Senate Research Center   S.B. 619
78R4682 MI-FBy: Armbrister
Natural Resources
As Filed


The Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act (OSPRA) requires the General
Land Office (GLO) to convene a cooperative council, but the GLO has failed
to convene such council.  The GLO administers a mature oil spill
prevention and response program, and according to some, a cooperative
council is not necessary to coordinate prevention, response, and cleanup
operations.  As proposed, S.B. 619 provides for the consolidation of all
spill cleanup duties to GLO.  Allows GLO to assume the responsibilities,
including that of the Railroad Commission jurisdiction over coastal spills
from exploration and production facilities of 240 barrels or less.  Also
pertains to the Coastal Protection Fund and other minor provisions.  


This bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to
a state officer, institution, or agency. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Section 40.002(c), Natural Resources Code, to delete
text stating that the legislature intends by this chapter to exercise the
police power of the state to protect its coastal waters and adjacent
shorelines by conferring upon the commissioner of the General Land Office
(land commissioner) the power to provide for development of a state
coastal discharge contingency plan through planning and coordination with
the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission, to protect coastal
waters from all types of spills and discharges. 

SECTION 2.  Amends Sections 40.003(13), (17), and (22), Natural Resources
Code, to redefine "hazardous substance," "oil," and "response costs." 
SECTION 3.  Amends Section 40.005, Natural Resources Code, as follows:

CLEANUP.  Provides that the GLO, under the direction and control of the
land commissioner, is the state's lead agency for initiating response to
all actual or threatened unauthorized discharges of oil.  Provides that in
the event of an unauthorized discharge of a hazardous substance, nothing
in this chapter shall preclude the Texas Commission on Environmental
Quality (TCEQ), rather than the Texas Natural Resources Conservation
Commission (TNRCC), from at the earliest time practicable assuming
response and cleanup duties pursuant to Chapter 26G, Water Code. 

SECTION 4.  Amends Section 40.052, Natural Resources Code, as follows:
Sec. 40.052.  HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES DISCHARGES.  Makes nonsubstantive
changes and a conforming change. 

SECTION 5.  Amends Section 40.101(c), Natural Resources Code, to make a
conforming change. 
SECTION 6.  Amends Section 40.103(b), Natural Resources Code, to delete
text stating that prior approval for  compensation may be provided for in
the state coastal discharge contingency plan. 

SECTION 7.  Amends Section 40.104, Natural Resources Code, as follows:
conforming change. 

  (b) Makes a conforming change.  

SECTION 8.  Amends Section 40.107(a)(1), Natural Resources Code, to make a
conforming change. 
SECTION 9.  Amends Sections 40.107(c)(1) and (4), Natural Resources Code,
to make conforming changes. 

SECTION 10.  Amends Section 40.116, Natural Resources Code, as follows:
Sec. 40.116.  AUDITS, INSPECTIONS, and DRILLS.  Deletes text stating that
the land commissioner may subject a vessel subject to Section 40.114 of
this code, as a condition to being granted entry into any port in this
state, to announced or unannounced audit, inspection, or drill. 

SECTION 11.  Amends Section 40.151(b), Natural Resources Code, to require
the coastal protection fund to be credited all fees, penalties, judgments,
reimbursements, interest or income on the fund, and charges provided for
in this chapter and the fee revenues levied, collected, and credited
pursuant to this chapter. 

SECTION 12.  Amends Section 40.152(a), Natural Resources Code, to delete
text stating that money in the fund may be disbursed for an inventory
under Section 40.107, to be completed by September 1, 1995, in an amount
not to exceed $6 million. 

SECTION 13.  Amends Section 40.152(b), Natural Resources Code, to provide
that there is hereby appropriated to the GLO funds necessary for the
implementation of Subsections (a)(2), (3), (4), and (7), and on
certification by the land commissioner pursuant to Section 40.155(c), the
remainder of the balance of the coastal protection account for emergency

SECTION 14.  Amends Section 40.254(g)(3), Natural Resources Code, to
authorize the land commissioner, on failure of the person to comply with
the order or file a petition for judicial review, to refer the matter to
the attorney general for collection and enforcement. 
SECTION 15.  Amends Section 40.254(h)(1), Natural Resources Code, to
require the land commissioner, if a penalty is reduced or not assessed, to
remit to the person charged the appropriate amount of any penalty payment
plus accrued interest. 

SECTION 16.  Amends Sections 40.258(a)(1), (2), and (3), Natural Resources
Code, to make conforming changes. 

SECTION 17.  Repealer:  Sections 40.006 (Interagency Council), 40.053
(State Coastal Discharge Contingency Plan), 40.110(f) (General Terms),
40.115 (Entry into Port), 40.117(b) (Regulations), 40.151(e) (Coastal
Protection Fund), 40.254(g)(2) (Orders and Hearings), and 40.303 (Oil
Spill Oversight Council), Natural Resources Code. 
SECTION 18.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.