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Section 201.026

Sec. 201.026. NONPOINT SOURCE POLLUTION. (a) The state board is the lead agency in this state for activity relating to abating agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint source pollution.

(b) As the lead agency, the state board shall:

(1) plan, implement, and manage programs and practices for abating agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint source pollution;

(2) have as a goal:

(A) setting priorities among voluntary efforts to reduce nonpoint source pollution and promoting those efforts in a manner consistent with the priorities; and

(B) assisting landowners to prevent regulatory enforcement actions related to nonpoint source pollution; and

(3) provide to the agricultural community information regarding the jurisdictions of the state board and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality related to nonpoint source pollution.

(c) Except as required by Subchapter L, Chapter 26, Water Code, a permit or other authorization is not required under that chapter as a prerequisite for the land application of animal waste for beneficial use at agronomic rates to property that is not owned or controlled by the owner or operator of a facility that Chapter 26, Water Code, requires to hold a permit or other authorization. This section does not affect the authority of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to investigate or take enforcement action against a point source discharge under Section 26.121, Water Code.

(d) On the request of the owner of land on which animal waste is applied for agricultural purposes, the state board may create and certify a water quality management plan for the land.

(e) Other state agencies with responsibility for abating agricultural and silvicultural nonpoint source pollution shall coordinate any abatement programs and activities with the state board.

(f) The state board shall represent the state before the federal Environmental Protection Agency or other federal agencies on a matter relating to agricultural or silvicultural nonpoint source pollution. Nothing herein shall impair the ability of:

(1) the General Land Office to represent the state before any federal agency in matters relating to the state’s participation in the federal coastal zone management program;

(2) the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to represent the state before any federal agency in matters relating to the state’s overall participation in the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. Section 1251 et seq.); or

(3) the Texas Department of Agriculture to represent the state before any federal agency in matters relating to the state’s overall participation in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. Section 136 et seq.).

(g) In an area that the state board identifies as having or having the potential to develop agricultural or silvicultural nonpoint source water quality problems or an area within the “coastal zone” designated by the commissioner of the General Land Office, the state board shall establish a water quality management plan certification program that provides, through local soil and water conservation districts, for the development, supervision, and monitoring of individual water quality management plans for agricultural and silvicultural lands. Each plan must be developed, maintained, and implemented under rules and criteria adopted by the state board and comply with state water quality standards established by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The state board shall certify a plan that satisfies the state board’s rules and criteria and complies with state water quality standards established by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality under the commission’s exclusive authority to set water quality standards for all water in the state.

(h) At the request of the landowner, the state board may develop and certify a water quality management plan for any agricultural or silvicultural land in the state. Section 26.302(b-1), Water Code, applies to a water quality management plan developed or certified for use by a poultry facility under this section.

(i) A water quality management plan developed under this section that covers land on which animal carcasses will be buried must include:

(1) disposal management practices for the carcasses, including a requirement that poultry carcasses may be buried on site only in the event of a major die-off that exceeds the capacity of a poultry facility to handle and dispose of poultry carcasses by the normal means used by the facility; and

(2) burial site requirements that identify suitable locations for burial based on site-specific factors including:

(A) land use;

(B) soil conditions; and

(C) proximity to groundwater or surface water supplies.

(j) The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality may not require a landowner who requests and complies with a water quality management plan under Subsection (i) to record the burial of animal carcasses in the county deed records or report the burial to the commission.

(k) The state board shall notify the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality not later than the 10th business day after the date the state board decertifies a water quality management plan for an animal feeding operation.

(l) The state board shall update the state board’s identification of priority areas for the control of nonpoint source pollution at least every four years. The state board, in considering changes to the identified priority areas, shall consider:

(1) bodies of water the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has identified as impaired through the state water quality assessment process;

(2) threatened areas in which action is necessary to prevent nonpoint source pollution; and

(3) other areas of concern, including groundwater concerns.

(m) Complaints concerning a violation of a water quality management plan or a violation of a law or rule relating to agricultural or silvicultural nonpoint source pollution under the jurisdiction of the state board shall be referred to the state board. The state board, in cooperation with the local soil and water conservation district, shall investigate the complaint. On completion of the investigation, the state board, in consultation with the soil and water conservation district, either shall determine that further action is not warranted or shall develop and implement a corrective action plan to address the complaint. If the person about whom the complaint has been made fails or refuses to take corrective action, the state board shall refer the complaint to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 611, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. April 29, 1993; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1095, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1189, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 418 (S.B. 1707), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 875 (H.B. 1719), Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 875 (H.B. 1719), Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 875 (H.B. 1719), Sec. 3, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87 (S.B. 1969), Sec. 27.001(1), eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87 (S.B. 1969), Sec. 27.002(1), eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 96 (S.B. 656), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

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