Regulations Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., August 29, 2001

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. Deer Management Permit Proclamation
Staff: Jerry Cooke
10
3. Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
Staff: Vernon Bevill
11
4. "Closed Season" for Crab Traps in Texas Coastal Waters
Staff: Hal Osburn
Committee Only
5. Floating Cabins
Staff: Dennis Johnston
Committee Only
6. Other Business  

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Regulations Committee
May 30, 2001

BE IT REMEMBERED

that heretofore on the 30th day of May 2001, 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 Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas beginning at 9:12 a.m., to-wit:

I. REGULATIONS COMMITTEE:

Lee Bass
Carol E. Dinkins
Al Henry
Joseph Fitzsimons
Katharine Idsal
Mark Watson, Jr.
Ernest Angelo, Jr.
Phil Montgomery
John Avila, Jr.

II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Motion by Commissioner Watson; second by Commissioner Idsal

III. THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WERE PRESENTED TO THE COMMITTEE:

1. BRIEFING – CHAIRMAN’S CHARGES

The chair recognized Executive Director Andrew Sansom. Mr. Sansom began by addressing agency action on advisory committees. He then brought the committee up to date on the progress of marine commercial fisheries license management, and reported on the status of Reel Texas Adventures.

2. ACTION – 2001-2002 MIGRATORY GAME BIRD PROCLAMATION

The chair recognized Mr. Vernon Bevill of the Wildlife Division. Mr. Bevill began by providing an overview of proposed changes to the Migratory Game Bird Proclamation. He then addressed the proposed changes to season length and bag limit for dove, giving a detailed breakdown of the department’s survey and outreach efforts, which indicated that hunters in the central and south zones preferred a longer season with a smaller bag limit. North zone hunters preferred the current season length and bag limit, but also favored a winter season. Mr. Bevill then reviewed the various scenarios for the placement of the ten additional hunting days in the zones where the 70-day season might be implemented. Mr. Bevill then introduced Mr. Bob Corrigan of the Migratory Game Bird Advisory Board. Mr. Corrigan related the advisory board’s desire for increased opportunity and family involvement in migratory bird hunting and outlined strategies for making progress towards those goals within the context of regulatory action. Commissioners Henry and Watson asked questions concerning the positioning of the additional 10 days of hunting opportunity that would be created by adoption of a 70-day season. Mr. Bevill stated that no matter how the issue was settled, there would inevitably be dissatisfied people. Chairman Bass summarized things by saying that generally, people associate the opening day of dove season in the central and north zones with September 1 and that perhaps a similar association could be created in the south zone by setting the season to open the Saturday before Christmas. Chairman Bass continued, saying that slight complications in season lengths and bag limits were worth the increased opportunity. Chairman Bass and Mr. Corrigan discussed possible interpretations of survey data regarding a split season in the north zone. Commissioner Idsal inquired about winter dove migration. Mr. Corrigan requested that the Commission look into conducting extensive banding and call-count surveys in order to develop a long-term dove management strategy. The Chairman moved to place the item on the agenda of the full Commission for adoption.

3. ACTION – DEER MANAGEMENT

The chair recognized Jerry Cooke of the Wildlife Division. Mr. Cooke provided background information on pending legislative action that would affect various department permit programs concerning white-tailed deer. Mr. Cooke informed the Committee that the preponderance of changes contemplated by the proposed legislation could be implemented by the Commission through rulemaking activity. He then outlined the proposed changes to each of the three affected proclamations, explaining how each change satisfied legislative intent while fulfilling the Commission’s obligations under the parks and Wildlife Code. Finally, Mr. Cooke addressed the department’s efforts to solicit public comment on the proposed changes. Chairman Bass asked about a petition requesting a later release date for deer held under a Deer Management permit. Mr. Cooke responded that some scientific breeders were concerned that under current regulations, a doe could be bred to a scientific breeder buck in a DMP pen, released, and then immediately trapped and relocated under a Triple T permit. Commissioner Montgomery then asked if the same situation explained opposition registered in Gillespie County. Mr. Cooke responded that it was not, and that the opposition at that public meeting was to the Deer Management Permit in its entirety. Commissioner Angelo asked if any of the deer management regulations would have existed had the legislature not mandated them. Mr. Cooke responded that that was his impression of the situation. Commissioner Fitzsimons asked about testing scientific breeder deer for disease before they are moved to a DMP pen. Mr. Cooke responded that the only time scientific breeder deer are required to be tested for disease is when they enter the state. Commissioner Fitzsimons then inquired as to the stringency of disease testing of deer compared to that of what is required for cattle. Mr. Cooke replied that he didn’t know enough about laws and regulations concerning livestock to respond authoritatively, but that he would be happy to check. Commissioner Angelo asked if the proposed changes would simplify or streamline the regulations. Mr. Cooke replied that the wording of the regulations would become more complicated, but that the process of acquiring and using the various permits would become easier. Commissioner Angelo then asked if the changes reflected the desires of the permittees. Mr. Cooke answered that the changes were instigated by members of the regulated community. The Chairman moved to place the item on the agenda of the full Commission for adoption.

4. BRIEFING – QUAIL

The chair recognized Gary Graham, director of the Wildlife Division. Mr. Graham introduced Dr. Nova Silvy. Dr. Silvy explained the differences (transects per unit area, survey strata, scalability, species applicability) between the two major breeding bird surveys and what those differences mean for interpreting quail data in Texas. Dr. Silvy concluded that due to habitat loss, quail have declined over time since the 19th century. The Chairman recognized Steve DeMaso of the Wildlife Division. Mr. DeMaso began by outlining the nesting chronology of quail in north and south Texas. He then explained that the department has determined that the threshold of acceptability of quail to hunters, in terms of size and weight, is 90 days. Mr. DeMaso examined research data from several areas across the state and pointed out figures concerning nest distribution and chick survival. Mr. DeMaso then addressed the department’s responsibilities and accomplishments concerning quail. He explained how the roadside survey and harvest survey are used to forecast quail population dynamics, and quickly reviewed recent survey data. He then provided an overview of management and research efforts undertaken by the department. Mr. Graham then introduced Fred Guthery, who briefed the Committee on solutions to quail decline. He began by detailing several known quail population collapses dating back to the last century, the main culprits for which were weather, overgrazing, land clearing, and market hunting. He noted that overall, there has been a downward trend in quail populations nationwide for the last 60 years, which has not been affected by fur prices or DDT. Mr. Guthery stated that land fragmentation and the loss of usable space are responsible, and that in areas where sufficient permanent cover exists, quail populations are stable. Mr. Guthery then said that a minimum of 5,000 acres is necessary for quail survival, and that such areas must be connected to each other by travel corridors. Mr. Guthery wrapped thing up by stating that generally, harvest plays a small role in quail management. Commissioner Angelo asked how many landowners approach the department for assistance in quail management. Mr. Graham replied that he didn’t have the exact numbers, but felt they were significant. Mr. Graham added that technical guidance was a crucial component of population management. Commissioner Angelo then asked if Mr. Graham thought that landowners realized there was a problem. Mr. Graham replied in the affirmative. Commissioner Fitzsimons asked how many wildlife coops had been created in the state. Mr. Graham replied that there were approximately 82. Commissioner Fitzsimons then asked what percentage of private lands under department management plans had identified quail habitat as an objective. Mr. Graham responded that staff would have to conduct some research to arrive at that number. Commissioner Montgomery stated that he felt some kind of proactive plan specifically dealing with the problem was needed. Mr. DeMaso informed the Committee about the activities of quail biologists in various organizations and associations. Commissioner Watson asked Mr. Graham as to his feelings regarding released birds. Mr. Graham deferred to Mr. DeMaso, who stated that other options were more desirable. Commissioner Fitzsimons asked what role the reintroduction of native plant species might play in quail recovery. Mr. Graham replied that the department has a number of such restoration projects ongoing, and hoped to discover if such approaches were effective. Dr. Guthery added that exotics and alien plant species were not believed to be of critical concern. Commissioner Montgomery reiterated his desire for a proactive approach to the problem. Commissioner Angelo stated that he thought people would like to see a more high profile effort on the part of the department.

5. ACTION – AQUACULTURE MOU

The chair recognized Ms. Rendell Silcox of the Resource Protection Division. Ms. Silcox began with a historical overview of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the department, TNRCC and the Department of Agriculture concerning aquacultural regulation. Ms. Silcox informed the Committee that Legislative action mandated that the department renegotiate the existing MOU to reflect changes in statute that affected the duties and responsibilities of each agency with respect to aquacultural regulation. Ms. Silcox then reviewed the changes mandated by the legislature. Mr. Larry McKinney, director of the Resource Protection Division, added that the issue had been at one time extremely divisive, but that at the present time, things seemed to have evolved into a very effective model.

6. BRIEFING - HUNTING ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The chair recognized Mr. John Kelsey, who provided a report on the activities of the Hunting Advisory Board. Mr. Kelsey reported that the Committee had had five meetings the previous year. One of the main goals of the Committee was to review the status of the huntable wildlife species in the state. In doing so, the Committee determined that only two species offered cause for concern: quail and mourning dove. Mr. Kelsey noted that mourning dove survey routes and survey methods needed to be reconfigured to give a better picture of population status for presentation to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. With respect to quail, he advocated a more robust research initiative to explore and ameliorate the quail decline. Continuing, Mr. Kelsey addressed the ongoing decline in license sales, noting that the area of greatest concern was the growing scarcity of young hunters. Mr. Kelsey stated that the decline did not seem to be due to fees. He then provided data on the economic importance of hunting to the state, particularly in rural areas. After stating that the two biggest barriers to hunting identified by the committee were the competitions in cost and time, Mr. Kelsey informed the Committee that the Hunting Advisory Committee would continue to meet in an effort to address those problems. Mr. Kelsey then informed the Committee that several influential meetings concerning wildlife issues would take place in Texas during 2001-2002, and that the department should be enthusiastically present at all of them. Mr. Kelsey closed by recommending that the department incorporate into its mission statement a policy of supporting hunting.

IV. ADJOURNMENT: Session ends at approximately 11:30 a.m.


Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Andrew Sansom

Regulations Committee
Chairman's Charges
August 2001

(This item will be an oral presentation.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Jerry Cooke

Regulations Committee
Deer Management Permit Proclamation
August 2001

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 10.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Vernon Bevill

Regulations Committee
Migratory Game Bird Proclamation – Late Season
August 2001

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


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Hal Osburn

Regulations Committee
Proposed 2001-2002 Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
Closed Season for the Use of Crab Traps
August 2001

I. Discussion: The crab resources in Texas provide for valuable sport and commercial fisheries. Over 6 million pounds are harvested annually with a dockside value of $3.5 million. Responsibility for establishing seasons, bag limits, means and methods for taking wildlife resources, including crabs, is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TPWC) under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61, Uniform Wildlife Regulatory Act (Wildlife Conservation Act of 1983). The crab fishery is managed using guidelines in the Crab Fishery Management Plan adopted by the Commission in 1992. That FMP noted concerns about abandoned crab traps. It is currently estimated that tens of thousands of abandoned crab traps in coastal waters result in navigation hazards and contribute to resource depletion. Senate Bill 1410 from the 77th Texas Legislature provided the Commission new authority to establish a closed crabbing season for the purpose of removing abandoned crab traps.

Proposed changes to 31 TAC, §65.78, Crabs and Ghost Shrimp, will establish a closed season for the period February 16 - March 3, 2002 during which the use of crab traps in public waters will be prohibited. Removal of abandoned crab traps will enhance boating safety and aid in the conservation and management of crab resources.

Department staff solicited input on this issue from commercial crab fishermen, crab dealers and commercial finfish fishermen via eight outreach and scoping meetings held along the Texas Coast. Staff also consulted three times with members of the Texas Crab Advisory Committee, as well as the Crab License Review Board, and the Finfish License Review Board. The current proposal to implement specific closures to the use of crab traps along the Texas coast during February and March 2002 is the result of a synthesis of input from these meetings.

Concurrently with this proposal, and in compliance with the provisions of S.B. 1410, staff is developing strategies for the safe and timely removal and appropriate disposal of abandoned crab traps from public waters during the closed season or seasons adopted by the Commission. These activities would include the use of volunteers coastwide to assist the Department in this first trap cleanup project. Staff will review the success of this initial year's result and provide recommendations for subsequent years of the project.

In addition, current law requires all crab traps be affixed with a gear tag which bears the name and address of the individual using the device as well as the date the traps was set out. The original intent of the gear tag was as an enforcement mechanism to encourage fishermen to run their traps regularly. Regular running of crab traps would minimize crab mortalities typically caused by ignored, lost or abandoned traps. Since implementation of limited entry in the crab fishery, which established clear trap marking systems, as well as regulatory requirements for escape rings and degradable panels, and the upcoming abandoned trap cleanup program the need to have the date marked on the gear tag has been reduced.

Proposed changes to 31TAC, §65.3, Definitions, will exempt all crab traps from the requirement to have the date placed on the gear tag. This rule change will increase the efficiency of crabbers while having little or no impact on the blue crab resources in Texas.

Attachment - 1

Exhibit A - Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation. §65.3 Definitions and §65.78 Crabs and Ghost Shrimp


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation

§65.3. Definitions.

(1) (1) - (21) (No change)

(22) Gear tag - A tag constructed of material as durable as the device to which it is attached. The gear tag must be legible, contain the name and address of the person using the device, and except for saltwater trotlines and crab traps, the date the device was set out.

(23) - (47) (No change)

§65.78. Crabs and Ghost Shrimp.

(a) (No change)

(b) Seasons. There are no closed seasons for the taking of crabs, except as listed within this section.

(c) Closed Crab Trap Season: It is unlawful to fish a crab trap in the coastal waters of the state from 12:01 am Saturday, February 16 through 12:00 midnight Sunday, March 3, 2002.

(c) (d) Places. There are no places closed for the taking of crabs, except as listed within this section.

(d) (e) Devices, means and methods. (No change)


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Dennis Johnston

Regulations Committee
Floating Cabins
August 2001

I. Discussion: The passage of Senate Bill 1573 by the Seventy-seventh Legislature delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission the authority to implement the Floating Cabin Permit program. Statutory requirements include issuance and renewal of floating cabin permits, relocation requirement, identification and marking requirements, and a permit buyback program.

Exhibit A - Proposed Floating Cabin Proclamation


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit A

Floating Cabin Permits
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes new §§55.201-55.207, concerning floating cabins in public coastal waters. The new sections are required to implement the provisions of Senate Bill 1573, enacted by the 77th Legislature. New §55.201, concerning Definitions, contains descriptions of certain terms used in the rulemaking, and is necessary to unambiguously determine the applicability of the rules to affected parties. New §55.202, concerning Issuance and Renewal of Permits, sets forth the requirements and deadlines for the issuance and renewal of permits. The new section is necessary to establish a uniform method for persons who own floating cabins affected by the statute to acquire, maintain, transfer, or relinquish permits. New §55.203, concerning Relocation Requirements, sets forth the conditions and procedures for relocating a permitted floating cabin from a permitted location to a new location. The new rule is necessary to satisfy statutory provisions. New §55.204, concerning Replacement Requirements, establishes a procedure for application and approval prior to replacement of a floating cabin, and is necessary to comply with the provisions of the statute. New §55.205, concerning Marking and Identification Requirements, sets forth a convention for the marking and identification of floating cabins, and is necessary to comply with the statute. New §55.206, concerning Permit Purchase Program, creates a mechanism and procedures for the department to purchase and retire permits issued under the subchapter. The section is necessary to comply with the provisions of the statute. New §55.207, concerning Specifications for Marine Sanitation Devices, establishes the minimum sanitation requirements for floating cabins, and is necessary to discharge the will of the legislature.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the rules as proposed are in effect, there will be negligible fiscal implications to state and local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

3. Public Benefit - Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald has also determined that for each of the first five years the rules as proposed are in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rules as proposed will be the discharge of the agency’s statutory duty under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 32, which will result in improved water quality of the public waters of this state by elimination of unregulated sewage discharges from floating cabins; the elimination of hazards to navigation due to unmarked and unlit floating cabins at random locations; and the protection of marine ecosystems from unregulated development in public waters.

(B) There will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses, or microbusinesses. There will be economic costs to persons required to comply with the rules as proposed. In addition to the initial $1,500 permit fee and annual $300 renewal fee established by statute, all persons seeking a permit for a floating cabin will be responsible for costs associated with sewage treatment and marking and identification. The department estimates that the minimum cost of a marine sanitation device is $200. The department estimates that the cost of complying with the marking and identification requirements of the subchapter (primarily, the purchase of either a marine battery or solar panel to power electrical lights) will be less than $100.

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the rules 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 rules.

4. Request for Public Comments.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Dennis Johnston, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389- 4624or 1-800-792-1112 extension 4624 (e-mail: dennis.johnston@tpwd.state.tx.us).

5. Statutory Authority.

The new rules are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, §32.005, which authorizes the commission to adopt rules to implement the provisions of Chapter 32.

The proposed rules affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 32.

§55.201. Definitions. The following words or terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, except where context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) Floating Cabin – means a structure securely moored in the coastal water of this state used for habitation or shelter and not routinely used for transportation. The term includes all mooring lines, anchors, anchor lines, spuds, and pilings and any other tethering devices. The term does not include a structure permitted by the General Land Office under Chapter 33, Natural Resources Code.

(2) Portable Marine Sanitation Device – A device that is designed to facilitate the transport of sewage for onshore disposal.

§55.202. Issuance and Renewal of Permits.

(a) Permits will only be issued to floating cabins:

(1) meeting the eligibility requirements set forth in Parks and Wildlife Code, §32.052;

(2) and for which all applicable fees have been paid; and

(3) a completed application has been submitted to the department on or before February 1, 2002.

(b) Permits issued under authority of this subchapter are valid only during the yearly period for which they are issued without regard to the date on which the permits are acquired. Each yearly permit period begins on September 1 and ends on August 31.

(c) A person possessing a permit issued under this subchapter may renew that permit by submitting a completed permit renewal form and renewal fee to the department prior to the expiration date of the current permit.

(d) Permits that are not renewed within 90 days after expiration will become ineligible for renewal and the affected floating cabin will be subject to removal at the owner’s expense according to the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, §32.154.

§55.203. Relocation Requirements.

(a) A floating cabin may not be relocated except on approval of a completed Relocation Application and verification that the proposed location meets the requirements of this subchapter and Parks and Wildlife Code, §32.107 and §32.108.

(b) A floating cabin may not be relocated more than twice during a permit year.

(c) A floating cabin may not be relocated within:

(1) a distance of 1000 feet of any other floating cabin or structure required to be permitted under Natural Resource Code, Chapter 33; or

(2) a distance of 250 feet of a pipeline.

(d) Upon written notification to Texas Parks and Wildlife, a permitted floating cabin may be removed from public water for the purpose of repair at any time. At the completion of repairs, the cabin may be returned to the original permitted location.

§55.204. Replacement Requirements. Upon approval of a Floating Cabin Replacement Application, a floating cabin permitted under the provisions of this subchapter may be replaced by a floating cabin meeting the requirements of §55.205 of this title (relating to Identification and Marking Requirements) and Parks and Wildlife Code, §32.101 and §32.103(1).

§55.205. Identification and Marking Requirements. All floating cabins required to be permitted under the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 32, shall be marked as follows.

(1) The permit number must be displayed on the outside of the cabin area on two opposite sides. The number shall be attached to or painted in block arabic letters of good proportion in contrasting color to the background and be at least three inches in height. The assigned permit numbering pattern consists of the prefix “FC” followed by a combination of numerals and an annual validation sticker. The group of numerals appearing between the letters and validation sticker shall be separated by a hyphen or equivalent space.

(2) Each floating cabin must exhibit a red or orange reflector measuring a minimum of 9 square inches. Reflectors shall be mounted on the outer 1/3 portion of each side of the floating cabin in a manner allowing an unobstructed view from an approach to the side.

§55.206. Permit Purchase Program

(a) Delegation of Authority. The commission delegates power and authority to the executive director to administer the Floating Cabin Buyback Program.

(b) Permit Buyback Bid Application Period

(1) The department may open one or more permit buyback bid offer application periods per permit year if available funds permit.

(2) The department shall establish during each application period a deadline for receipt of all applications.

(c) Permit Buyback Application Requirements.

(1) The department shall consider all applications to the Floating Cabin Buyback Program provided the applicants meet the following requirements:

(A) a completed Permit Buyback Application form furnished by the department has been submitted to the department by the application deadline;

(B) the applicant is the owner of the permit submitted for buyback; and

(C) the applicant has submitted to the department copies of all supplemental information as required in this subsection.

(2) A completed Permit Buyback Application shall contain:

(A) the full name of the applicant(s) having ownership rights;

(B) the current address of the applicant’s residence;

(C) the social security number of the applicant(s);

(D) the applicant’s bid offer, in U.S. dollars.

(d) Established Maximum Value Criteria.

(1) The department may, each permit year, establish criteria which will be used as appropriate to assign an Established Maximum Value to each application.

(2) The department will assign an Established Maximum Value to each application according to criteria provided in this section.

(3) The Established Maximum Value for each application will be based on the following criteria:

(A) length, width, and height of floating cabin;

(B) amount of funds accumulated in the Floating Cabin Buyback Fund;

(C) bid offers from previous application periods;

Established open market prices for permitted cabins; and

(D) other relevant factors.

(e) Application Ranking Procedures.

(1) Ranking values will be assigned to all applications based on the greatest difference between the Established Maximum Value and the bid offers which are less than the Established Maximum Value.

(2) The department will purchase permits beginning with the highest ranking to the lowest.

(3) Equally ranked bid offers:

(A) If bid offers are equally ranked and one floating cabin is larger in length, width, and height, the department will rank the larger floating cabin ahead of the smaller;

(B) If bid offers are equally ranked and both floating cabins are the same length and width, the department will rank according to the ascending alphabetical order of the applicant’s last name.

(C) The department may purchase permits whose offers fall within 10% of the Established Market Value and are greater than the Established Market Value.

(f) Notification of Acceptance or Rejection of Application.

(1) Department will notify each applicant in writing within 45 days of receipt of application regarding acceptance or rejection of application bid offer.

(2) Applicants whose bids are accepted must then notify the department of their intent to accept or reject the offer from the department within 15 days of the postmark of the notification letter sent by the department.

(3) The department may retain unsuccessful applications and include them in the next application period.

(4) The unsuccessful applicant may withdraw, resubmit, or amend an application for consideration during any future application periods.

55.207. Specifications for Marine Sanitation Devices. Floating Cabins required to be permitted by Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 32, shall have sewage disposal devices and equipment meeting the following requirements:

(1) A Portable Marine Sanitation Device shall meet the following specifications:

(A) The holding tank must be designed to facilitate the transport of sewage for lawful onshore disposal.

(B) The device must be maintained in a serviceable condition allowing for removal of waste for onshore disposal.

(2) Any marine sanitation device permanently installed on or within any floating cabin shall meet the following specifications:

(A) The device shall be constructed so as to prevent the overboard discharge of treated or untreated sewage or any waste derived from sewage.

(B) The device shall be designed for removal of waste materials by authorized pumping or removal of a liquid-tight storage container for onshore discharge.

(C) Pumping shall only be permitted using the following methods:

(i) discharge to a legally authorized sewage system;

(ii) discharge to a legally authorized pump-out facility; or

(iii) discharge to a liquid-tight vacuum truck or other conveyance for disposal by any of the methods listed in this section.

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


Top of Page
Back to Top
Back to Top