Presenter: Ken Kurzawski

Commission Agenda Item No. 6
Action
Memorandum of Understanding
with the Texas Department of Transportation
April 1999

I. Discussion: The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the department have developed a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will guide interagency coordination of environmental reviews of TxDOT transportation projects. The revised MOU is required by Transportation Code, §201.607. The environmental review process as guided by the existing MOU has been very positive, giving TPW influence in the review, design, construction, and operation of highway projects. Notable achievements resulting from the positive relationship established between TxDOT and TPWD have been the establishment of mitigation banks leading to the acquisition of the Old Sabine Bottom and Tony Houseman (Blue Elbow Swamp) Wildlife Management Areas, in addition to many other projects which have included a wide array of other environmental measures.

The Conservation Committee at its January 1999 meeting authorized staff to publish the proposed adoption by reference of the MOU in the Texas Register for public comment. The proposed action appeared in the March 5, 1999, issue of the Texas Register (24 TexReg 1579). A summary of public comment will be available at the time of the hearing.

II. Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motions:

  1. "The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts the repeal of 31 TAC §69.71 and new §69.71, concerning the Memorandum of Understanding with the Texas Department of Transportation (located at Exhibit B), without changes to proposed text as published in the March 5, 1999, issue of the Texas Register (24 TexReg 1579)."

Attachments - 3

1. Exhibit A – Proposed Adoption by Reference
2. Exhibit B - TxDOT MOU
3. Exhibit C - Fiscal Note (Exhibit C - Available upon request.)


Commission Agenda Item No. 6
Exhibit A

Memorandum of Understanding
Texas Department of Transportation
Proposed Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes the repeal of §69.71 and new §69.71, concerning Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Texas Department of Transportation. The new section adopts by reference the provisions of 43 TAC §2.22, which contains the text of an MOU required by Transportation Code, §201.607. The new rule is necessary to implement the statutory duty of the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to enter into cooperative agreements for the protection and preservation of the natural environment. The proposed rule will function by codifying procedures providing for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) review of TxDOT projects that have the potential to affect natural resources within the jurisdiction of TPWD.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, Wildlife Division regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the proposed rule is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rule.

3. Public Benefit - Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald also has determined that for each of the first five years the proposed rule is in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the repeal as proposed will be multi-agency cooperation in the protection and preservation of wildlife resources and habitat in this state.

(B) There will be no effect on small businesses. There are no economic costs to persons required to comply with the rule as proposed.

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by Government Code, §2001.022, as this agency has determined that the rule as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rule.

4. Request for Public Comments.

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted to Roy Frye, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4579 or 1-800-792-1112.

5. Statutory Authority.

The proposed repeal and new section are proposed under Transportation Code, §201.607, which requires each state agency that is responsible for the protection of the natural environment or for the preservation of historical or archeological resources to examine and revise their memorandum of understanding with the Texas Department of Transportation.

The repeal affects Transportation Code, §201.607.

§69.71. Review of Fish and Wildlife Impacts of Texas Department of Transportation Activities.

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas on

§69.71. Memorandum of Understanding. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts by reference the provisions of 43 TAC §2.22 (relating to Memorandum of Understanding with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department).

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas on


Commission Agenda Item No. 6
Exhibit B

TxDOT Memorandum of Understanding media download(PDF 183.3 KB)

 


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