NATURAL RESOURCES CODE


TITLE 3. OIL AND GAS


SUBTITLE D. REGULATION OF SPECIFIC BUSINESSES AND OCCUPATIONS


CHAPTER 116. COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS


SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS


Sec. 116.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Commission" means the Railroad Commission of Texas.

(2) "Compressed natural gas" or "CNG" means natural gas primarily consisting of methane in a gaseous state that is compressed and used, stored, sold, transported, or distributed for use by or through a CNG system.

(3) "Liquefied natural gas" or "LNG" means natural gas primarily consisting of methane in liquid or semisolid state.

(4) "CNG cylinder" means a cylinder or other container designed for use or used as part of a CNG system.

(5) "LNG container" means a container designed for use or used as part of an LNG system.

(6) "CNG system" means a system of safety devices, cylinders, piping, fittings, valves, compressors, regulators, gauges, relief devices, vents, installation fixtures, and other CNG equipment intended for use or used in any building or public place by the general public or in conjunction with a motor vehicle or mobile fuel system fueled by compressed natural gas and any system or facilities designed to be used or used in the compression, sale, storage, transportation for delivery, or distribution of compressed natural gas in portable CNG cylinders, but does not include natural gas facilities, equipment, or pipelines located upstream of the inlet of a compressor devoted entirely to compressed natural gas.

(7) "LNG system" means a system of safety devices, containers, piping, fittings, valves, compressors, regulators, gauges, relief devices, vents, installation fixtures, and other LNG equipment intended for use or used with a motor vehicle fueled by liquefied natural gas and any system or other facilities designed to be used or used in the sale, storage, transportation for delivery, or distribution of liquefied natural gas.

(8) "Motor vehicle" means any self-propelled vehicle licensed for highway use or used on a public highway.

(9) "Compressed natural gas cargo tank" means a container built in accordance with A.S.M.E. or D.O.T. specifications and used to transport compressed natural gas for delivery.

(10) "Liquefied natural gas cargo tank" means a container built in accordance with A.S.M.E. or D.O.T. specifications and used to transport liquefied natural gas for delivery.

(11) "Mobile fuel system" means a CNG or LNG system to supply natural gas fuel to an auxiliary engine other than the engine used to propel the vehicle or for other uses on the vehicle.

(12) "Motor fuel system" means a CNG or LNG system to supply natural gas as a fuel for an engine used to propel the vehicle.

(13) "Registrant" means any individual exempt from the licensing requirements as established by rule of the commission who is required to register with the commission, any person qualified by examination by the commission, or any person who applies for registration with the commission. Registrant includes an employee of a licensee who performs CNG-related or LNG-related activities.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 276, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 116.002. EXCEPTIONS. This chapter does not apply to:

(1) the production, transportation, storage, sale, or distribution of natural gas that is not included in the definition of compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas;

(2) the production, transportation, storage, sale, or distribution of natural gas that is subject to commission jurisdiction under Subtitle A or B, Title 3, Utilities Code;

(3) pipelines, fixtures, and other equipment used in the natural gas industry that are not used or designed to be used as part of a CNG or LNG system; or

(4) pipelines, fixtures, equipment, or facilities to the extent that they are subject to the safety regulations promulgated and enforced by the commission pursuant to Chapter 117, Natural Resources Code, or Subchapter E, Chapter 121, Utilities Code.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 18.42, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

SUBCHAPTER B. ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS


Sec. 116.011. ADMINISTRATION. The commission shall administer and enforce this chapter and rules and standards adopted under this chapter relating to compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 116.012. RULES AND STANDARDS. To protect the health, safety, and welfare of the general public, the commission shall adopt necessary rules and standards relating to the work of compression and liquefaction, storage, sale or dispensing, transfer or transportation, use or consumption, and disposal of compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 116.013. NATIONAL CODES. The commission may adopt by reference in its rules all or part of the published codes of nationally recognized societies as standards to be met in the design, construction, fabrication, assembly, installation, use, and maintenance of CNG or LNG components and equipment.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 116.014. FEES. (a) Fees collected by the commission under Section 116.034 of this code for training, examinations, and seminars must be deposited in a special fund in the state treasury designated as the CNG and LNG examination fund. The commission shall use money in this fund to pay the cost of training, examinations, and seminars sponsored or administered by the commission.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (a) of this section, money collected by the commission as fees under this chapter shall be deposited in the general revenue fund.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 116.015. ENTRY ON PROPERTY; INSPECTION AND INVESTIGATION. (a) An employee, agent, or inspector of the commission may enter the premises of a licensee under this chapter or any building or other premises open to the public or inspect any CNG or LNG system or motor vehicle equipped with CNG or LNG equipment at any reasonable time for the purpose of determining and verifying compliance with this chapter and rules of the commission adopted under this chapter.

(b) Any authorized representative of the LPG division may enter any building or premises where an accident has occurred in which CNG or LNG was a probable cause for purposes of investigating the cause, origin, and circumstances of such accident. The LPG division may request that any state or local authority having jurisdiction take appropriate action as may be necessary for preservation of property and premises.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 116.016. LIMITATIONS ON RULEMAKING AUTHORITY. (a) The commission may not adopt rules restricting advertising or competitive bidding by a licensee or registrant except to prohibit false, misleading, or deceptive practices.

(b) In its rules to prohibit false, misleading, or deceptive practices, the commission may not include a rule that:

(1) restricts the use of any medium for advertising;

(2) restricts the use of a licensee or registrant's personal appearance or voice in an advertisement;

(3) relates to the size or duration of an advertisement by the licensee or registrant; or

(4) restricts the licensee or registrant's advertisement under a trade name.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1233, Sec. 54, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

SUBCHAPTER C. LICENSING AND REGISTRATION


Sec. 116.031. LICENSE REQUIREMENT. (a) Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or by commission rule, a person shall be required to obtain a license from the commission to engage in any of the following activities:

(1) work that includes the manufacture, assembly, repair, testing, sale, installation, or subframing of CNG cylinders or LNG containers for use in this state;

(2) systems work that includes the sale, installation, modification, or servicing of CNG or LNG systems for use in this state, including the installation, modification, or servicing by any person, except a political subdivision, of a CNG or LNG motor fuel system or mobile fuel system on a vehicle used in the transportation of the general public; or

(3) product work that includes the sale, storage, transportation for delivery, or dispensing of CNG or LNG in this state.

(b) A license obtained by a partnership, corporation, or other legal entity extends to the entity's employees who are performing CNG or LNG work, provided that each employee is qualified and registered as required by rules adopted by the commission.

(c) No license is required by an original vehicle manufacturer or a subcontractor of such manufacturer for the installation and sale of a new CNG or LNG system when such system is installed on a new original vehicle fueled by CNG or LNG.

(d) The commission by rule may provide for the annual registration of all individuals performing CNG-related or LNG-related activities who are exempt from the licensing requirements of the commission. Employees of a political subdivision are not required to be licensed or registered under this chapter.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 116.032. LICENSE AND REGISTRATION FEES. (a) The commission shall adopt rules establishing registration fees and license categories and license fees to be charged for application for and issuance and renewal of a license or registration.

(b) The commission by rule may establish reasonable fees for each category of license.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1233, Sec. 55, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 116.033. APPLICATION AND RENEWAL PROCEDURES. (a) The commission shall adopt rules establishing procedures for submitting and processing applications for issuance and renewal of licenses and for registration.

(b) A person who is otherwise eligible to renew a license or registration may renew an unexpired license or registration by paying the required renewal fee to the commission before the expiration date of the license or registration. A person whose license or registration has expired may not engage in activities that require a license or registration until the license or registration has been renewed.

(c) A person whose license or registration has been expired for 90 days or less may renew the license or registration by paying to the commission a renewal fee that is equal to 1-1/2 times the normally required renewal fee.

(d) A person whose license or registration has been expired for more than 90 days but less than one year may renew the license or registration by paying to the commission a renewal fee that is equal to two times the normally required renewal fee.

(e) A person whose license or registration has been expired for one year or more may not renew the license or registration. The person may obtain a new license or registration by complying with the requirements and procedures, including the examination requirements, for obtaining an original license or registration.

(f) A person who was licensed or registered in this state, moved to another state, and is currently licensed or registered and has been in practice in the other state for the two years preceding the date of application may obtain a new license or registration without reexamination. The person must pay to the commission a fee that is equal to two times the normally required renewal fee for the license or registration.

(g) Not later than the 30th day before the date a person's license or registration is scheduled to expire, the commission shall send written notice of the impending expiration to the person at the person's last known address according to the records of the commission.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1233, Sec. 56, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 116.034. EXAMINATION AND SEMINAR REQUIREMENTS. (a) The commission may adopt rules providing training and seminar attendance requirements and shall adopt rules providing examination requirements for persons who are required or who wish to be licensed or registered under this chapter.

(b) The commission may adopt a reasonable fee to cover the cost of any training, examination, or seminar required by and sponsored or administered by the commission.

(c) Before a license or registration may be issued, the person to be licensed or registered must satisfactorily complete any training, examinations, and seminars required by the commission.

(d) Not later than the 30th day after the date a person takes a licensing or registration examination under this chapter, the commission shall notify the person of the results of the examination.

(e) If the examination is graded or reviewed by a testing service:

(1) the commission shall notify the person of the results of the examination not later than the 14th day after the date the commission receives the results from the testing service; and

(2) if notice of the examination results will be delayed for longer than 90 days after the examination date, the commission shall notify the person of the reason for the delay before the 90th day.

(f) The commission may require a testing service to notify a person of the results of the person's examination.

(g) If requested in writing by a person who fails a licensing or registration examination administered under this chapter, the commission shall furnish the person with an analysis of the person's performance on the examination.

(h) The commission may recognize, prepare, or administer continuing education programs for its licensees and registrants. A licensee or registrant must participate in the programs to the extent required by the commission to keep the person's license.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1233, Sec. 57, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1038 (H.B. 1162), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 116.0345. LICENSE OR REGISTRATION BY ENDORSEMENT. The commission may waive any prerequisite to obtaining a license or registration for an applicant after reviewing the applicant's credentials and determining that the applicant holds a license or registration issued by another jurisdiction that has licensing requirements substantially equivalent to those of this state.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1233, Sec. 58, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 116.0346. PROVISIONAL LICENSE OR REGISTRATION. (a) The commission may issue a provisional license or registration to an applicant currently licensed or registered in another jurisdiction who seeks a license or registration in this state and who:

(1) has been licensed or registered in good standing for at least two years in another jurisdiction, including a foreign country, that has licensing or registration requirements substantially equivalent to the requirements of this chapter;

(2) has passed a national or other examination recognized by the commission relating to the activities regulated under this chapter; and

(3) is sponsored by a person licensed or registered by the commission under this chapter with whom the provisional license or registration holder will practice during the time the person holds a provisional license or registration.

(b) The commission may waive the requirement of Subsection (a)(3) for an applicant if the commission determines that compliance with that subsection would be a hardship to the applicant.

(c) A provisional license or registration is valid until the date the commission approves or denies the provisional license or registration holder's application for a license or registration. The commission shall issue a license or registration under this chapter to the provisional license or registration holder if:

(1) the provisional license or registration holder is eligible to be licensed or registered under Section 116.0345; or

(2) the provisional license or registration holder:

(A) passes the part of the examination under Section 116.034 that relates to the applicant's knowledge and understanding of the laws and rules relating to the activities regulated under this chapter in this state;

(B) meets the academic and experience requirements for a license or registration under this chapter; and

(C) satisfies any other licensing or registration requirements under this chapter.

(d) The commission must approve or deny a provisional license or registration holder's application for a license or registration not later than the 180th day after the date the provisional license or registration is issued. The commission may extend the 180-day period if the results of an examination have not been received by the commission before the end of that period.

(e) The commission may establish a fee for provisional licenses or registrations in an amount reasonable and necessary to cover the cost of issuing the license or registration.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1233, Sec. 58, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 116.035. DENIAL OF LICENSE. The commission may deny issuance or renewal of a license or registration to any person who fails to qualify under the requirements of this chapter and rules adopted by the commission under this chapter. The commission shall give written notice to an applicant for the issuance or renewal of a license or for registration of the denial of the license or registration and the reasons for denial.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 116.036. INSURANCE REQUIREMENT. (a) All licensees must acquire and maintain appropriate workers' compensation or coverage for its employees under policies of work-related accident, disability, and health insurance, including coverage for death benefits, from an insurance carrier authorized to provide coverage in this state and other insurance coverage required by the commission in the amounts required by the commission.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a) of this section, a state agency or institution, county, municipality, school district, or other governmental subdivision may submit evidence of workers' compensation coverage by self-insurance if permitted by the Texas Workers' Compensation Act (Article 8308-1.01 et seq., Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes).

(c) The commission shall adopt rules establishing specific requirements for insurance coverage under this chapter and evidence of such coverage. The types and amounts of insurance coverage required by the commission shall be based on the type and category of licensed activity. The commission by rule may allow a licensee to self-insure under Subsection (a) or (e) and by rule shall establish standards for that self-insurance.

(d) The commission may not issue or renew a license, and a licensee may not perform any licensed activity unless the insurance coverage required by the commission's rules is in effect and evidence of that coverage is filed with the commission as required by commission rule.

(e) Every motor vehicle operated in this state as a conveyance for a CNG or an LNG cargo tank must meet motor vehicle insurance requirements established by the commission.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 66, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 116.037. DISCIPLINARY ACTION. (a) The commission shall notify a licensee or registrant in writing if it finds probable violation or noncompliance with this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter.

(b) The notice shall specify the particular acts, omissions, or conduct comprising the alleged violation and shall designate a date by which the violation must be corrected or discontinued.

(c) The licensee or registrant shall report timely compliance or shall request extension of time for compliance if considered necessary.

(d) If a licensee or registrant objects to the complaint or requirements under this section, or if the commission determines that the licensee or registrant is not proceeding adequately to compliance, then, on written request of the licensee or registrant or order of the commission, a public hearing must be conducted.

(e) If the commission or division determines that the probable violation or noncompliance constitutes an immediate danger to the public health, safety, and welfare, it shall require the immediate cessation of the probable violation or noncompliance and proceed with a hearing.

(f) The commission shall revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew a license or registration or shall reprimand the licensee or registrant if the commission finds that the licensee or registrant has violated or failed to comply with or is violating or failing to comply with this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter.

(g) The commission may place on probation a person whose license or registration is suspended. If a license or registration suspension is probated, the commission may require the person:

(1) to report regularly to the commission on matters that are the basis of the probation;

(2) to limit practice to the areas prescribed by the commission; or

(3) to continue or review professional education until the person attains a degree of skill satisfactory to the commission in those areas that are the basis of the probation.

(h) Any party to a proceeding before the commission is entitled to judicial review under the substantial evidence rule.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1233, Sec. 59, 60, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 116.038. STAGGERED RENEWAL OF LICENSES. The commission by rule may adopt a system under which license and registration fees required by Section 116.032 of this code expire on various dates during the year. For the year in which the license and registration expiration dates are changed, license and registration fees payable on a specified date shall be prorated on a monthly basis so that each licensee shall pay only that portion of the license and registration fees that is allowable to the number of months during which the license and registration is valid. On renewal of the license and registration on the new expiration date, the total license and registration fees are payable.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

SUBCHAPTER D. MOTOR VEHICLE REGULATION


Sec. 116.071. REGISTRATION RULES. The commission shall adopt rules relating to the registration of motor vehicles that are equipped with a CNG or LNG cargo tank and motor vehicles used principally to transport compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas in portable cylinders or containers.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 116.072. REGISTRATION. (a) Each motor vehicle that is equipped with a CNG or LNG cargo tank and each motor vehicle used principally to transport CNG or LNG in portable cylinders or containers must be registered with the commission as provided by commission rules.

(b) The commission may not impose a fee for registration under this section on a motor vehicle owned by a county.

(c) The commission by rule shall establish a reasonable, nonrefundable annual registration and transfer fee for each CNG or LNG cargo trailer, semitrailer, bobtail, and cylinder-delivery unit registered or transferred as follows:

(1) the annual registration fee established by the commission shall not be less than $100 nor more than $500; and

(2) the annual transfer fee established by the commission shall not be less than $25 nor more than $100.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 375, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 66, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 116.073. SAFETY RULES. The commission shall adopt safety rules relating to the transportation of compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas in this state.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 116.074. COOPERATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY. The Department of Public Safety shall cooperate with the commission in administering and enforcing this chapter and rules of the commission relating to regulation of motor vehicles required to be registered under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 116.075. APPLICATION OF OTHER LAWS. This chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter do not modify, amend, or repeal any laws of this state relating to the regulation of motor carriers.

Renumbered from Sec. 116.076 by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

SUBCHAPTER E. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS


Sec. 116.101. MALODORANTS. Compressed natural gas must be odorized as provided by Subchapter F, Chapter 121, Utilities Code.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 18.43, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 116.102. TESTING LABORATORIES. The commission shall adopt rules relating to testing of CNG and LNG equipment and to the qualifications required of the persons who are to perform those tests.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 116.103. WARNING TAGS. (a) An employee, agent, or inspector of the commission may declare unsafe or dangerous for service any motor vehicle required to be registered under this chapter or any CNG or LNG equipment or system that is defective or that does not otherwise conform to the safety requirements of this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter and shall attach a warning tag to the motor vehicle, equipment, or system in a conspicuous location.

(b) A person may not sell, furnish, deliver, or supply compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas for use or consumption by or through a motor vehicle or system in a public place or operate a motor vehicle having CNG or LNG equipment to which a warning tag is attached.

(c) A warning tag may be removed on approval of the commission or by a person designated by the commission to remove the tag. A warning tag may not be removed by any person who is not authorized to remove the tag by the commission.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 227, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

SUBCHAPTER F. ENFORCEMENT


Sec. 116.141. INJUNCTIVE RELIEF. (a) On request of the commission, the attorney general shall bring suit in the name of the state to enjoin a person from violating this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter.

(b) A suit for injunction instituted under this section is in addition to other remedies available to the commission under this chapter.

(c) A suit seeking injunctive relief under this section shall be brought in a district court in Travis County.

(d) The commission is not required to provide a bond in a suit instituted under this section.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983.

Sec. 116.142. CRIMINAL PENALTY. (a) A person who knowingly violates this chapter or rules adopted by the commission under this chapter commits an offense.

(b) An offense under this section is punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $5,000.

(c) Each day a violation continues constitutes a separate offense.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983.

Sec. 116.143. ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY. (a) If a person violates this chapter, a rule of the commission adopted under this chapter, or a term, condition, or provision of a license or registration issued by the commission under this chapter and the violation results in pollution of the air or water of this state or poses a threat to the public safety, the person may be assessed a civil penalty by the commission.

(b) The penalty may not exceed $10,000 a day for each violation. Each day a violation continues may be considered a separate violation for purposes of penalty assessments.

(c) In determining the amount of the penalty, the commission shall consider the person's history of previous violations of this chapter, the seriousness of the violation, any hazard to the health or safety of the public, and the demonstrated good faith of the person charged.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983.

Sec. 116.144. PENALTY ASSESSMENT PROCEDURE. (a) A civil penalty under Section 116.145 of this code may be assessed only after the person charged with the violation has been given an opportunity for a public hearing.

(b) If a public hearing has been held, the commission shall make findings of fact, and it shall issue a written decision as to the occurrence of the violation and the amount of the penalty that is warranted, incorporating, when appropriate, an order requiring that the penalty be paid.

(c) If appropriate, the commission shall consolidate the hearings with other proceedings under this chapter.

(d) If the person charged with the violation fails to avail himself of the opportunity for a public hearing, a civil penalty may be assessed by the commission after it has determined that a violation did occur and the amount of the penalty that is warranted.

(e) The commission shall then issue an order requiring that the penalty be paid.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983.

Sec. 116.145. PAYMENT OF PENALTY; REFUND. (a) On the issuance of notice or an order charging that a violation has occurred, the commission shall inform the person charged within 30 days of the proposed amount of the penalty.

(b) Within the 30-day period immediately following the day on which the notice or order is issued, the person charged with the penalty shall pay the proposed penalty in full or, if the person wishes to contest either the amount of the penalty or the fact of the violation, forward the proposed amount to the commission for placement in an escrow account.

(c) If through administrative or judicial review of the proposed penalty it is determined that no violation occurred or that the amount of the penalty should be reduced, the commission shall, within the 30-day period immediately following that determination, remit the appropriate amount to the person, with interest at the prevailing United States Department of the Treasury rate.

(d) Failure to forward the money to the commission within the time provided by Subsection (b) of this section results in a waiver of all legal rights to contest the violation or the amount of the penalty.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983.

Sec. 116.146. RECOVERY OF PENALTY. Civil penalties owed under Sections 116.143 through 116.145 of this code may be recovered in a civil action brought by the attorney general at the request of the commission.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 487, ch. 99, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983.