Texas Natural Resources Code

Sec. § 40.251
Penalties


(a)

A person who intentionally commits any of the following acts in violation of Subchapter C, D, or E shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor:

(1)

operating a terminal facility or vessel without a discharge prevention and response plan;

(2)

operating a terminal facility or vessel without establishing and maintaining financial responsibility;

(3)

causing, allowing, or permitting an unauthorized discharge of oil;

(4)

making a material false statement with a fraudulent intent in an application or report;

(5)

with respect to the person in charge of a vessel from which an unauthorized discharge of oil emanates, taking the vessel from the jurisdiction of the commissioner prior to proving financial responsibility; or

(6)

leaving, abandoning, or maintaining any structure or vessel in or on coastal waters, on public or private lands, or at a public or private port or dock if the structure or vessel is in a wrecked, derelict, or substantially dismantled condition.

(b)

A person responsible for an unauthorized discharge of oil or the person in charge of any vessel or terminal facility from or at which an unauthorized discharge of oil emanates, who knows or has reason to know of the discharge and who fails to give immediate notification of the discharge to the commissioner, shall be:

(1)

subject to a civil penalty of not less than $500 nor more than $250,000 for an individual or $500,000 for a corporation, partnership, association, or other entity; and

(2)

guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

(c)

A person responsible for an unauthorized discharge of oil shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $250 nor more than $25,000 for each day of the discharge, or not more than $1,000 per barrel of oil discharged.

(d)

A person responsible for an unauthorized discharge of oil who without sufficient cause fails to abate, contain, and remove pollution from the discharge pursuant to applicable federal and state requirements and plans shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for each day the pollution is not abated, contained, and removed, or not more than three times the costs incurred by the fund as a result of the discharge.

(e)

A person who with a fraudulent intent makes or causes to be made any material false statement in filing a claim or reporting any information concerning an actual or threatened unauthorized discharge of oil in response to the requirements of this chapter shall be guilty of a third degree felony.

(f)

A person who violates any provision, rule, or order issued under Subchapter C, D, or E of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $10,000 per violation for each day of violation, not to exceed a maximum of $125,000.

(g)

It is a defense to prosecution for a criminal offense under Subchapter C, D, or E of this chapter that the conduct complained of was committed pursuant to response or cleanup operations and was authorized by the national contingency plan, by a discharge response plan required under this chapter, or by an authorized federal or state official.

(h)

The defenses to liability under Section 40.204 (Defenses) of this code shall be defenses to the assessment of penalties under this chapter for any unauthorized discharge of oil.
Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 10, Sec. 1, eff. March 28, 1991.
Amended by:
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 216 (H.B. 2096), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 91 (S.B. 1303), Sec. 17.001, eff. September 1, 2011.
Source

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Jun. 7, 2021