|(a) If construction work cannot be commenced or completed within
the time periods established by a permit, the permittee may, before the expiration
of the time period to commence or complete construction, apply for an extension
of time in order to preserve the permit. Applications shall be in writing,
shall be received by the executive director before the expiration date, and
shall set forth the reasons why construction work could not be commenced or
completed within the time required. Estimated time of commencement or completion
also shall be set out. The application must also contain reasons why the permit
should not be forfeited if the commission finds that reasonable diligence
has not been demonstrated.
(b) The commission may grant an extension of the time to commence
or complete construction for a reasonable and necessary period if the appropriator
demonstrates reasonable diligence towards such commencement or completion
and reasonable cause exists for failure to meet the authorized time limitations.
The determination of whether an extension should be granted or the right is
forfeited is a question of fact to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Reasonable diligence does not require unusual or extraordinary effort, but
it does require a steady application of effort that is usual, ordinary, and
reasonable under the circumstances and evidences prosecution of such efforts
in good faith. Reasonable causes for delay include, but are not limited to,
the operation of legal proceedings or other causes which were not within the
reasonable control of the permittee and which were reasonably unforeseeable
at the time the appropriation or the last extension, whichever is applicable,
was granted by the commission. Delay in commencement or completion of construction
because of financial hardship shall not, by itself, constitute sufficient
cause for the granting of an extension.
(c) Consideration by the commission of an application to extend
the time for commencement or completion of construction shall include whether
the appropriation shall be forfeited as provided in §297.74 of this title
(relating to Forfeiture and Revocation of Water Right) for failure by the
applicant to demonstrate reasonable diligence and justification for delay.
If the application for extensions is denied, the appropriation may also be
forfeited as ordered by the commission.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §295.72 adopted to be effective May 28, 1986, 11 TexReg 2325; amended to be effective January 30, 1992, 17 TexReg 407; amended to be effective August 15, 2002, 27 TexReg 7149