Health & Safety Code Section 361.194
(a)In addition to all other remedies available to the state under this chapter or other law, all remediation costs for which a person is liable to the state constitute a lien in favor of the state on the real property and the rights to the real property that are subject to or affected by a remedial action. This provision is cumulative of other remedies available to the state under this chapter.
(b)The lien imposed by this section arises and attaches to the real property subject to or affected by a remedial action at the time an affidavit is recorded and indexed in accordance with this section in the county in which the real property is located. For the purpose of determining rights of all affected parties, the lien does not relate back to a time before the date on which the affidavit is recorded, which date is the lien inception date. The lien continues until the liability for the costs is satisfied or becomes unenforceable through operation of law. The executive director shall determine whether to prepare an affidavit. In determining whether to prepare an affidavit or whether a lien is satisfied, the executive director:
(1)shall proceed in the manner that the executive director determines will most likely result in the least overall costs to the state after any cost recovery action; and
(2)may take into account a landowner’s financial ability to satisfy the lien, including consideration of whether the landowner received financial compensation for the disposal of any substance addressed by the remedial action and whether the real property that is the subject of the lien:
(A)is a homestead and is being occupied as a home by the landowner; and
(B)has a fair market value of $250,000 or less.
(c)An authorized representative of the commission must execute the affidavit. The affidavit must show:
(1)the names and addresses of the persons liable for the costs;
(2)a description of the real property that is subject to or affected by the remediation action for the costs or claims; and
(3)the amount of the costs and the balance due.
(d)The county clerk shall record the affidavit in records kept for that purpose and shall index the affidavit under the names of the persons liable for the costs.
(e)The commission shall record a relinquishment or satisfaction of the lien when the lien is paid or satisfied.
(f)The lien may be foreclosed only on judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction foreclosing the lien and ordering the sale of the property subject to the lien.
(g)The lien imposed by this section is not valid or enforceable if real property, an interest in real property, or a mortgage, lien, or other encumbrance on or against real property is acquired before the affidavit is recorded, unless the person acquiring the real property, an interest in the property, or the mortgage, lien, or other encumbrance on the property had or reasonably should have had actual notice or knowledge that the real property is subject to or affected by a clean-up action or has knowledge that the state has incurred clean-up costs.
(h)If a lien is fixed or attempted to be fixed as provided by this section, the owner of the real property affected by the lien may file a bond to indemnify against the lien. The bond must be filed with the county clerk of the county in which the real property subject to the lien is located. An action to establish, enforce, or foreclose any lien or claim of lien covered by the bond must be brought not later than the 30th day after the date of service of notice of the bond. The bond must:
(1)describe the real property on which the lien is claimed;
(2)refer to the lien claimed in a manner sufficient to identify it;
(3)be in an amount double the amount of the lien referred to;
(4)be payable to the commission;
(5)be executed by the party filing the bond as principal and a corporate surety authorized under the law of this state to execute the bond as surety; and
(6)be conditioned substantially that the principal and sureties will pay to the commission the amount of the lien claimed, plus costs, if the claim is proved to be a lien on the real property.
(i)After the bond is filed, the county clerk shall issue notice of the bond to the named obligee. A copy of the bond must be attached to the notice. The notice may be served on each obligee by having a copy delivered to the obligee by any person competent to make oath of the delivery. The original notice shall be returned to the office of the county clerk, and the person making service of copy shall make an oath on the back of the copies showing on whom and on what date the copies were served. The county clerk shall record the bond notice and return in records kept for that purpose. In acquiring an interest in real property, a purchaser or lender may rely on and is absolutely protected by the record of the bond, notice, and return.
(j)The commission may sue on the bond after the 30th day after the date on which the notice is served but may not sue on the bond later than one year after the date on which the notice is served. The commission is entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees if the commission recovers in a suit on the lien or on the bond.
Section 361.194 — Lien,
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/HS/htm/HS.361.htm#361.194 (accessed Nov. 25, 2023).