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  S.B. No. 1480
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the regulation of exotic aquatic species by the Parks
  and Wildlife Department; providing penalties.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  The heading to Chapter 66, Parks and Wildlife
  Code, is amended to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 66.  FISH AND AQUATIC PLANTS
         SECTION 2.  The heading to Subchapter A, Chapter 66, Parks
  and Wildlife Code, is amended to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER A.  PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO FRESHWATER AND SALTWATER
  FISHING AND AQUATIC PLANTS
         SECTION 3.  The heading to Section 66.007, Parks and
  Wildlife Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 66.007.  EXOTIC HARMFUL OR POTENTIALLY HARMFUL FISH
  AND[,] SHELLFISH[, AND AQUATIC PLANTS].
         SECTION 4.  Subsections (a), (b), (c), (e), (j), (k), and
  (l), Section 66.007, Parks and Wildlife Code, are amended to read as
  follows:
         (a)  No person may import, possess, sell, or place into the
  public water of this state exotic harmful or potentially harmful
  fish or[,] shellfish[, or aquatic plants] except as authorized by
  rule or permit issued by the department.
         (b)  The department shall publish a list of[:
               [(1)]  exotic fish and exotic shellfish for which a
  permit under Subsection (a) is required[; and
               [(2)     exotic aquatic plants, as provided by this
  section, that are approved for importation into or possession in
  this state without a permit].
         (c)  The department shall make rules to carry out [the
  provisions of] this section.  [In adopting rules that relate to
  exotic aquatic plants, the department shall strive to ensure that
  the rules are as permissive as possible without allowing the
  importation or possession of plants that pose environmental,
  economic, or health problems.]
         (e)  In this section:
               (1)  ["Approved list" means the list published by the
  department under Subsection (b)(2) of exotic aquatic plants that a
  person may import into or possess in this state without an exotic
  species permit issued by the department.
               [(2)     "Exotic aquatic plant" means a nonindigenous
  aquatic plant that is not normally found in aquatic or riparian
  areas of this state.
               [(3)]  "Exotic fish" means a nonindigenous fish that is
  not normally found in the public water of this state.
               (2) [(4)]  "Exotic shellfish" means a nonindigenous
  shellfish that is not normally found in the public water of this
  state.
               (3)  "Public water" has the meaning assigned by Section
  66.015.
         (j)  Except as provided in Subsection (k), an operator of an
  aquaculture facility under quarantine condition may not discharge
  waste or another substance from the facility except with approval
  of the department and a wastewater discharge authorization from the
  Texas [Natural Resource Conservation] Commission on Environmental
  Quality.
         (k)  Even if under quarantine condition, an aquaculture
  facility shall discharge wastewater or another substance as
  necessary to comply with an emergency plan that has been submitted
  to and approved by the department and incorporated into a
  wastewater discharge authorization issued by the Texas [Natural
  Resource Conservation] Commission on Environmental Quality.
         (l)  On receiving notice from an owner of the observance of
  manifestations of disease, the department shall immediately:
               (1)  notify the Department of Agriculture, the Texas
  [Natural Resource Conservation] Commission on Environmental
  Quality, and the Texas Animal Health Commission; and
               (2)  advise the Department of Agriculture, the Texas
  [Natural Resource Conservation] Commission on Environmental
  Quality, and the Texas Animal Health Commission regarding the
  appropriate action to be taken.
         SECTION 5.  Section 66.0071, Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 66.0071.  REMOVAL OF HARMFUL AQUATIC PLANTS. On
  leaving any public or private body of water in this state, a person
  shall immediately remove and lawfully dispose of any exotic aquatic
  plant [not included] on the [approved] list of prohibited plants
  adopted [published] under Section 66.0072 [66.007(b)(2)] that is
  clinging or attached to the person's:
               (1)  vessel or watercraft; or
               (2)  trailer, motor vehicle, or other mobile device
  used to transport or launch a vessel or watercraft.
         SECTION 6.  Subchapter A, Chapter 66, Parks and Wildlife
  Code, is amended by adding Section 66.0072 to read as follows:
         Sec. 66.0072.  EXOTIC HARMFUL OR POTENTIALLY HARMFUL AQUATIC
  PLANTS. (a)  In this section:
               (1)  "Exotic aquatic plant" means a nonindigenous
  aquatic plant that is not normally found in the public water of this
  state.
               (2)  "Public water" has the meaning assigned by Section
  66.015.
         (b)  A person may not import, possess, sell, or place into
  the public water of this state an exotic harmful or potentially
  harmful aquatic plant except as authorized by commission rule or a
  permit issued by the department.
         (c)  The commission by rule shall adopt a list of exotic
  aquatic plants that may not be imported into or possessed in this
  state without a permit.
         (d)  The commission may enact an emergency rule as provided
  by Chapter 2001, Government Code, to add an exotic aquatic plant to
  the list of prohibited plants if the plant is determined to be
  harmful or potentially harmful.
         (e)  This section does not apply to any microalgae imported,
  possessed, used, or sold for biofuel, academic, or research and
  development purposes. The department shall consult with the
  Department of Agriculture as necessary to administer this section
  and may not adopt rules or permits for microalgae imported,
  possessed, used, or sold for biofuel, academic, or research and
  development purposes without written approval from the Department
  of Agriculture of the rules or permits.
         (f)  The commission shall adopt rules to implement this
  section.
         SECTION 7.  Subsections (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f), Section
  66.012, Parks and Wildlife Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  A person who violates Section 66.003, 66.004, 66.005,
  66.006(c), [66.007,] 66.009, 66.015, 66.021, or 66.0091 of this
  code commits an offense that is a Class B Parks and Wildlife Code
  misdemeanor.
         (c)  An offense under [If it is shown at the trial of the
  defendant for a violation of] Section 66.004, 66.006(c), [66.007,]
  or 66.015 is [of this code that the defendant has been convicted
  once before the trial date of a violation of the same section, on
  conviction the defendant shall be punished for] a Class A Parks and
  Wildlife Code misdemeanor if it is shown at the trial of a person
  for the offense that the person has been previously convicted one
  time of a violation of the same section.
         (d)  An offense under [If it is shown at the trial of the
  defendant for a violation of] Section 66.004[, 66.007,] or 66.015
  is [of this code that the defendant has been convicted two or more
  times before the trial date of a violation of the same section, on
  conviction the defendant shall be punished for] a Parks and
  Wildlife Code felony if it is shown at the trial of a person for the
  offense that the person has been previously convicted two or more
  times of a violation of the same section.
         (e)  An offense under [If it is shown at the trial of the
  defendant for a violation of] Section 66.007, 66.0072, 66.020(f),
  or 66.020(g) [of this code] or a proclamation adopted by the
  commission under those sections is [that the defendant has been
  convicted within five years before the trial date of a violation of
  the section for which the defendant is being prosecuted, on
  conviction the defendant shall be punished for] a Class B Parks and
  Wildlife Code misdemeanor if it is shown at the trial of a person
  for the offense that the person has been previously convicted one
  time of a violation of the same section.
         (f)  An offense under [If it is shown at the trial for a
  violation of] Section 66.007, 66.0072, 66.020(f), or 66.020(g) [of
  this code] or a proclamation adopted by the commission under those
  sections is [that the defendant has been convicted two or more times
  within five years before the trial date of a violation of the
  section for which the defendant is being prosecuted, on conviction
  the defendant shall be punished for] a Class A Parks and Wildlife
  Code misdemeanor if it is shown at the trial of a person for the
  offense that the person has been previously convicted two or more
  times of a violation of the same section.
         SECTION 8.  Subsections (m) through (s), Section 66.007,
  Parks and Wildlife Code, are repealed.
         SECTION 9.  (a)  On the effective date of this Act, the list
  of harmful or potentially harmful plants that was in effect
  immediately before the publication of the list of approved plants
  required by Subsection (b), Section 66.007, Parks and Wildlife
  Code, as amended by Section 14, Chapter 952 (H.B. 3391), Acts of the
  81st Legislature, Regular Session, 2009, is the list of exotic
  aquatic plants required by Section 66.0072, Parks and Wildlife
  Code, as added by this Act, and shall be the list in effect until
  amended by the Parks and Wildlife Department.
         (b)  The Parks and Wildlife Department may not enforce the
  permit requirements or prohibited actions regarding exotic aquatic
  plants that are on the list under Section 66.0072, Parks and
  Wildlife Code, as added by this Act, before the effective date of
  this Act.
         (c)  After the effective date of this Act, the Parks and
  Wildlife Department is not required to maintain or publish the list
  of approved exotic aquatic plants for which a permit is not required
  under Section 66.007, Parks and Wildlife Code, as that section
  provided before the effective date of this Act.
         (d)  Section 66.012, Parks and Wildlife Code, as amended by
  this Act, applies only to an offense that occurs on or after the
  effective date of this Act.  An offense that occurs before the
  effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect
  immediately before that date, and that law is continued in effect
  for that purpose.  For purposes of this subsection, an offense is
  committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of
  the offense occurs before that date.
         SECTION 10.  This Act takes effect immediately if it
  receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each
  house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  
  If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate
  effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2011.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1480 passed the Senate on
  April 21, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1480 passed the House on
  May 23, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 142, Nays 0, one
  present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor