Conservation Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., May 31, 2000

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Item
No.
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approval of the Committee Minutes from the previous meeting.  
  Summary of Minutes  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. Sea Grass Conservation Rules
Staff: Dr. Bill Harvey
8
3. Statewide Aquatic Vegetation
Staff: Bob Sweeney
Committee Only
4. Meteor Crater Funding
Staff: Walt Dabney
11
5. Land Transfers
Staff: Walt Dabney
12
6. Regional Grant Funding
Staff: Tim Hogsett
13
7. Oil and Gas Lease – Sheldon WMA
Staff: Kathy Boydston
14
8. Exchange of Pipeline and Easement – Lake Houston State Park
Staff: Kathy Boydston
15
9. Other Business  

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Conservation Committee
April 5, 2000

BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 5th day of April, 2000, there came to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the commission hearing room of the Parks and Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas, beginning at 2:35 p.m., to-wit:

COMMISSION ATTENDANCE:

Carol E. Dinkins, Chair
Lee M. Bass (absent)
Dick Heath
Nolan Ryan
Ernest Angelo, Jr.
John Avila, Jr.
Alvin L. Henry
Katharine Armstrong Idsal
Mark E. Watson, Jr.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Mark E. Watson, Jr. moved to approve the minutes of the last committee meeting and John Avila, Jr. seconded the motion, which carried.

THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WERE PRESENTED FOR COMMITTEE ACTION:

1. BRIEFING – CHAIRMAN’S CHARGES

Presenter: Andrew Sansom

Mr. Sansom suggested that this report be given at the June meeting since there were no critical items and the Chairman agreed.

2. ACTION – SEA GRASS CONSERVATION PROPOSALS

Presenters: Dr. Bill Harvey and Larry McKinney
Dr. Harvey reviewed two proposals for sea grass conservation which implement the initiatives contained in his November 1999 briefing. There are five species in Texas, serving as nursery areas, food and cover for many game and non-game fish. Sea grass is an important part of maintaining the stabilization of bays and estuary bottoms; it also helps to preserve water quality and fishing areas. These grasses grow in very shallow water.

In 1999 the Parks and Wildlife Department, with the General Land Office and TNRCC, adopted the Sea Grass Conservation Plan for Texas. This plan identified causes of sea grass loss such as dredging, changes in water quality and prop scarring (the result of boats operating in shallow water). A Citizens’ Task Force was formed, representing all areas of interest. The Task Force decided on four goals: (1) Protect Texas sea grass resources; (2) Maintain and enhance the quality and access to Texas coastal fishing; (3) Create new recreational activities; and (4) Make sure that the new plan was consistent with the spirit and tone of the Sea Grass Conservation Plan.

The Sea Grass Task Force found that prop scarring was a substantial contributor to sea grass fragmentation in many areas of the Texas Gulf Coast, that it may exacerbate bottom erosion and further sea grass loss, and that it tends to be concentrated near popular fishing areas. They also found that boater education could result in decreased sea grass fragmentation; that rerouting of boat traffic would be a substantial means of protecting sea grasses; that the sea grass research initiated by Dr. McKinney two years ago should continue; and that the Department should look at means of improving access.

The first proposal concerns strategies for Redfish Bay, asking the Commission to create a Redfish Bay scientific area in order to continue research into the causes and remedies for sea grass destruction (the Department hired a sea grass coordinator to oversee these efforts). It implements a boater education program (which includes marking of navigable channels in the area); creates voluntary "prop up" zones; and looks at ways to improve access to fishing. This covers four areas of Redfish Bay: Redfish Cove (or Estes Cove); Terminal Flat; North Harbor Island; and Brown & Root Flat.

The second proposal concerns enhancing fishing by managing boat traffic at Nine Mile Hole (or the "Graveyard"). The strategy would be to create a State scientific area used to promote low-impact use during low tides, creating a mandatory no-run zone in the State water section of Nine Mile Hole and a voluntary no-run zone in the national seashore (the national seashore has agreed to partner with us in that effort). Dr. Harvey explained that boats would no longer be able to enter Nine Mile Hole from the north—entrance would be from one of the three access channels (either the one that is known as the Roll-Off Channel; the middle channel which is called 201 Channel; or the far south one called Nine Mile Hole Channel). The Task Force decided a running lane in the middle of the middle channel would not work since it would negate the benefits of an area that was largely motorboat-free. A public hearing was held on March 15, 2000 in Corpus Christi with 120 in attendance, including Commissioner Watson. Fifty-two were in favor of both proposals as presented; thirteen were opposed to the Nine Mile Hole proposal; and nine opposed both projects. The proposals were supported by the CCA, Coastal Bend Guides Association, Corpus Christi Bays and Estuaries, the Bays Foundation, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Aransas County Commissioners Court. The Recreational Fishing Alliance opposed the proposals.

Dr. Harvey stated that due to phone calls and letters received after the meeting, the Task Force would like to consider the no-run zone for Nine Mile Hole during the period of May 1 through September 30th, when tide is at its lowest. However, other times of the year when tides are high, boat traffic would be unrestricted during the high-tide periods. Also, the concept of scientific areas was a concern to some constituents because they felt it might be the first step to the restriction of shallow-water fishing. Therefore, both proposals call for the scientific areas to be in place for a period of five years, at which point they would sunset if the Commission took no further action. The Department reserves the right to study the "no-prop" zones on an annual basis.

There was discussion regarding the low tide at Nine Mile Hole in the summer; the proposed ban from May 1st to September 30th; and how boat traffic might increase in the fall if the fishing is good. Dr. McKinney stated that recovery time varies depending on the species of sea grass; specifically, turtle grass can take eight years while others may be only two or three years. The signs that will be posted to mark the areas were displayed. Dr. McKinney and Mr. Sansom complimented the task force and staff that worked with communities and organizations to reach a consensus. Commissioner Watson moved that the item be forwarded to the Texas Register. Commissioner Idsal seconded it and the motion passed unanimously.

3. ACTION – TPRA GRANTS RULES

Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Mr. Hogsett reviewed the proposed rule changes for the Texas Recreation and Parks account, which includes the Outdoor Recreation, Indoor Recreation and the Community Outdoor Outreach grant programs. He explained that the new rules are necessary due to House Bill 2108, which added new initiatives and included potential transfers of Parks and Wildlife-owned facilities to local governments; recommendations from the State Auditor’s Report; and because of the large increase in Community Outdoor Outreach funding. There were seven public hearings held around the State, with a total attendance of 253, and the proposed rule changes were published in the Texas Register, with no comments being received.

HB 2108 placed the Community Outdoor Outreach program in the Parks and Wildlife Code, as well as providing grants to political subdivisions for overhaul of transferred facilities and/or operations for a short period of time. The bill also reduced the requirement for land appraisals from two to one, which saves time and money.

One of the changes proposed would set aside one of the full-sized $500,000 grants for small communities or projects that are limited in scope, with guidelines published by July. An administrative change would allow sponsors to certify they are in compliance on projects previously granted, with spot-checks on an audit basis. Status reports will be required on a quarterly deadline basis. As part of the outdoor scoring system, a proposal lists new criteria for up to 25 additional points for projects that provide for significant wildlife habitat; up to 5 additional points for projects that provide facilities that enhance outdoor education opportunities; and up to 5 additional points for wetland creation.

The Indoor Recreation Grant Program proposed revisions to increase the funding cap from $500,000 to $750,000 and to abolish support for steam, sauna and whirlpool facilities. The Community Outdoor Outreach grant program proposes to increase the funding cap from $20,000 to $30,000 and to increase the round of funding from one time per year to two (as a result of the increased grant funding from $500,000 to $1.5 million per year.

Approximately one million dollars per year has been set aside by the Legislature for each of the next two years for regional parks. A pilot program has been proposed for urban areas of the State—either significant conservation projects such as river corridors, greenbelts or acquisition of properties; or the money could be used for intensive recreation facility development. Mr. Hogsett explained there will probably be one or two large grants under this pilot program and staff is working with the cities of Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio, as well as the counties of El Paso, Williamson and Hays. Proposals are due the end of April and recommendations should be made at the June meeting. Mr. Sansom commented that these two programs will help provide recreation, conservation and wildlife habitat opportunities for local governments.

Mr. Hogsett explained that the other proposed rule changes deal with administrative details such as quicker reimbursements, putting the grant requirements and application procedures on the web, scheduling two workshops and completing a master planning guide. Commissioner Angelo moved to recommend the item for the Consent Agenda on April 6, 2000. Commissioner Watson seconded it and the motion passed unanimously.

4. ACTION – PROPOSED STATEWIDE AQUATIC VEGETATION MANAGEMENT PLAN RULES – Postponed until May 31, 2000

5. BRIEFING – NATURE-BASED LODGING ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL FEASIBILITY STUDY

Presenter: Robert L. Cook

Mr. Cook briefed the Committee regarding the possibility of an agreement with private investors to build a nature lodge or nature tourism facilities on Parks and Wildlife property, whereby they would operate all or part of the lodge and provide conservation education and outreach on the site. The Department presently has 65 hotel-motel rooms in three parks that will accommodate 300 visitors. There are 83 cabins in 10 different parks that will accommodate about 380 people and 10 group lodges in six different parks and three group barracks. The Department has been in the conservation education and interpretation business for a long time; however, private investors are now ready to spend money and get into the business themselves.

There is an agreement at Ray Roberts State Park with an investor using totally private money to construct a visitors center/lodge on Department property. The investor is providing all of the labor and materials and will work with Department staff to provide educational programming at this site. The lodge (Lantana Lodge) will have 30 rooms, a restaurant, gift shop and meeting facilities. It should be open for business early this fall. At Lake Colorado City State Park the Department is constructing cottages using inmate labor from TDCJ.

Parks and Wildlife Management Area users want more interpretation and educational programming. Department facilities rank high as premier destinations for watchable wildlife and birding activities. The trend for overnight users is to seek more comfortable accommodations—they would love to spend two or three nights at Department sites, but don’t want to sleep in a tent. The demand for lodge rooms, cabins and shelters far exceeds availability. TPWD has experienced a decrease in overnight camping revenues, while day-use revenue has increased.

Mr. Cook introduced John Gosdin with LCRA and discussed the project at Lake Buchanan on LCRA property called "Canyon of the Eagles." He said there are 64 rooms with a restaurant and a conference center. Conservation education and interpretive programming are conducted at the site and they also have an astronomy observatory. The facilities are excellent; the eagle tour is operated by a local group and there’s a vineyard and winery across the lake where people can go to have brunch, so they’re involving a lot of the local people and a number of local businesses.

In February 1999 the Department put out a Request for Proposals for an economic and environmental feasibility study. There were three contacts; only one group of investors made a solid offer—Presidian LC, the same basic group that did "Canyon of the Eagles." After some discussion and negotiation, a contract was issued and they began a study period in May 1999 that will finish next month. The goals and objectives of this feasibility study were to assess the environmental impact on State lands caused by development and increased visitation and to assess the economic impact of lodge development and maintenance on individual state parks. The study is being done at no cost to TPWD initially, 25 sites were selected for review/study. In the beginning there were 24 sites to study. Presidian hired consultants well known in their fields and worked all summer, after which the first-cut was made. In the fall of 1999, after discussions and mutual agreement, the in-depth study was narrowed to six sites with geographical distribution across the state, involving both state parks and wildlife management areas. These were: Indian Lodge in the Davis Mountains; Palo Duro Canyon; Caddo Lake State Park Wildlife Management Area; Brazos Bend; Mustang Island; and Guadalupe River.

Department staff has cooperated with Presidian, their staff and their consultants through the study period. The first draft of the report on Indian Lodge was received last week with very detailed, complete studies and analyses. Mr. Cook said he expects the final report in a week to 10 days, at which time he planned to meet with key members of Department staff on-site to determine where to go with this agreement. The final reports on the remaining five sites are due by the end of May, at which point two or three sites will probably be eliminated fairly quickly. Discussion will take place during the summer to see if the Department can reach an agreement with Presidian.

Mr. Cook stressed two important considerations during this process: First, conservation and protection of the state’s natural resources; and second, concern for Department employees on those sites. He assured the Commissioners that the Department will take care of those employees.

Mr. Cook also stated that the Comptroller’s office has been supportive of this study--they believe this project should be seriously considered. There should be some positive information within the next 45 to 60 days.

6. ACTION – LAND TRANSFER – BEXAR COUNTY (SAN JOSE MISSION)

Presenter: Kathryn Nichols

Mrs. Nichols reviewed the history of Mission San Jose. The Department acquired it in 1941, with tracts added to it as late as 1977. In l978 Congress passed legislation creating the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park and San Jose was included. The National Park Service entered into cooperative agreements in order to manage the properties; the Department placed our property under their management in 1983. Recently the Superintendent of San Antonio Missions National Park requested a transfer of Department lands and facilities to them, and the transfer must be by donation according to Congressional Act. Parks and Wildlife owns some interest in 23 acres—seventeen are held in fee ownership and six are covered by indefinite lease agreements with Bexar County, San Antonio Conservation Society and the Catholic Archdiocese. The National Park Service has had full responsibility for maintenance, operation, interpretation and capital improvements. In the past five years they have invested more than $12 million in visitor facilities and site rehabilitation, and they have plans to continue investing in the site.

Mrs. Nichols stated a transfer would be in the best interests of the Department and the resource. The National Park Service has demonstrated a commitment to the site without asking the Department for any contribution for management or capital improvements. Mrs. Nichols noted that if the transfer is accomplished, it is recommended that the curators of the two agencies coordinate transfer of appropriate artifacts to the Park Service. Dr. Bill Dolman was questioned as to the amount and significance of the artifacts and it was determined there are several minor ones. Commissioner Watson moved to place the item on the Consent Agenda for April 6, 2000. Commissioner Henry seconded it and the motion passed unanimously.

7. ACTION – LAND EXCHANGE – BURNET COUNTY

Presenter: Kathryn Nichols

Mrs. Nichols described the proposed land exchange involving Longhorn Caverns. The Department purchased the property in 1932 and 1937, with essentially three portions to the park. The main body of 525 acres contains the large cave opening where the visitors enter. There is a smaller tract of 25 acres believed at the time to be the land above the caverns and another portion of 150 acres that created a strip for the scenic park road to link Longhorn Caverns with Inks Lake State Park. It has been discovered that the main body of the cavern and side passages extend at least one-half mile or more north of the park boundary and lie under private land. Mr. James Crownover, owner of an adjacent tract, has requested a driveway easement through park land. He informed the Department of a cave opening on his property that he believed led to Longhorn Caverns, offering either the whole 400-acre tract for sale or a smaller tract in exchange for a driveway easement.

The proposal is for a smaller exchange that would be more cost-effective, allowing the Department to acquire 17 more acres for Longhorn Caverns adjacent to Park Road 4. Mr. Crownover’s easement would start from the west end of his property and grant him a 50 ft. wide driveway easement about 200 ft. deep into park property. There are two tracts of parkland proposed for exchange. Tract No. 1 is 10.8 acres and includes a side passage that leads to Longhorn Caverns. Acceptance of this tract protects the quality of water entering the caves below. Mr. Crownover would also grant the Department access to cross the property he is retaining to reach this cave site. Tract No. 2 is 7.3 acres and runs parallel to Park Road 4. It’s essentially a 100 ft. setback from the road that will be left as a scenic buffer to minimize views of the housing development.

Mrs. Nichols noted that this exchange would acquire 17 acres without the use of acquisition funds, as well as adding the benefit of owning the cave entrance site in order to secure the opening and prevent entry into the tour area from an off-site location. Staff recommended that the cave tract be fenced, with construction costs estimated at $18,000 from the 2001 budget. Commissioner Angelo moved that the item be moved to the Consent Agenda for the April 6, 2000 meeting. Commissioner Avila seconded it and the motion passed unanimously.

8. BRIEFING – GRAND PARKWAY – FORT BEND COUNTY

Presenters: Dr. Larry McKinney and Bob Spain

Mr. Spain discussed the Grand Parkway and how it might impact Brazos Bend and Lake Houston State Parks. The Grand Parkway Authority was created in 1984 by the Legislature to build a third corridor around Houston, in addition to 610 and 6. The project is about 170 miles long and is also known as State Highway 99.

Mr. Spain stated that The Grand Parkway is a nonprofit organization that reports to the Texas Department of Transportation. They acquire lands by donations and receive funding from various sources such as TxDOT, counties that may have an interest and landowners interested in having the road near or on their properties. TxDOT will construct and maintain the roadway.

Mr. Spain reviewed the proposed segment routes—11 in all. Four of the segments on the north that cross Katy Prairie and then the San Jacinto River, are in corridor studies. One segment (I-2), has been designed or is being completed and will presumably be constructed in 2000-2001. Segment D was built in 1994 from Interstate 10 down to Highway 59. The next phase would connect with that and come down from 59 to Highway 288. There are many significant land holdings to be considered in this process, such as the George Historic Ranch, Thompson’s oil field, the Lake Worthington conservation area held by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Darrington Unit of the prison system, and Brazos Bend State Park. Other resource considerations are Smithers Lake on the north, Big Creek, the Brazos River, and two eagles’ nests. Mr. Spain said the draft Environmental Impact Statement is due in April, with a public hearing in the Houston area in May. A selection of the route and the final right-of-way will be determined; after the EIS, a conclusion may be reached in February.

Mr. Spain went over the various Options and impacts, pointing out that "light pollution" is a concern at Brazos Bend because the Houston Museum operates an observatory there which is open to the public. Mr. Spain and Dr. McKinney met with the Grand Parkway in March. The Department is trying to minimize impacts to wetlands, bottomland hardwoods, prairies and state parks. When impacts cannot be avoided, then staff requests mitigation.

IV. Meeting adjourned at 4:55 p.m.

IV. OTHER BUSINESS: There was no other business.


Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Andrew Sansom

Conservation Committee
Briefing
Chairman's Charges
May 2000

(This item will be an oral presentation.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Dr. Bill Harvey

Conservation Committee
Action
Sea Grass Conservation Rules
June 2000

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 8.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Bob Sweeney

Conservation Committee
Action
Statewide Aquatic Vegetation Management
Proposed Rules
May 2000

I. Discussion: In the Seventy-sixth Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature passed HB 3079, which added a new subchapter G to chapter 11 of the Parks and Wildlife Code. HB 3079 addresses development of a statewide aquatic vegetation management plan.

To assist in the development of the statewide plan, staff has formed a stakeholder workgroup that includes representatives of TNRCC and TDA, as well as industry, environmental groups, and river authorities. This group has reviewed and commented on preliminary rule drafts prepared by staff.

The rules that staff seeks to publish in the Texas Register for public comment would adopt a statewide aquatic vegetation management plan that incorporates the requirements of the statute and protects and enhances aquatic resources. The statewide plan would require that measures undertaken to control nuisance aquatic vegetation be consistent with the principles of integrated pest management as described in a guidance document that staff will prepare and regularly update. The guidance document will encourage beneficial aquatic vegetation, prevention of nuisance aquatic vegetation, and public education. The statewide plan would also require, consistent with the statute, that public drinking water suppliers receive notice of proposed aquatic herbicide application. The proposed rules would permit governing entities of public bodies of surface water to adopt, subject to TNRCC, TDA, and TPWD approval, local plans that are at least as stringent as the state plan. The proposed rules would require that the Department receive notification of all proposed control measures for nuisance aquatic vegetation, and would give the Department an opportunity to amend, reject, or make recommendations regarding proposed control measures under the state plan.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Conservation Committee adopt the following motion:

"The Conservation Committee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes staff to publish the proposed new subchapter K of 31 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 57, relating to the statewide aquatic vegetation management plan, in the Texas Register for public comment."

Attachment – 1

1. Exhibit A – Proposed Rule


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit A

Aquatic Vegetation Management Rules

§57.930. Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. All other words and terms in this chapter shall have the meanings assigned in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.

(1) Nuisance aquatic vegetation - any non-native or native plant species that are determined in department guidance to cause unacceptable levels of pest damage to a public body of surface water.

(2) Department or TPWD - the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

(3) EPA - the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

(4) Governing entity - the state agency or other political subdivision with jurisdiction over a public body of surface water.

(5) Integrated pest management - the coordinated use of pest and environmental information and pest control methods to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means and in a manner that will cause the least possible hazard to persons, property, and the environment. Integrated pest management includes consideration of ecological, biological, chemical, and mechanical strategies for control of nuisance aquatic vegetation.

(6) Licensed Applicator - a person who holds a valid license for aquatic herbicide application from the Texas Department of Agriculture.

(7) Local plan - a local aquatic vegetation management plan authorized by Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.083 and meeting the requirements in §57.933 of this title (relating to Adoption and Applicability of Local Aquatic Vegetation Plans) and §57.934 of this title (relating to Local Aquatic Vegetation Plan).

(8) MCL - maximum contaminant level.

(9) Public body of surface water - any body of surface water that is not used exclusively for an agricultural purpose. The term does not include impounded water on private property.

(10) Public drinking water provider - any person who owns or operates a system for the provision to the public of water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances, if such system has at least fifteen service connections or regularly serves at least twenty-five individuals at least 60 days out of the year.

(11) State plan - the state aquatic vegetation management plan authorized by Parks & Wildlife Code, §11.082, and described in §57.931 of this title (relating to State Aquatic Vegetation Plan Applicability) and §57.932 of this title (relating to Local Aquatic Vegetation Plan).

(12) TDA - the Texas Department of Agriculture.

(13) TNRCC - the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

(14) Water district - a conservation and reclamation district or an authority created under authority of Section 52(b)(1) or (2), Article III, or Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, that has jurisdiction over a public body of surface water. The term does not include a navigation district or a port authority.

§57.931. State Aquatic Vegetation Plan Applicability. The state plan governs throughout the state unless a governing entity has adopted an approved local plan.

§57.932. State Aquatic Vegetation Plan.

(a) All measures a person undertakes to control nuisance aquatic vegetation shall be consistent with the principles of integrated pest management as described in a guidance document prepared by the department. The department will update the guidance document as necessary. In addition to describing measures to control nuisance aquatic vegetation, the guidance document will describe measures to enhance beneficial aquatic vegetation and measures to prevent nuisance aquatic vegetation from becoming established. The guidance document will encourage governing entities to educate the public about aquatic vegetation.

(b) No person shall apply aquatic herbicide in a public body of surface water where the state plan governs unless the herbicide is applied in a manner consistent with this plan.

(c) All persons intending to apply an aquatic herbicide shall provide written notice to the governing entity, TPWD, and all public drinking water providers that have an intake within two river miles of a site at which an application of aquatic herbicide is proposed to occur, no later than the 14th day before the application is to occur. The notice shall include:

(1) the dates of the proposed application;

(2) all label information for the aquatic herbicide to be applied;

(3) a statement that the department’s guidance document has been reviewed and the proposed herbicide application is consistent with the principles of integrated pest management as described in that document;

(4) information demonstrating that the proposed application will not result in exceeding:

(A) the maximum contaminant level of the herbicide in finished drinking water as set by the TNRCC and the EPA; or

(B) if the aquatic herbicide does not have an MCL established by the TNRCC and the EPA, the maximum label rate; and

(5) TDA applicator license number, if any.

(d) An individual who is not a licensed applicator may not apply aquatic herbicides unless the governing entity affirmatively finds, after receiving the proper notice as provided in subsection (c) of this section, that the application will be consistent with the state plan, where the state plan governs. The governing entity shall respond to the notice given by an individual who is not a licensed applicator no later than the day before the date the application is scheduled to occur.

(e) An individual who is a licensed applicator may apply aquatic herbicide after notice consistent with subsection (c) of this section if the governing entity finds that the application would be consistent with the state plan or does not disapprove the application no later than the day before the application is to occur.

(f) After receiving notice of a proposed application of aquatic herbicide, a governing entity, or TPWD in the absence of such an entity, shall:

(1) provide the individual proposing the application with the state plan and TPWD guidance document;

(2) notify the individual in writing that it is a violation of state law to apply aquatic herbicides in a public body of water in a manner inconsistent with the state plan; and

(3) determine whether the proposed application is consistent with the plan.

(g) The governing entity shall prohibit the proposed application of aquatic herbicide if the governing entity finds that the proposed application is inconsistent with the state plan, or, if the proposed application is consistent with the state plan, so notify the person.

(h) State money shall not be used to pay for treatment of a public body of surface water with an aquatic herbicide unless the application of the herbicide is performed by an applicator licensed for aquatic herbicide application by the TDA.

(i) Any application of aquatic herbicide shall comply with label rates approved by the EPA.

(j) The notice and approval requirements in subsections (c)-(g) of this section are in addition to and not in place of the requirements of §57.935 of this title (relating to Review by the Department).

§57.933. Adoption and Applicability of Local Aquatic Vegetation Plans. A local aquatic vegetation plan may be adopted and shall apply to particular public bodies of surface water as provided in Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.083. A governing entity intending to operate under a local aquatic vegetation plan shall seek approval of its proposed local aquatic vegetation plan under §57.934 of this title (relating to Local Aquatic Vegetation Plan).

§57.934. Local Aquatic Vegetation Plan.

(a) To be approvable by TNRCC, TPWD, and TDA, a local plan must meet the minimum standards set forth in §57.932 of this title (relating to State Aquatic Vegetation Plan). Additional or more specific requirements are approvable. Where appropriate, TPWD will recommend that local plans include studies, prevention methods, and educational measures to enhance beneficial aquatic vegetation and better control nuisance aquatic vegetation.

(b) Proposed local plans shall be submitted to TNRCC, TPWD, and TDA on a form prepared by the department.

§57.935. Review by the Department.

(a) Prior to undertaking any measures to control nuisance aquatic vegetation, a person operating under the state plan shall provide to the department a description of the measures to be undertaken, on a form created by the department, no later than the 14th day before the measures are to begin. The department will review and may disapprove or amend any proposed measures to control nuisance aquatic vegetation. Where appropriate, TPWD will provide technical advice and recommendations regarding prevention of nuisance aquatic vegetation problems. The person proposing the control measures shall have the burden of demonstrating compliance with the state plan.

(b) Persons operating under local plans shall notify the department of all measures to be undertaken to control nuisance aquatic vegetation no later than the 14th day before the measures are to begin.

§57.936 . Recordkeeping. Governing entities shall retain copies of the following documents generated under this subchapter for a minimum of five years from generation: all local plan submissions and approvals, all proposed control measures submitted to TPWD, all notices received and provided, all control measures taken, and any other information relevant to a particular individual request for shoreline treatment.

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Walt Dabney

Conservation Committee
Action
Meteor Crater Funding
June 2000

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 11.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Walt Dabney

Conservation Committee
Action
Land Transfers
June 2000

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 12.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 6
Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Conservation Committee
Action
Regional Grant Funding
June 2000

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 13.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 7
Presenter: Kathy Boydston

Conservation Committee
Action
Oil and Gas Lease – Sheldon WMA
June 2000

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 14.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 8
Presenter: Kathy Boydston

Conservation Committee
Action
Exchange of Pipeline and Easement
Lake Houston State Park
June 2000

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 15.)


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