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  84R14907 T
 
  By: Keffer H.B. No. 3597
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to exports of groundwater from a groundwater conservation
  district.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  SECTION 1. Section 36.122, Water Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 36.122.  EXPORT [TRANSFER] OF GROUNDWATER OUT OF
  DISTRICT. (a) If an application for a permit or an amendment to a
  permit under Section 36.113 proposes the export [transfer] of
  groundwater outside of a district's boundaries, the district may
  also consider the provisions of this section in determining whether
  to grant or deny the permit or permit amendment.
         (b)  A district may promulgate rules requiring a person to
  obtain a permit or an amendment to a permit under Section 36.113
  from the district [for the transfer of] to export groundwater [out
  of the district] to:
               (1)  increase, on or after March 2, 1997, the amount of
  groundwater to be [transferred] exported under a continuing
  arrangement in effect before that date; or
               (2)  [transfer] export groundwater [out of the
  district] on or after March 2, 1997, under a new arrangement.
         (c)  Except as provided in Section 36.113(e), the district
  may not impose more restrictive permit conditions on [transporters]
  exporters than the district imposes on existing in-district users.
  The district may not deny a permit based on the fact that the
  applicant seeks to export groundwater. A district may not prohibit
  the export of groundwater.
         (d)  The district may impose a reasonable fee for processing
  an application under this section. The fee may not exceed fees that
  the district imposes for processing other applications under
  Section 36.113. An application filed to comply with this section
  shall be considered and processed under the same procedures as
  other applications for permits under Section 36.113 and shall be
  combined with applications filed to obtain a permit for in-district
  water use under Section 36.113 from the same applicant.
         (e)  The district may impose an export [a reasonable] fee or
  surcharge [for an export fee] using one of the following methods:
               (1)  a fee negotiated between the district and the
  exporter [transporter];
               (2)  a rate not to exceed the equivalent of the
  district's tax rate per hundred dollars of valuation for each
  thousand gallons of water exported from [transferred out of] the
  district or 2.5 cents per thousand gallons of water, if the district
  assesses a tax rate of less than 2.5 cents per hundred dollars of
  valuation; or
               (3)  for a fee-based district, a 50 percent export
  surcharge, in addition to the district's production fee, for water
  exported from [transferred out of] the district.
         [(f)     In reviewing a proposed transfer of groundwater out of
  the district, the district shall consider:
               (1)     the availability of water in the district and in
  the proposed receiving area during the period for which the water
  supply is requested;
               (2)     the projected effect of the proposed transfer on
  aquifer conditions, depletion, subsidence, or effects on existing
  permit holders or other groundwater users within the district; and
               (3)     the approved regional water plan and approved
  district management plan.
         (g)     The district may not deny a permit based on the fact that
  the applicant seeks to transfer groundwater outside of the district
  but may limit a permit issued under this section if conditions in
  Subsection (f) warrant the limitation, subject to Subsection (c)].
         (h)  In addition to conditions provided by Section 36.1131,
  the permit shall specify:
               (1)  the amount of water that may be exported from
  [transferred out of] the district; and
               (2)  the period for which the water may be exported
  [transferred].
         (i)  The period specified by Subsection (h)(2) shall be:
               (1)  at least three years if construction of a
  conveyance system has not been initiated prior to the issuance of
  the permit; or
               (2)  at least 30 years if construction of a conveyance
  system has been initiated prior to the issuance of the permit.
         (j)  A term under Subsection (i)(1) shall automatically be
  extended to the terms agreed to under Subsection (i)(2) if
  construction of a conveyance system is begun before the expiration
  of the initial term.
         [(k)     Notwithstanding the period specified in Subsections
  (i) and (j) during which water may be transferred under a permit, a
  district may periodically review the amount of water that may be
  transferred under the permit and may limit the amount if additional
  factors considered in Subsection (f) warrant the limitation,
  subject to Subsection (c). The review described by this subsection
  may take place not more frequently than the period provided for the
  review or renewal of regular permits issued by the district. In its
  determination of whether to renew a permit issued under this
  section, the district shall consider relevant and current data for
  the conservation of groundwater resources and shall consider the
  permit in the same manner it would consider any other permit in the
  district.
         (l)     A district is prohibited from using revenues obtained
  under Subsection (e) to prohibit the transfer of groundwater
  outside of a district. A district is not prohibited from using
  revenues obtained under Subsection (e) for paying expenses related
  to enforcement of this chapter or district rules.
         (m)     A district may not prohibit the export of groundwater if
  the purchase was in effect on or before June 1, 1997.
         (n)     This section applies only to a transfer of water that is
  permitted after September 1, 1997.
         (o)     A district shall adopt rules as necessary to implement
  this section but may not adopt rules expressly prohibiting the
  export of groundwater].
         (p)  Subsection (e) does not apply to a district that is
  collecting an export fee or surcharge on March 1, 2001.
         [(q)     In applying this section, a district must be fair,
  impartial, and nondiscriminatory.]
         SECTION 2.  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, 2015.