By Berlanga H.B. No. 2188
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1-1 AN ACT
1-2 relating to the prevention of, the damage, cleanup, and costs
1-3 related to, and liability for oil spills in coastal waters of the
1-4 state; providing for natural resource response to the discharge of
1-5 oil and other pollutants in the coastal waters of the state;
1-6 authorizing an appropriation from the coastal protection fund.
1-7 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-8 SECTION 1. Section 40.002, Natural Resources Code, is
1-9 amended to read as follows:
1-10 Sec. 40.002. POLICY. (a) The legislature finds and
1-11 declares that the preservation of the Texas coast is a matter of
1-12 the highest urgency and priority. It is the policy of this state
1-13 to keep its coastal waters, rivers, lakes, estuaries, marshes,
1-14 tidal flats, beaches, and public lands as pristine as possible,
1-15 taking into account multiple use accommodations necessary to
1-16 provide the broadest possible promotion of public and private
1-17 interests. Spills, discharges, and escapes of crude oil,
1-18 petroleum, and other such substances resulting from their handling,
1-19 storage, and transportation, particularly by vessel, endanger the
1-20 coastal environment of the state, public and private property on
1-21 the coast, and the well-being of those deriving their livelihood
1-22 from marine-related activity in coastal waters. The hazards posed
1-23 by the handling, storage, and transportation of these substances in
2-1 the coastal waters are contrary to the paramount interests of the
2-2 state. These state interests outweigh the economic burdens imposed
2-3 under this chapter.
2-4 (b) The legislature finds and declares that the natural
2-5 resources of the state and particularly those in the coastal waters
2-6 of the state offer significant benefits to the citizens of Texas.
2-7 These natural resources are important for their existence and their
2-8 recreational, aesthetic, and commercial value. It is the policy of
2-9 the state to protect these natural resources and to restore,
2-10 rehabilitate, replace, and/or acquire the equivalent of these
2-11 natural resources with all deliberate speed when they have been
2-12 damaged. The legislature finds and declares that it is difficult
2-13 to assess the value of these natural resources and to quantify
2-14 damage to natural resources at a reasonable cost. The procedures
2-15 and protocols utilized by the trustees must therefore consider the
2-16 unique characteristics of each spill incident and the location of
2-17 the natural resources affected. It is the intent of the
2-18 legislature that natural resource damage assessment methodologies
2-19 be developed for the purpose of reasonably valuing the natural
2-20 resources of the State of Texas in the event of an oil spill and
2-21 that the state recover monetary damages or have actions commenced
2-22 by the spiller as early as possible to expedite the restoration,
2-23 rehabilitation, and/or replacement of damaged natural resources.
2-24 (c) The legislature intends by this chapter to exercise the
2-25 police power of the state to protect its coastal waters and
3-1 adjacent shorelines by conferring upon the Commissioner of the
3-2 General Land Office the power to:
3-3 (1) prevent spills and discharges of oil by requiring
3-4 and monitoring preventive measures and response planning;
3-5 (2) provide for prompt response to abate and contain
3-6 spills and discharges of oil and ensure the removal and cleanup of
3-7 pollution from such spills and discharges;
3-8 (3) provide for development of a state coastal
3-9 discharge contingency plan through planning and coordination with
3-10 the Texas Water Commission to protect coastal waters from all types
3-11 of spills and discharges; and
3-12 (4) administer a fund to provide for funding these
3-13 activities and to guarantee the prompt payment of certain
3-14 reasonable claims resulting from spills and discharges of oil.
3-15 (d) <
(c)> The legislature declares that it is the intent of
3-16 this chapter to support and complement the Oil Pollution Act of
3-17 1990 (Pub. L. 101-380) and other federal law, specifically those
3-18 provisions relating to the national contingency plan for cleanup of
3-19 oil and hazardous substance spills and discharges, including
3-20 provisions relating to the responsibilities of state agencies
3-21 designated as natural resources trustees. The legislature intends
3-22 this chapter to be interpreted and implemented in a manner
3-23 consistent with federal law.
3-24 SECTION 2. Section 40.003, Natural Resources Code, is
3-25 amended to read as follows:
4-1 Sec. 40.003. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
4-2 (1) "Barrel" means 42 United States gallons at 60
4-3 degrees Fahrenheit.
4-4 (2) "Coastal waters" means the waters and bed of the
4-5 Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of the State of Texas,
4-6 including the arms of the Gulf of Mexico subject to tidal
4-7 influence, and any other waters contiguous thereto that are
4-8 navigable by vessels with a capacity to carry 10,000 gallons or
4-9 more of oil as fuel or cargo.
4-10 (3) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the
4-11 General Land Office.
4-12 (4) "Comprehensive assessment method" means a method
4-13 including sampling, modeling, and other appropriate scientific
4-14 procedures to make a reasonable and rational determination of
4-15 damage to natural resources resulting from an unauthorized
4-16 discharge of oil.
4-17 (5) "Comptroller" means the comptroller of public
4-19 (6) < (5)> "Crude oil" means any naturally occurring
4-20 liquid hydrocarbon at atmospheric temperature and pressure coming
4-21 from the earth, including condensate.
4-22 (7) < (6)> (A) "Damages" means compensation:
4-23 (i) to an owner, lessee, or trustee for
4-24 any direct, documented loss of, injury to, or loss of use of any
4-25 real or personal property or natural resources damaged by an
5-1 unauthorized discharge of oil;
5-2 (ii) to a state or local government for
5-3 any direct, documented net loss of taxes or net costs of increased
5-4 entitlements or public services; or
5-5 (iii) to persons, including but not
5-6 limited to holders of an oyster lease or permit; persons owning,
5-7 operating, or employed on commercial fishing, oystering, crabbing,
5-8 or shrimping vessels; persons owning, operating, or employed by
5-9 seafood processing concerns; and others similarly economically
5-10 reliant on the use or acquisition of natural resources for any
5-11 direct, documented loss of income, profits, or earning capacity
5-12 from the inability of the claimant to use or acquire natural
5-13 resources arising solely from damage to the natural resources from
5-14 an unauthorized discharge of oil.
5-15 (B) With respect to natural resources, "damages"
5-16 includes the cost to assess, restore, rehabilitate, or replace
5-17 damaged natural resources, or to mitigate further damage, and their
5-18 diminution in value after such restoration, rehabilitation,
5-19 replacement, or mitigation.
5-20 (8) < (7)> "Discharge of oil" means an intentional or
5-21 unintentional act or omission by which harmful quantities of oil
5-22 are spilled, leaked, pumped, poured, emitted, or dumped into or on
5-23 coastal waters or at a place adjacent to coastal waters where,
5-24 unless controlled or removed, an imminent threat of pollution to
5-25 coastal waters exists.
6-1 (9) < (8)> "Discharge cleanup organization" means any
6-2 group or cooperative, incorporated or unincorporated, of owners or
6-3 operators of vessels or terminal facilities and any other persons
6-4 who may elect to join, organized for the purpose of abating,
6-5 containing, removing, or cleaning up pollution from discharges of
6-6 oil or rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife or other natural
6-7 resources through cooperative efforts and shared equipment,
6-8 personnel, or facilities. Any third-party cleanup contractor,
6-9 industry cooperative, volunteer organization, or local government
6-10 shall be recognized as a discharge cleanup organization, provided
6-11 the commissioner properly certifies the organization.
6-12 (10) < (9)> "Federal fund" means the federal Oil Spill
6-13 Liability Trust Fund.
6-14 (11) < (10)> "Fund" means the coastal protection fund.
6-15 (12) < (11)> "Harmful quantity" means that quantity of
6-16 oil the discharge of which is determined by the commissioner to be
6-17 harmful to the environment or public health or welfare or may
6-18 reasonably be anticipated to present an imminent and substantial
6-19 danger to the public health or welfare.
6-20 (13) < (12)> "Hazardous substance" means any substance,
6-21 except oil, designated as hazardous by the Environmental Protection
6-22 Agency pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response,
6-23 Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 9601 et
6-24 seq.) and designated by the Texas Water Commission.
6-25 (14) < (13)> "Marine terminal" means any terminal
7-1 facility used for transferring crude oil to or from vessels.
7-2 (15) < (14)> "National contingency plan" means the plan
7-3 prepared and published, as revised from time to time, under the
7-4 Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1321 et seq.)
7-5 and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
7-6 Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 9601 et seq.).
7-7 (16) < (15)> "Natural resources" means all land, fish,
7-8 shellfish, fowl, wildlife, biota, vegetation, air, water, and other
7-9 similar resources owned, managed, held in trust, regulated, or
7-10 otherwise controlled by the state.
7-11 (17) < (16)> "Oil" means oil of any kind or in any
7-12 form, including but not limited to crude oil, petroleum, fuel oil,
7-13 sludge, oil refuse, and oil mixed with wastes other than dredged
7-14 spoil, but does not include petroleum, including crude oil or any
7-15 fraction thereof, which is specifically listed or designated as a
7-16 hazardous substance under Subparagraphs (A) through (F) of Section
7-17 101(14) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation,
7-18 and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 9601 et seq.) and which
7-19 is subject to the provisions of that Act, and which is so
7-20 designated by the Texas Water Commission.
7-21 (18) < (17)> "Owner" or "operator" means:
7-22 (A) any person owning, operating, or chartering
7-23 by demise a vessel; or
7-24 (B) any person owning a terminal facility or a
7-25 person operating a terminal facility by lease, contract, or other
8-1 form of agreement.
8-2 (19) < (18)> "Person in charge" means the person on the
8-3 scene who is directly responsible for a terminal facility or vessel
8-4 when a discharge of oil occurs or a particular duty arises under
8-5 this chapter.
8-6 (20) < (19)> "Person responsible" or "responsible
8-7 person" means:
8-8 (A) the owner or operator of a vessel or
8-9 terminal facility from which an unauthorized discharge of oil
8-10 emanates or threatens to emanate;
8-11 (B) in the case of an abandoned vessel or
8-12 terminal facility, the person who would have been the responsible
8-13 person immediately prior to the abandonment; and
8-14 (C) any other person who causes, allows, or
8-15 permits an unauthorized discharge of oil or threatened unauthorized
8-16 discharge of oil.
8-17 (21) < (20)> "Pollution" means the presence of harmful
8-18 quantities of oil from an unauthorized discharge in coastal waters
8-19 or in or on adjacent waters, shorelines, estuaries, tidal flats,
8-20 beaches, or marshes.
8-21 (22) < (21)> "Response costs" means:
8-22 (A) with respect to an actual or threatened
8-23 discharge of oil, all costs incurred in an attempt to prevent,
8-24 abate, contain, and remove pollution from the discharge, including
8-25 costs of removing vessels or structures under this chapter, and
9-1 costs of any reasonable measures to prevent or limit damage to the
9-2 public health, safety, or welfare, public or private property, or
9-3 natural resources; or
9-4 (B) with respect to an actual or threatened
9-5 discharge of a hazardous substance, only costs incurred to
9-6 supplement the response operations of the Texas Water Commission.
9-7 (23) < (22)> "Terminal facility" or "facility" means
9-8 any waterfront or offshore pipeline, structure, equipment, or
9-9 device used for the purposes of drilling for, pumping, storing,
9-10 handling, or transferring oil and any pipeline, structure,
9-11 equipment, or device used for the purposes of drilling for,
9-12 pumping, storing, handling, or transferring oil which is operating
9-13 where a discharge of oil from the facility could threaten coastal
9-14 waters, including but not limited to any such facility owned or
9-15 operated by a public utility or a governmental or
9-16 quasi-governmental body.
9-17 (24) < (23)> "Trained personnel" means one or more
9-18 persons who have satisfactorily completed an appropriate course of
9-19 instruction developed under Section 40.302 of this code or < and>
9-20 all other training requirements as determined by the commissioner.
9-21 (25) "Trustee" means a natural resources trustee of
9-22 the state as designated by the governor under federal law.
9-23 (26) < (24)> "Unauthorized discharge of oil" means any
9-24 discharge of oil, or any discharge of oil emanating from a vessel
9-25 into waters adjoining and accessible from coastal waters, that is
10-1 not authorized by a federal or state permit.
10-2 (27) < (25)> "Unauthorized discharge of hazardous
10-3 substances" means a spill or discharge subject to Subchapter G,
10-4 Chapter 26, Water Code.
10-5 (28) < (26)> "Vessel" includes every description of
10-6 watercraft or other contrivance used or capable of being used as a
10-7 means of transportation on water, whether self-propelled or
10-8 otherwise, including barges.
10-9 (29) < (27)> "Texas Water Commission" means the Texas
10-10 Natural Resource Conservation Commission.
10-11 SECTION 3. Subsection (d), Section 40.053, Natural Resources
10-12 Code, is amended to read as follows:
10-13 (d) The commissioner shall establish regional response
10-14 committees or utilize the area committees established by federal
10-15 law to advise and provide input in the development of site-specific
10-16 discharge contingency response plans.
10-17 (1) Membership on these committees shall include
10-18 broad-based representation from local governments, industry,
10-19 resource agencies, and citizens groups and shall include staff from
10-20 the General Land Office.
10-21 (2) The committees shall develop regional response
10-22 recommendations and provide evaluation of response and
10-23 recommendations for improvement to the commissioner following an
10-24 actual or threatened unauthorized discharge.
10-25 SECTION 4. Section 40.107, Natural Resources Code, is
11-1 amended to read as follows:
11-2 Sec. 40.107. < PRESUMPTION OF> NATURAL RESOURCES DAMAGES.
11-3 (a) In any action to recover natural resources damages, the amount
11-4 of damages established by the commissioner in conjunction with the
11-5 < state-designated natural resources> trustees, according to the
11-6 procedures and plans contained in the state coastal discharge
11-7 contingency plan, shall create a rebuttable presumption of the
11-8 amount of such damages.
11-9 (b) The commissioner may establish the rebuttable
11-10 presumption by submitting to the court a written report of the
11-11 amounts computed or expended according to the state plan. The
11-12 written report shall be admissible in evidence.
11-13 (c)(1) The commissioner shall develop an inventory that
11-14 identifies and catalogs the physical locations, the seasonal
11-15 variations in location, and the current condition of natural
11-16 resources, including the recreational and commercial use areas that
11-17 are most likely to suffer damage from an unauthorized discharge of
11-18 oil. The inventory shall be completed by December 1, 1994, and
11-19 shall be incorporated into the state coastal discharge contingency
11-20 plan after public review and comment.
11-21 (2) The physical locations surveyed for the inventory
11-22 of natural resources shall include, at a minimum, the following
11-23 priority areas:
11-24 (A) the Galveston Bay system and the Houston
11-25 Ship Channel;
12-1 (B) the Corpus Christi Bay system;
12-2 (C) Sabine Lake; and
12-3 (D) federal and state wildlife refuge areas.
12-4 (3) The current condition of selected natural
12-5 resources inventoried and cataloged shall be determined by, at a
12-6 minimum, a baseline sampling and analysis of current levels of
12-7 constituent substances selected after considering the types of oil
12-8 most frequently transported through and stored near coastal waters.
12-9 (4) The commissioner shall develop administrative
12-10 procedures and protocols for the assessment of natural resource
12-11 damages from an unauthorized discharge of oil. The procedures and
12-12 protocols shall require the trustees to assess natural resource
12-13 damages by considering the unique characteristics of the spill
12-14 incident and the location of the natural resources affected. These
12-15 procedures and protocols shall be adopted by rule, after notice and
12-16 public comment, by March 1, 1994, and shall be incorporated into
12-17 the state coastal discharge contingency plan.
12-18 (5) The administrative procedures and protocols shall
12-19 include provisions which address:
12-20 (A) notification by the commissioner to all
12-21 trustees in the event of an unauthorized discharge of oil;
12-22 (B) coordination with and among trustees, spill
12-23 response agencies, potentially responsible parties, experts in
12-24 science and economics, and the public; and
12-25 (C) participation in all stages of the
13-1 assessment process by the potentially responsible party.
13-2 (6) The administrative procedures and protocols shall
13-3 also require the trustees to:
13-4 (A) assist the on-scene coordinator and the
13-5 potentially responsible party, during spill response activities and
13-6 prior to the time that the cleanup is deemed complete, in
13-7 predicting the impact of the oil and in devising the most effective
13-8 methods of protection for the natural resources at risk;
13-9 (B) identify appropriate sampling and data
13-10 collection techniques to efficiently determine the impact on
13-11 natural resources of the unauthorized discharge of oil;
13-12 (C) initiate, within 12 to 18 hours after
13-13 approval for access to the site by the on-scene coordinator, an
13-14 actual field investigation which includes sampling and data
13-15 collection; the protocols shall require that the responsible party
13-16 and the trustees be given, on request, split samples and copies of
13-17 each other's photographs and expert reports utilized in assessing
13-18 the impact of the unauthorized discharge of oil; and
13-19 (D) establish restoration plans, including
13-20 restoration alternatives that are cost-effective and efficient, to
13-21 satisfy the goal of restoring, rehabilitating, replacing, and/or
13-22 acquiring the equivalent of the damaged natural resources.
13-23 (7)(A) The administrative procedures and protocols
13-24 shall also include the following types of assessment procedures and
13-25 deadlines for their completion:
14-1 (i) an expedited assessment procedure for
14-2 use in situations in which the spill has limited observable
14-3 mortality and restoration activities can be speedily initiated
14-4 and/or in which the quantity of oil discharged does not exceed
14-5 1,000 gallons; the purpose of utilizing the expedited assessment
14-6 procedure is to allow prompt initiation of restoration,
14-7 rehabilitation, replacement, and/or acquisition of an equivalent
14-8 natural resource without lengthy analysis of the impact on affected
14-9 natural resources; this procedure shall, at a minimum, require that
14-10 the trustees consider the following items:
14-11 (aa) the quantity and
14-12 quality of oil discharged;
14-13 (bb) the time period during
14-14 which coastal waters are affected by the oil and the physical
14-15 extent of the impact;
14-16 (cc) the condition of the
14-17 natural resources prior to the unauthorized discharge of oil; and
14-18 (dd) the actual costs of
14-19 restoring, rehabilitating, and/or acquiring the equivalent of the
14-20 damaged natural resources;
14-21 (ii) a comprehensive assessment procedure
14-22 for use in situations in which expedited or negotiated assessment
14-23 procedures are not appropriate; and
14-24 (iii) any other assessment method agreed
14-25 upon between the responsible person and the trustees, consistent
15-1 with their public trust duties.
15-2 (B) The trustees shall determine, within 60 days
15-3 of the completion of cleanup response actions, whether:
15-4 (i) action to restore, rehabilitate, or
15-5 acquire an equivalent natural resource is required;
15-6 (ii) restoration, including natural
15-7 recovery, rehabilitation, replacement, and/or acquisition
15-8 activities may be commenced; or
15-9 (iii) a comprehensive assessment is
15-11 (C) The trustees may petition the commissioner
15-12 for a longer period of time to make the above determination by
15-13 showing that the full impact of the discharge on the affected
15-14 natural resources cannot be determined in 60 days. The potentially
15-15 responsible party shall make full payment within 60 days of notice
15-16 of the assessment by the trustees or, if arbitration pursuant to
15-17 Paragraph (F) of this subdivision is conducted, within 60 days of
15-18 the final ruling of the arbitration panel.
15-19 (D) The trustees shall complete the
15-20 comprehensive assessment procedure within one year of the date the
15-21 cleanup is deemed complete. The trustees may petition the
15-22 commissioner for a longer period of time to complete the assessment
15-23 by showing that the full impact of the discharge on the affected
15-24 natural resources cannot be determined in one year.
15-25 (E) Any assessment generated by the trustees
16-1 shall be reasonable and have a rational connection to the actual
16-2 and direct costs of conducting the assessment and of restoring,
16-3 rehabilitating, replacing, and/or acquiring the equivalent of the
16-4 damaged natural resources. The trustees shall ensure that the cost
16-5 of any restoration, rehabilitation, replacement, or acquisition
16-6 project shall not be disproportionate to the value of the public
16-7 resource before the injury. The trustees shall utilize the most
16-8 cost-effective method to achieve restoration, rehabilitation,
16-9 replacement, or acquisition of an equivalent resource. Further,
16-10 the trustees shall take into account the quality of the actions
16-11 undertaken by the responsible party in response to the spill
16-12 incident, including but not limited to containment and removal
16-13 actions and protection and preservation of natural resources.
16-14 (F) To facilitate an expedited recovery of funds
16-15 for natural resource restoration and to assist the trustees and the
16-16 responsible party in the settlement of disputed natural resource
16-17 damage assessments at their discretion and at any time, all
16-18 disputed natural resource damage assessments shall be referred to
16-19 nonbinding arbitration as a prerequisite to the jurisdiction of any
16-20 court. Results of the arbitration shall be treated as settlement
16-21 negotiations for the purpose of admissibility in a court of law.
16-22 Either the trustees or the potentially responsible person may
16-23 initiate the arbitration process, after an assessment has been
16-24 issued, by giving written notice to the commissioner, who shall
16-25 give written notice to all parties. The three arbitrators for
17-1 these disputes shall be a representative of the commissioner, a
17-2 representative of the responsible person, and a third arbitrator
17-3 selected by the two. In the event the two arbitrators are unable
17-4 to agree on a third arbitrator within five days, either party may
17-5 request the American Arbitration Association to submit a list of
17-6 five names from which the parties shall alternately strike one name
17-7 until only one name remains, and the person remaining shall then
17-8 serve as the third arbitrator. The commissioner and the
17-9 responsible party shall share equally in the cost of the third
17-10 arbitrator and shall bear their own costs for all other matters
17-11 associated with the arbitration. Within 45 days from the receipt
17-12 of the notice of assessment from the commissioner, the arbitrators
17-13 shall be designated and within 120 days from the receipt of the
17-14 notice of assessment from the commissioner, the arbitrators shall
17-15 issue their nonbinding decision.
17-16 SECTION 5. Subsection (a), Section 40.152, Natural Resources
17-17 Code, is amended to read as follows:
17-18 (a) Money in the fund may be disbursed for the following
17-19 purposes and no others:
17-20 (1) administrative expenses, personnel and training
17-21 expenses, and equipment maintenance and operating costs related to
17-22 implementation and enforcement of this chapter;
17-23 (2) response costs related to abatement and
17-24 containment of actual or threatened unauthorized discharges of oil
17-25 incidental to unauthorized discharges of hazardous substances;
18-1 (3) response costs and damages related to actual or
18-2 threatened unauthorized discharges of oil;
18-3 (4) assessment, restoration, rehabilitation, or
18-4 replacement of or mitigation of damage to natural resources damaged
18-5 by an unauthorized discharge of oil;
18-6 (5) in an amount not to exceed $50,000 annually, the
18-7 small spill education program;
18-8 (6) in an amount not to exceed $1,250,000 annually,
18-9 interagency contracts under Section 40.302 of this code;
18-10 (7) < (6)> the purchase of response equipment under
18-11 Section 40.105 of this code within two years of the effective date
18-12 of this chapter, in an amount not to exceed $4 million; thereafter,
18-13 for the purchase of equipment to replace equipment that is worn or
18-14 obsolete; < and>
18-15 (8) an inventory under Section 40.107 of this code, to
18-16 be completed by December 1, 1994, in an amount not to exceed $5
18-17 million; and
18-18 (9) < (7)> other costs and damages authorized by this
18-20 SECTION 6. Section 40.201, Natural Resources Code, is
18-21 amended to read as follows:
18-22 Sec. 40.201. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. (a) Each owner or
18-23 operator of a vessel subject to Section 40.114 of this code and
18-24 operating within coastal waters or waters adjoining and accessible
18-25 from coastal waters or any terminal facility subject to this code
19-1 shall establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility
19-2 for costs and damages from unauthorized discharges of oil pursuant
19-3 to federal law or in any other manner < a lesser amount as> provided
19-4 in this chapter.
19-5 (b) If a vessel subject to Section 40.114 of this code or a
19-6 terminal facility is not required under federal law to establish
19-7 and maintain evidence of financial responsibility, the owner or
19-8 operator of that vessel or terminal facility shall establish and
19-9 maintain evidence in an amount and < a> form prescribed by rules
19-10 promulgated under this code.
19-11 (c) Any owner or operator of a vessel that is a member of
19-12 any protection and indemnity mutual organization, which is a member
19-13 of the international group or insured by the Water Quality
19-14 Insurance Syndicate or any other organization approved by the
19-15 commissioner, and which is covered for oil pollution risks up to
19-16 the amounts required by federal law is in compliance with the
19-17 financial responsibility requirements of this chapter. The
19-18 commissioner shall specifically designate the organizations and the
19-19 terms under which owners and operators of vessels shall demonstrate
19-20 financial responsibility.
19-21 (d) After an unauthorized discharge of oil, a vessel shall
19-22 remain in the jurisdiction of the commissioner until the owner,
19-23 operator, or person in charge has shown the commissioner evidence
19-24 of financial responsibility. The commissioner may not detain the
19-25 vessel longer than 12 hours after proving financial responsibility.
20-1 (e) < (d)> In addition to any other remedy or enforcement
20-2 provision, the commissioner may suspend a registrant's discharge
20-3 prevention and response certificate or may deny a vessel entry into
20-4 any port in coastal waters for failure to comply with this section.
20-5 SECTION 7. Section 40.203, Natural Resources Code, is
20-6 amended to read as follows:
20-7 Sec. 40.203. LIABILITY FOR NATURAL RESOURCES DAMAGES.
20-8 (a) The commissioner, on behalf of the trustees, shall seek
20-9 reimbursement from the federal fund for damages to natural
20-10 resources in excess of the liability limits prescribed in Section
20-11 40.202 of this code. If that request is denied or additional money
20-12 is required following receipt of the federal money, the
20-13 commissioner has the authority to pay the requested reimbursement
20-14 from the fund for a period of two years from the date the federal
20-15 fund grants or denies the request for reimbursement.
20-16 (b) In addition to liability under Section 40.202 of this
20-17 code, persons responsible for actual or threatened unauthorized
20-18 discharges of oil are liable for < all> natural resources damages
20-19 attributable to the discharge.
20-20 (c) The total liability for all natural resource damages of
20-21 any person responsible for an actual or threatened unauthorized
20-22 discharge of oil from a vessel shall not exceed the following:
20-23 (1) for a tank vessel, the greater of:
20-24 (A) $1,200 per gross ton; or
20-25 (B)(i) for a vessel greater than 3,000 gross
21-1 tons, $10 million; or
21-2 (ii) for a vessel of 3,000 gross tons or
21-3 less, $2 million; or
21-4 (2) for any other vessel, $600 per gross ton or
21-5 $500,000, whichever is greater.
21-6 (d) There may be no double recovery of damages or response
21-8 SECTION 8. Subsection (c), Section 40.255, Natural Resources
21-9 Code, is repealed.
21-10 SECTION 9. Subchapter G, Chapter 40, Natural Resources Code,
21-11 is amended by adding Section 40.304 to read as follows:
21-12 Sec. 40.304. SMALL SPILL EDUCATION PROGRAM. The
21-13 commissioner shall develop and conduct a voluntary spill prevention
21-14 education program that targets small spills from commercial fishing
21-15 vessels, offshore support vessels, ferries, cruise ships, ports,
21-16 marinas, and recreational boats. The small spill education program
21-17 shall illustrate ways to reduce oil contamination of bilge water,
21-18 accidental spills of motor oil and hydraulic fluid during routine
21-19 maintenance, and spills during refueling. The program shall
21-20 illustrate proper disposal of oil and promote strategies to meet
21-21 shoreside oil handling and disposal needs of targeted groups. The
21-22 program shall include a series of training materials and workshops
21-23 and the development of educational materials.
21-24 SECTION 10. This Act takes effect September 1, 1993.
21-25 SECTION 11. The importance of this legislation and the
22-1 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
22-2 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
22-3 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
22-4 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.