This website will be unavailable from Thursday, May 30, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. through Monday, June 3, 2024 at 7:00 a.m. due to data center maintenance.

 
 
  S.B. No. 2445
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the disposal of sewage by certain boats.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subsections (a), (b), (c), (d), and (f), Section
  26.044, Water Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  In [As used in] this section:
               (1)  "Boat"[, "boat"] means any vessel or other
  watercraft, whether moved by oars, paddles, sails, or other power
  mechanism, inboard or outboard, or any other vessel or structure
  floating on surface water in the [this] state, whether or not
  capable of self-locomotion, including but not limited to cabin
  cruisers, houseboats, barges, marinas, and similar floating
  objects.  The term does not include a vessel subject to inspection
  under 46 U.S.C. Section 3301.
               (2)  "Boat pump-out station" means any private or
  public shoreside, mobile, or floating installation either
  independent of or in addition to an organized waste collection,
  treatment, and disposal system used to receive boat sewage.
               (3)  "Shoreside, mobile, or floating installation"
  means marinas and other installations servicing boats on surface
  water in the state.
               (4)  "Surface water in the state" means all lakes,
  bays, ponds, impounding reservoirs, springs, rivers, streams,
  creeks, estuaries, marshes, inlets, canals, the Gulf of Mexico out
  three nautical miles into the Gulf, and all other bodies of surface
  water, natural or artificial, inland or coastal, fresh or salt,
  navigable or nonnavigable, and including the beds and banks of all
  watercourses and bodies of surface water, that are wholly or
  partially inside or bordering the state or inside the jurisdiction
  of the state, except waters beyond three nautical miles of any shore
  in the state.
         (b)  The commission shall issue rules concerning the
  disposal of sewage from boats located or operated on surface water
  in the [inland fresh waters in this] state. The rules of the
  commission shall include provisions for the establishment of
  standards for sewage disposal devices, the certification of sewage
  disposal devices, including shoreside and mobile boat [on-shore]
  pump-out stations [facilities], and the visible and conspicuous
  display of evidence of certification of sewage disposal devices on
  each boat equipped with such device and on each shoreside and mobile 
  [on-shore] pump-out device.
         (c)  The commission may delegate the administration and
  performance of the certification function to the executive director
  or to another [any other] governmental entity. The commission or
  delegated authority shall collect the following fees from
  applicants for certification:
  Boat Pump-out Station (biennial) [Certificates (annual)]:
  Initial Certificates for Pump-out             $35
  Pump-out Renewal                             $25
  Marine Sanitation Device (biennial):
  Boat over 26 Feet or Houseboat                 $15
  Boat 26 Feet or less with Permanent Device     $15
  All certification fees shall be paid to the commission or delegated
  authority [entity] performing the certification function. All fees
  collected by any state agency shall be deposited to the credit of
  the water resource management account for use by the commission or
  delegated authority [that agency in administering and performing
  the certification function].
         (d)  Before issuing any rules under Subsection (b) [of this
  section], the commission or any person authorized by it under
  Section 26.021 on request may [of this code shall] hold hearings on
  those rules in Austin and in five other locations in the state in
  order to provide the best opportunity for all citizens of the state
  to appear and present evidence to the commission.
         (f)  Copies of each rule issued by the commission under this
  section shall be filed in the offices of the commission in Austin,
  in the office of the Secretary of State in Austin, and posted on the
  commission's Internet website [the office of the county clerk in
  each county in the state]. The commission shall provide for
  publication of notice of each rule issued under this section in at
  least one newspaper of general circulation in each county of the
  state and shall furnish the county judge of each county of the state
  a copy of the rules.
         SECTION 2.  Subsections (a), (b), and (c), Section 26.045,
  Water Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  In this section "boat," "boat pump-out station," 
  "shoreside, mobile, or floating installation," and "surface water
  in the state" have the meanings assigned by[:
               [(1)  "Boat" means the same as defined in] Section
  26.044 [26.044(a), Water Code].
               [(2)     "Boat pump-out station" means any private or
  public shoreside installation either independent of or in addition
  to an organized waste collection, treatment, and disposal system
  used to receive boat sewage.
               [(3)     "Shoreside installation" means marinas and other
  installations servicing boats on fresh water of Texas.
               [(4)     "Fresh water" means as geographically applied all
  of the surface lakes, streams, and reservoirs of the state,
  exclusive of the extent of ordinary tidal action on this water.]
         (b)  After a public hearing and after making every reasonable
  effort to bring about the establishment of an adequate number of
  boat pump-out stations on surface [fresh] water in the state, the
  commission may enter an order requiring the establishment of boat
  pump-out stations by a local government that has any jurisdiction
  over at least a portion of the surface [fresh] water in the state or
  over land immediately adjacent to the [fresh] water.
         (c)  If a local government is authorized to issue
  authorization for the operation of shoreside, mobile, or floating
  installations, the local government may require the installation
  and operation of boat pump-out stations where necessary. The local
  government shall require the installation and operation of boat
  pump-out stations if required by the commission.
         SECTION 3.  The heading to Section 31.129, Parks and
  Wildlife Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 31.129.  VIOLATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF SEWAGE DISPOSAL
  REGULATIONS.
         SECTION 4.  Section 31.129, Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (c) and
  (d) to read as follows:
         (a)  A person who violates or fails to comply with a rule of
  the Texas [Natural Resource Conservation] Commission on
  Environmental Quality concerning the disposal of sewage from boats
  commits an offense that is a Class C Parks and Wildlife Code
  misdemeanor. A separate offense is committed each day a violation
  continues.
         (c)  A game warden or peace officer who is certified as a
  marine safety enforcement officer under Section 31.121 may enforce
  a rule of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality concerning
  the disposal of sewage from boats.
         (d)  A marine safety enforcement officer who reasonably
  suspects that a boat is discharging sewage in an area where
  discharge is prohibited may, if the owner or operator is aboard,
  board the boat for the purpose of inspecting the marine sanitation
  device for proper operation and testing the sanitation and holding
  devices, including placing a dye tablet in the holding tank.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 2445 passed the Senate on
  April 22, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 29, Nays 1.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 2445 passed the House on
  May 26, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 146, Nays 0, one
  present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor