Commission Agenda Item No. 13
Presenter:  Ted Hollingsworth

Action
Request for Deed Modification – Harris and Montgomery Counties
Authorization of Pipeline Easement at Lake Houston Wilderness Park
January 24, 2013

I.       Executive Summary:  The City of Houston requests modification of the deed to Lake Houston Wilderness Park, formerly Lake Houston State Park, to allow installation of a 24” product pipeline.

II.      Discussion:  In 2006, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) transferred to the City of Houston, the 4,920 acre tract then known as Lake Houston State Park, for development and operation by the City of Houston Parks Department.  The deed contained restrictions prohibiting any industrial use of the property.  Enterprise Crude Pipeline Company LLC (Enterprise), requests an easement from the City of Houston to install a 24” diameter pipeline across this property to transport gas liquids and potentially other liquid hydrocarbons.  A modification of the deed from TPWD to the City of Houston is necessary prior to the issuance of the requested easement.  The City requests that TPWD grant the required deed modification.

TPWD staff has worked with the City and with Enterprise to determine that there is no reasonable and prudent alternative to the proposed pipeline route, and to minimize impacts to natural and cultural resources.

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

“The Commission adopts the Resolution attached as Exhibit A.”

Attachments — 4

  1. Exhibit A – Resolution
  2. Exhibit B – Location Map
  3. Exhibit C – Vicinity Map
  4. Exhibit D – Site Map

Commission Agenda Item No. 13
Exhibit A

A Resolution by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission regarding the Modification of a Deed to the City of Houston to Allow the Granting of an Easement Covering Approximately 10 Acres for Construction of a 24-Inch Gas Liquids Transmission Line Across Lake Houston Wilderness Park in Harris County

Resolution

Whereas, Lake Houston State Park, consisting of 4,920 acres in Harris and Montgomery Counties, was transferred by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to the City of Houston in 2006 for development and operation as a public park, and is now known as Lake Houston Wilderness Park (the Park); and,

Whereas, the deed transferring the Park to the City of Houston prohibits any industrial use of the property; and,

Whereas, Texas Express Pipeline LLC (Texas Express) has requested an easement from the City of Houston covering approximately ten acres crossing the Park in Harris and Montgomery Counties Texas (the Easement); and,

Whereas, Texas Express plans to construct a 24” diameter pipeline for the transmission of gas liquids from Skellytown in Carson County, Texas to Mont Belvieu in Chambers County, Texas; and,

Whereas, the City of Houston requests that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) authorize the necessary modification of the deed to allow the granting of an easement for the construction of the Texas Express pipeline across the Park; and,

Whereas, the Commission finds that as required by Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 26, notices of today’s hearing of this matter were published at least once a week for three consecutive weeks in newspapers of general circulation which are published at least six days a week in the communities nearest to the Park in which such newspapers are published (Houston Chronicle in Harris County), with the last day of publication being not less than one week or more than two weeks before the date of today’s hearing; and,

Whereas, staff of TPWD have worked with the City of Houston and Texas Express to select a route and construction methodologies, including directional drilling, that will minimize short- and long-term impacts to the Park and to fish and wildlife resources; and,

Whereas, Texas Express has agreed to compensate the City of Houston for the Easement and to undertake certain activities and certain mitigation measures to minimize the overall impacts of the Easement on the Park; and,

Whereas, Texas Express has provided evidence that alternate routes for the construction of the 24” gas liquids pipeline could result in greater net impacts to the Park and to fish and wildlife habitat, both inside and outside the Park; and,

Whereas, TPWD staff believe that some of the alternative routes for the 24” gas liquids pipeline are likely to result in greater net impacts to the Park and to the state’s fish and wildlife resources, and therefore modification of the deed to allow the granting of an easement by the City of Houston to Texas Express is not inconsistent with the mission of TPWD; and,

Whereas, the Commission finds, in accordance with Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 26, that (1) there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the use or taking of such land (Easement);  (2) the program or project that requires the use or taking of land (Easement) includes all reasonable planning to minimize harm to the land (the Park); and,

Whereas, the Commission finds, in accordance with Section 13.009 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code that authorizing modification of the deed subject to conditions that will minimize the overall impacts of any resultant Easement on the Park is in the best interest of TPWD; and,

Now, therefore, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes the Executive Director to take all necessary steps to negotiate terms and conditions under which the deed for Lake Houston Wilderness Park may be modified for the purpose of allowing the City of Houston to grant an Easement to Texas Express Pipeline LLC for the purposes and subject to the conditions described herein and in the motion approving this Resolution.

Adopted and approved this 24th day of January, 2013.

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T. Dan Friedkin, Chairman

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Ralph H. Duggins, Vice-Chairman

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Antonio Falcon, M.D., Member

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Karen J. Hixon, Member

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Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Member

___________________________________
Bill Jones, Member

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Margaret Martin, Member

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S. Reed Morian, Member

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Dick Scott, Member


Commission Agenda Item No. 13
Exhibit B

Location Map for Lake Houston Wilderness Park
in Harris and Montgomery Counties


Commission Agenda Item No. 13
Exhibit C

Vicinity Map for Lake Houston Wilderness Park 25 Miles North of Houston


Commission Agenda Item No. 13
Exhibit D

Site Map Showing Proposed Pipeline Route












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