TITLE 4. AGRICULTURE

PART 1. TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

CHAPTER 4. PRESCRIBED BURNING BOARD ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM

SUBCHAPTER A. ENFORCEMENT, INVESTIGATION, PENALTIES AND PROCEDURES

4 TAC §4.2

The Texas Department of Agriculture (the Department) proposes amendments to the Texas Administrative Code, Title 4, Part 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter A, Enforcement, Investigation, Penalties and Procedures, §4.2.

The proposed amendments to §4.2 revise the Prescribed Burning Board's Schedule of Violations.

The proposed amendments are necessary to update the source law column of the Schedule of Violations and clarify abbreviations and certain provisions in the penalty matrix. No substantive changes are proposed to the amount of the penalties or the conduct that may lead to the assessment of a penalty.

Patrick Dudley, Coordinator for Agricultural Commodity Boards and Producer Relations, 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 or effect to a local economy.

Mr. Dudley has also determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed amendments are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of administering the proposed changes to the penalty matrix will be to make it easier to read the matrix and find the source law for violations enumerated on the matrix. There will be no increased economic costs to persons required to comply with the proposed revisions in the penalty matrix, because Texas certified and insured prescribed burn managers are already subject to the rule and no substantive changes have been made to the penalty matrix. Additionally, TDA does not anticipate that there will be an adverse effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities as a result of the proposed revisions to the penalty matrix.

Mr. Dudley has provided the following information related to the government growth impact statement, as required pursuant to Texas Government Code, §2001.0221. As a result of implementing the proposal, for the first five years the proposed rules are in effect:

(1) the proposed rules do not create or eliminate a government program;

(2) implementation of the proposed rules does not require the creation of new employee positions or the elimination of existing employee positions;

(3) implementation of the proposed rules does not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency;

(4) the proposed rules do not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the agency;

(5) the proposed rules do not create a new regulation;

(6) the proposed rules do not expand, limit, or repeal an existing regulation;

(7) the proposed rules do not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to the rule's applicability; and

(8) the proposed rules do not positively or adversely affect the state's economy.

Written comments on the proposal may be submitted to Patrick Dudley, Coordinator for Agricultural Commodity Boards and Producer Relations, Texas Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 12847, Austin, Texas 78711, or by email to: RuleComments@TexasAgriculture.gov. Comments must be received no later than 30 days from the date of publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The amendment is proposed under §153.102 of the Natural Resources Code, which provides the Department with the authority to adopt a schedule of disciplinary sanctions that the department may impose for violations of Chapter 153 of the Natural Resources Code, and Section 12.016 of the Agriculture Code, which provides that the department may adopt rules as necessary for the administration of its powers and duties under the code.

Chapter 153 of the Texas Natural Resources Code is affected by the proposal.

§4.2.Schedule of Disciplinary Sanctions.

Pursuant to §153.102(b) of the Natural Resources Code, the department has established the following schedule of disciplinary sanctions for violations of the Act, and rules adopted thereunder by the Prescribed Burning Board and/or the department.

Figure: 4 TAC §4.2 (.pdf)

[Figure: 4 TAC §4.2]

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 May 4, 2020.

TRD-202001775

Skyler Shafer

Assistant General Counsel

Texas Department of Agriculture

Earliest possible date of adoption: June 14, 2020

For further information, please call: (512) 463-7476