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RULE §305.539Additional Requirements for Shrimp Aquaculture Facilities Within the Coastal Zone

(a) A commercial aquaculture facility, located within the coastal zone as delineated under rules of the Coastal Coordination Council, 31 TAC §503.1, and engaged in the production of shrimp that will discharge into water in the state shall comply with the following requirements.

  (1) The applicant shall apply to the executive director for an individual Texas pollutant discharge elimination system (TPDES) permit. The application, in addition to the information required by the application form, shall include:

    (A) a copy of the site-assessment environmental report submitted to the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) as part of the application for an aquaculture license; and

    (B) a copy of an emergency plan, approved by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), for incorporation into the TPDES permit.

  (2) The applicant shall obtain an individual TPDES wastewater discharge permit in accordance with the requirements of this chapter before discharging into water in the state.

  (3) The applicant shall obtain an amendment to an individual TPDES permit prior to an increase in the amount of discharge above the levels allowed in the existing permit or a change in the nature of the discharge, except as otherwise provided by Chapter 35, Subchapter F of this title (relating to Water Quality Emergency and Temporary Orders).

  (4) The facility shall comply with the terms and conditions of its individual TPDES permit, and any quarantine conditions imposed by TPWD, except in cases where the facility is in imminent danger of overflow, flooding, or similar conditions that could result in either the release of exotic species that are regulated by the TPWD or that would result in the violation of a quarantine condition imposed by the TPWD. In such cases, the facility may discharge effluent in excess of the permitted flow rates, but only to the extent necessary to comply with an emergency plan that is approved by the TPWD, and the following provisions shall also apply.

    (A) The facility is not subject to effluent limitations, discharge flow limitations, and other effluent monitoring requirements in the permit for discharges that comply with an emergency plan approved by the TPWD.

    (B) A facility shall notify the appropriate TCEQ regional office at least 48 hours, or as soon as practicable, prior to initiating any action under an emergency plan in response to an emergency event, such as landfall of a hurricane, and shall notify the regional office as soon as practicable following initiation of the emergency plan.

    (C) The facility shall control discharges made under an emergency plan in the most environmentally sound manner that is practicable.

    (D) Within 30 days following initiation of the emergency plan, the facility shall submit a written report to the appropriate TCEQ regional office that includes the following information:

      (i) the reason for initiation of the plan;

      (ii) actions taken to prevent or mitigate impacts of the discharge to the receiving stream;

      (iii) volumes of wastewater discharged;

      (iv) the dates that discharges occurred; and

      (v) a general summary of receiving stream conditions at the time of the discharges.

    (E) The facility is responsible for demonstrating that the discharges were necessary and that conditions required initiation of the emergency plan.

  (5) A facility engaged in the propagation or rearing of shrimp which exhibit one or more manifestations of disease as defined by TPWD in 31 TAC §57.111 and §69.75 shall immediately report the apparent disease to the TCEQ regional office and Wastewater Permitting Section, and to TPWD, and shall comply with 31 TAC §57.114 and §69.77. The executive director shall be immediately notified of the results of any analyses by a shellfish disease specialist. Any actions which are deemed necessary by the discharger to prevent transmission of the disease to aquatic life endemic to waters in the state shall be implemented as soon as possible. The executive director may require suspension or termination of the discharge of effluent from infected portions of the facility as is necessary to protect aquatic life in the receiving stream from potential adverse effects.

  (6) A facility required to hold a permit from TPWD regulating the possession and sale of exotic fish and shellfish shall immediately notify the TCEQ regional office and Wastewater Permitting Section if the TPWD places the facility under quarantine condition. There shall be no discharge during the quarantine period, except upon approval by the executive director and TPWD. The executive director and TPWD may suspend or terminate the prohibition on discharge to allow for implementation of the facility's emergency plan approved by TPWD, following the lifting of the quarantine condition by TPWD, or based on other relevant factors.

  (7) Except as provided in paragraph (4) of this subsection, a facility shall comply with the terms and conditions in its individual TPDES permit, which shall include conditions related to suspended solids based on levels and measures adequate to prevent:

    (A) a potential significant adverse response in aquatic organisms, changes in flow patterns of receiving waters, or excessive sedimentation of bays; and

    (B) a potential significant adverse response in aquatic plants caused by reduction of light due to suspended solids in discharges.

(b) All new, amendment, or renewal applications for an individual TPDES permits to which the requirements of this section apply are subject to review by a three-member application review committee comprised of one representative each from the executive director, TPWD, and TDA.

(c) In considering whether to approve an application for a new, amended, or renewed individual TPDES permit for a commercial aquaculture facility located within the coastal zone and engaged in the production of shrimp, the commission shall consider all relevant factors, including:

  (1) the site-assessment environmental report provided by the applicant under subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section;

  (2) any sensitive aquatic habitat guidelines established by TPWD; and

  (3) any comments on the application provided by the three-member application review committee referred to in subsection (b) of this section.

Source Note: The provisions of this §305.539 adopted to be effective September 13, 2000, 25 TexReg 8985; amended to be effective October 11, 2007, 32 TexReg 7069

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