TITLE 4. AGRICULTURE

PART 1. TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

CHAPTER 27. TEXAS CITRUS PEST AND DISEASE MANAGEMENT CORPORATION

SUBCHAPTER C. REQUIREMENT FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE SUPPRESSION PROGRAM AND ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY

4 TAC §27.301

The Texas Department of Agriculture (Department) proposes amendments to Title 4, Part 1, Chapter 27, Subchapter C, §27.301, relating to requirements for program participation. The amendments are proposed to correct acreage reporting requirements to align them with assessment notice and due dates.

The Texas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Corporation, Inc. (Corporation), is the entity recognized by the Department to plan, carry out, and operate suppression programs to manage and control citrus pests and diseases in this state under the supervision of the Department. In order to provide notice of assessments to producers residing within a citrus pest management zone, the Corporation must have accurate acreage reports. The proposed rule revises the current deadline for reporting acreage from July 1 of each year to December 15, allowing the Corporation sufficient time to update producer information and reconcile assessments owed.

Ms. Jessica Escobar, Assistant General Counsel, has determined that for the first five-year period the proposal is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications for state or local government.

Ms. Escobar has also determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed section is in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of the proposal will be the accurate assessment of fees on citrus producers, which will result in the reduction and management of the spread of citrus pests and diseases with the use of assessment funds. There will be no economic effect on small businesses or persons required to comply with the proposed revised reporting requirement.

Ms. Escobar has provided the following information related to the government growth impact statement, as required pursuant to Texas Government Code, §2001.021. As a result of implementing the proposal, for the first five years the proposed rules are in effect:

(1) no new or current government or Department programs will be created or eliminated;

(2) no employee positions will be created, nor will any existing Department staff positions be eliminated; and

(3) there will not be an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the Department

Additionally, Ms. Escobar has determined that for the first five years the proposed rules are in effect:

(4) there will be no increase or decrease in fees paid to the Department;

(5) there will be no new regulations created by the proposal;

(6) there will be no expansion of regulations, limitation or repeal of existing regulations;

(7) there will be no increase or decrease to the number of individuals subject to the proposal, as citrus producers residing within a citrus pest management zone are subject to compliance with reporting requirements set forth in the current rule; and

(8) the proposal will positively affect the Texas economy; accurate calculation of acreage will ensure that producers are assessed properly, and assessments collected will enable the Corporation to use funds for the management and suppression of citrus pests and diseases.

Written comments on the proposal may be submitted to Ms. Jessica Escobar, Assistant General Counsel, Texas Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 12847, Austin, Texas 78711, or by email to: Jessica.Escobar@TexasAgriculture.gov. Comments must be received no later than 30 days from the date of publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under Chapter 80 of the Texas Agriculture Code, which authorizes the Department to adopt rules as necessary for the Texas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Corporation to plan, carry out, and operate suppression programs to manage and control pests and diseases in citrus plants in the state under the supervision of the Department as provided by Chapter 80.

The code affected by the proposal is Texas Agriculture Code, Chapter 80.

§27.301.Requirement for Program Participation.

(a) - (b) (No changes.)

(c) Reporting deadlines.

(1) (No changes.)

(2) The dates by which citrus acreage and location of such acreage in an active pest management zone must be reported by December 15 [July 1] of each year.

(3) (No changes.)

(d) - (e) (No changes.)

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 4, 2017.

TRD-201704950

Jessica Escobar

Assistant General Counsel

Texas Department of Agriculture

Earliest possible date of adoption: January 14, 2018

For further information, please call: (512) 463-4075