Presenter: Kathy Boydston

Commission Agenda Item No. 15
Action
Exchange of Pipeline Easements
June 2000

I. Discussion: The Department has been requested to exchange a portion of an existing pipeline easement totaling 0.48 acres for the expansion of an adjacent easement by 0.44 acres for the purpose of replacing a section of existing pipeline. The easement tracts involved and a requested temporary workspace of 0.32 acres are shown on the map in Exhibit A. The charge for surface camage will be $5,000.

Headquarters and Park staff have examined the application and conclude that all attempts have been made to minimize impacts to the park. The staff recommends the Commission the exchange be granted subject to the conditions shown in Exhibit B.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Executive Director is authorized to recommend to the Board for Lease for Parks and Wildlife Lands the exchange of an easement to the Applicant as requested, incorporating terms and conditions shown in Exhibit B."

Attachments - 3

1. Exhibit A – Map (available upon request
2. Exhibit B – Conditions
3. Exhibit C – Fiscal Note (available upon request)


Commission Agenda Item No. 14
Exhibit B

Conditions

This Exhibit contains terms and conditions staff recommends be included in the pipeline easement covering certain areas in the Lake Houston State Park. These terms and conditions, if approved by the Commission, shall be forwarded to the Board for Lease.

  1. The archeological testing undertaken by Prewitt and Associates, Inc., on the existing easement and submitted in December, 1990, shall be deemed sufficient review of the potential for impacts to buried cultural resources. No additional testing or mitigation shall be required unless new evidence of buried cultural resources is discovered in the course of pipeline drilling and replacement. This clearance shall be specific to the area of the new easement and temporary work area, and does not authorize any other or additional use within the State Park.
  2. If an undocumented archeological or cultural site is discovered during site preparation, drilling or pipeline replacement operations, all work should cease and the site shall be reported to the land manager and the Texas Historical Commission. Any and all testing, permitting and reporting to achieve cultural resource clearance from the Texas Historical Commission and TPW shall be the sole responsibility of the operator. Determination of the need for further investigation shall be made by the Texas Historical Commission under the provisions of SubSection 191.0525 (g) of the Texas Natural Resources Code, and by Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) under the provisions of its Environmental Policy.
  3. The operator shall notify the land manager in writing 48 hours where practical, but in no case less than 24 hours in advance of the initial entry to begin operations. Where written notification is not possible verbal notification shall be considered sufficient. An entry schedule for staging of equipment, drilling and pipeline replacement shall be developed in consultation with the land manager. Entry for emergency purposes such as fire, explosion, or injury shall not require prior notice. The land manager shall be notified as soon as possible after the emergency event. The site manager shall have the authority to make provisions for unlimited and unsupervised entry to the site through the existing park gate on F. M. 1485.
  4. All reasonable precautions, including consultation with the land manager, shall be taken to avoid disturbance of fish, wildlife or significant plant resources during the pipeline drilling and replacement operation. Jurisdictional wetlands occur on the existing easement and on the area to be added to the existing easement. Disturbances to these wetlands shall be limited to the clearing of vegetation. Existing trees may be removed by means other than heavy equipment; trees shall not be uprooted in the process of clearing jurisdictional wetlands within the easement. In the event disturbance of soils within the jurisdictional wetlands becomes necessary, procedures for work and post-project site treatment shall be negotiated and coordinated with assigned TPW Resource Coordinator.

a. No pesticides, herbicides or other biocides may be used in the State Park without the express authorization of the assigned TPW Resource Coordinator.

b. No one entering the State Park under the provisions of this authorization shall kill or harass any wildlife. Snakes, turtles, alligators and other wildlife found within the project area may be removed a reasonable distance from the immediate vicinity and released unharmed.

  1. Cutting, clearing, or other vegetation disturbances shall be confined within the boundaries of the authorized easement and temporary work area.
  2. The holder of this easement shall be responsible for shredding or mowing the entire easement, including the 0.48 acres of easement returned to TPW, and the cleared area(s) of the temporary work area, on an annual basis, for the life of this easement. The operator may mow or shred the easement more often than annually at the operators discretion.
  3. Restoration of the easement and work area to pre-project contours and surface hydrology shall be the sole responsibility of the operator. Seeding of cleared area(s) with native grasses of the variety(ies) specified by the assigned Texas Parks and Wildlife Resource Coordinator at rates consistent with current professional standards, at the sole expense of the operator, may be required to minimize erosion or facilitate re-vegetation.
  4. The holder of this easement shall be responsible for the control of erosion within the easement and temporary work area, at the sole expense of the operator, for the life of this agreement.
  5. The operator shall be solely responsible for leaving all roads, access routes, infrastructure and other park facilities in as good or better condition than found. Vehicle and equipment access and activity is confined to existing road ROW and the existing pipeline easement, unless prior arrangements are specifically approved by the site manager. Damages to park roads, including excessive wear, shall be repaired at the discretion of the site manager. Any disagreements arising over the decision of the site manager in this regards shall be resolved by the Region 4 Parks Manager, whose decision shall be final and binding.
  6. The site manager, with concurrence from the Region 4 Parks Director or his designee, shall have the right to deny access to the project site, for reasons of safety, resource impact, or breach of easement conditions, without penalty to TPW. In the even access is so denied, operator will be provided with a verbal or written explanation of the reason for denial, and a reasonable estimate of the conditions and/or schedule under which denial shall be rescinded. Any decision to deny access to the project site may be appealed to the TPW Parks Division Director for review.
  7. Removal of water from Caney Creek is authorized as per other state and federal regulation and permit(s), which are the sole responsibility of the operator. No other removal of ground or surface water is authorized without prior written consent from the assigned TPW Resource Coordinator.
  8. A closed drilling fluid system shall be used for the drilling component of this project.

a. All drilling fluids shall be contained in steel tanks or above-ground lined containers. Excavation of pits for lined pit containment will be specifically reviewed and approved by the assigned TPW Resource Coordinator if it determined that there is no reasonable alternative. Excavated and lined pits shall be fenced to prevent wildlife mortality, at the operators sole expense, as per direction of the assigned TPW Resource Coordinator.

b. No drilling fluids shall be disposed of on-site.

c. All drilling fluids and other waste materials, including trash and garbage, shall be removed from the State Park and disposed of in a manner consistent with all local, state and federal rules and regulations.

d. Operator shall file a written plan with the assigned TPW Resource Coordinator for the use, handling and removal of drilling fluids and pipeline product during the course of this project, including provisions for response to unintentional spill. Plan will be reviewed and approved by TPW prior to start of work.

  1. At least one (1) portable toilet shall be provided on-site for the use of all operator, contractor and/or subcontractor personnel, for the entire duration of equipment staging, drilling, pipeline replacement, site cleanup and follow-up work. Park facilities shall not be used by project personnel without the express consent of the site manager.
  2. All personnel who enter the park under the authorization granted by this easement shall abide by all park rules at all times, including the prohibition against possession of a loaded firearm and the prohibition against public consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  3. Operator will be required to sign a Surface Use Agreement (SUA) with TPW covering matters left to the discretion of the land manager under the terms and conditions above.
  4. The consideration for surface damages associated with this easement is $5,000 payable in goods and services in lieu of cash payment, to be used for habitat management and/or restoration within the Coastal Prairies and Marshes natural region of Texas. Arrangements for payment shall be made through the Program., Director for Natural Resources, State Parks Division. Funds shall remain available for expenditure on goods and services for twelve (12) months of the date of this TPW commission action.
  5. The lessee shall save, hold harmless, defend and indemnify the State of Texas, its agents and employees for losses, damages or judgements and expenses on account of bodily injury, death or property damage of any nature whatsoever, and by whomsoever made, arising out of the activities of the lessee, the lessee's agents, employees, or subcontractors associated with the mobilization/demobilization of equipment and personnel, the drilling or replacement of pipeline(s), and/or any activity(ies) associated with the project authorized by this agreement.

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