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  S.B. No. 1032
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to oyster certificates of location; authorizing a fee.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 76.001(2), Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
               (2)  "Natural oyster bed" means an area with a
  substrate that is predominantly composed of oyster shell or live
  oysters [where at least five barrels of oysters are found within
  2,500 square feet of any position on a reef or bed].
         SECTION 2.  Section 76.003, Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 76.003.  BEDS SUBJECT TO LOCATION. (a) Except as
  provided by Subsection (b) and [in] Section 76.004 [of this code],
  an oyster bed or reef, other than a natural oyster bed, is subject
  to location by the department.  [This section does not apply to a
  bed or reef that has been exhausted within an eight-year period.]
         (b)  The department may subject a natural oyster bed to
  location if the department determines that the bed is degraded.  In
  determining whether a natural oyster bed is degraded, the
  department may consider:
               (1)  the relative abundance of oysters in the area;
               (2)  the availability of natural cultch material in the
  area;
               (3)  sediment overburden in the area;
               (4)  the amount of time that the area has been
  exhausted, if the area is exhausted; and
               (5)  any other criteria the department considers
  indicative of a degraded oyster bed.
         SECTION 3.  Section 76.018(b), Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  The commission shall determine renewal procedures to
  follow at the end of each lease term.  The procedures must include:
               (1)  a determination that the lease renewal will be
  based on [the need for depuration of polluted oysters and other]
  considerations specified in the oyster management plan;
               (2)  payment of a $200 fee due on renewal of the lease;
               (3)  a condition that the current leaseholder has the
  [will be offered a first] right to renew [of refusal] if the lease
  is renewed under this chapter; and
               (4)  any other conditions for the lease renewal that do
  not conflict with this chapter.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter A, Chapter 76, Parks and Wildlife
  Code, is amended by adding Section 76.022 to read as follows:
         Sec. 76.022.  CERTIFICATES OF LOCATION FOR RESTORATION
  PURPOSES. (a)  The commission by rule shall establish a program to
  issue certificates of location for the restoration of natural
  oyster beds.
         (b)  Sections 76.006, 76.007, 76.017, 76.018, and 76.019 do
  not apply to a program established under this section.
         (c)  Rules adopted under this section may establish:
               (1)  fees, application approval requirements, lease
  terms, and renewal procedures for leases under this section;
               (2)  the total area in each bay system for which leases
  may be issued under this section;
               (3)  siting and marking requirements for leases under
  this section; and
               (4)  any other requirement necessary to administer this
  section.
         (d)  In adopting rules under this section, the department
  shall coordinate with:
               (1)  the Department of State Health Services; and
               (2)  the General Land Office.
         SECTION 5.  The change in law made by this Act to Section
  76.018(b), Parks and Wildlife Code, applies only to a rental lease
  under an oyster certificate of location renewed on or after the
  effective date of this Act.  A rental lease under an oyster
  certificate of location renewed before the effective date of this
  Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the lease was
  renewed, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2023.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1032 passed the Senate on
  March 21, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1032 passed the House on
  May 12, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 137, Nays 3, two
  present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor