060; amended to be effective May 19, 2016, 41 TexReg 3506