TITLE 16. ECONOMIC REGULATION

PART 1. RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS

CHAPTER 3. OIL AND GAS DIVISION

16 TAC §3.65, §3.107

The Railroad Commission of Texas (the "Commission") proposes new §3.65, relating to Critical Designation of Natural Gas Infrastructure, and amendments to §3.107, relating to Penalty Guidelines for Oil and Gas Violations. The new section and amendments are proposed to implement changes made by House Bill 3648 and Senate Bill 3 from the 87th Texas Legislative Regular Session.

House Bill 3648 amends Texas Natural Resources Code, Chapter 81, to add new §81.073, regarding critical natural gas facilities and entities. The new section requires the Commission to collaborate with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (the "PUC") to adopt rules to establish a process to designate certain natural gas facilities and entities associated with providing natural gas in this state as critical customers or critical gas suppliers during energy emergencies. The rules adopted by the Commission under new §81.073 must provide that those designated as critical natural gas facilities and entities provide critical customer information, as defined by the Commission, to the entities described by §38.074(b)(1) of the Texas Utilities Code (hereinafter "the electric entities"). The rules must also consider essential operational elements when designating critical natural gas facilities and entities. House Bill 3648 requires that the Commission adopt the new rules not later than December 1, 2021.

Senate Bill 3 is the 87th Legislature's sweeping response to the February 2021 Winter Weather Event ("Winter Storm Uri") in Texas and generally creates new law related to preparing for, preventing, and responding to weather emergencies and power outages. Senate Bill 3 requires several state agencies and regulated industries to make significant changes in response to Winter Storm Uri. This proposed rulemaking implements Section 4 of Senate Bill 3 and is the first of many steps in implementing the requirements of Senate Bill 3. Section 4 of Senate Bill 3 creates new §81.073 of the Texas Natural Resources Code, identical to the version created in House Bill 3648 with one exception--it adds an extra requirement in §81.073(b)(3), which states the Commission's critical designation rules must require only facilities and entities that are prepared to operate during a weather emergency may be designated as critical customers.

Proposed new §3.65 implements Section 4 of Senate Bill 3 and Section 1 of House Bill 3648 by specifying the criteria and process by which entities associated with providing natural gas in Texas are designated as critical customers or critical gas suppliers during an energy emergency. As required by House Bill 3648 and Senate Bill 3, the Commission developed the criteria for critical designation by considering facilities and entities associated with providing natural gas in the state of Texas and the essential operational elements of those facilities and entities. Designation as a critical customer prompts a requirement for the facility's operator to directly provide the electric entities described in new §38.074(b)(1) of the Texas Utilities Code (created by Section 2 and Section 16 of House Bill 3648 and Senate Bill 3, respectively) with critical customer information. Providing the information positions a critical customer to receive power during an energy emergency so that it can continue to supply natural gas in the state for power generation and/or other important uses. However, proposed new §3.65 does not prioritize the critical facilities for load-shed purposes. As indicated in House Bill 3648 and Senate Bill 3, the electric entities have discretion to prioritize power delivery and power restoration among the facilities and entities designated as critical customers and critical gas suppliers by the Commission.

Proposed new subsection (a) defines "energy emergency," "weather emergency," and "critical customer information." The Commission worked with the PUC to define these terms, particularly the "critical customer information." The Commission and the PUC also collaborated to determine the process by which the facilities would be designated as critical and how those designees would provide the required information to the electric entities. The definition of "energy emergency" is tied to an event that results in or has the potential to result in load shed that causes an electric outage. The need to load shed is required by an independent organization certified under Texas Utilities Code §39.151. This definition reflects the purpose of House Bill 3648 and sections 4 and 16 of Senate Bill 3, which is to prevent the loss of power to critical natural gas facilities and entities that, if they receive power, could help alleviate the need to load shed. The definition of "weather emergency" is defined as any weather condition that results in or has the potential to result in an energy emergency because there are a variety of weather conditions that could occur across the state or in particular regions of the state that could result in load shed. Finally, "critical customer information" is defined as the critical customer and critical gas supply information specified on proposed new Table CCI such as facility identification information, facility location information, emergency contact information, gas production and/or handling information, electrical power and backup power capabilities, and electric utility information. Table CCI will be proposed at an upcoming Commission open meeting. Table CCI specifies the information that an operator is required to submit to the electric entities so that the electric entities may use the information to prioritize load shed. As discussed further below, Table CCI does not specify the format in which the critical customer information should be captured.

Proposed new subsection (b) lists the criteria for critical designation. The Commission makes no distinction between critical customers and critical gas suppliers in its critical designation criteria list because all entities designated in subsection (b) are critical gas suppliers and are therefore necessarily critical customers of electric entities during an energy emergency. Subsection (b) designates the following facilities as critical customers unless a facility's operator submits the proposed new Critical Customer/Critical Gas Supplier Designation Exception Application, Form CI-X, to the Commission certifying the facility is not prepared to operate in a weather emergency: wells producing gas or casinghead gas, gas processing plants, natural gas pipelines and pipeline facilities including compressor stations, local distribution company pipelines and pipeline facilities including compressor stations, natural gas storage facilities, natural gas liquids transportation and storage facilities, and saltwater disposal facilities including saltwater disposal pipelines. These facilities are listed in paragraphs (1) through (7) of subsection (b). The facilities covered under paragraph (8) are those under the jurisdiction of the Commission the operation of which is necessary to operate any of the facilities in paragraphs (1) through (7) of the subsection. These could include facilities such as ancillary well or pipeline facilities and equipment that an operator considers critical because they must have power in order for the facilities in paragraphs (1) through (7) to operate.

The list in subsection (b) is not a priority list to be used by electric entities. The Commission does not have jurisdiction over electric utilities or the prioritization of electric load shed and does not purport to exercise such jurisdiction in this proposed rulemaking. Instead, the list in subsection (b) is a comprehensive list of the facilities that are required to submit the critical customer information to the electric entities in accordance with subsection (e). The list in subsection (b) includes the significant components of the natural gas supply chain. The Commission chooses to include these facility types, located up and down the entire natural gas supply chain, because the statistics from Winter Storm Uri reveal that during the storm, every molecule of natural gas was important. Additionally, House Bill 3648 and Senate Bill 3 require the Commission to designate certain natural gas facilities and entities associated with providing natural gas in this state as critical customers or critical gas suppliers during energy emergencies. Each piece of the supply chain included in subsection (b) contributes to the delivery of gas downstream. If one piece of the supply chain cannot operate, then the gas cannot be delivered for electric generation or other important uses. Further, daily gas production alone may not be adequate for peak demand during a weather emergency, which makes gas storage an important source of natural gas. Thus, natural gas storage facilities are included in subsection (b)(5).

As stated above, designation as critical in subsection (b) does not guarantee a facility will receive power during an energy emergency. First, the facility may not be prepared to operate during a weather emergency. If the facility is not prepared, it must comply with proposed subsection (d). Second, even when the facility is prepared to operate and it provides the critical customer information to the electric entities as required by proposed subsection (e), the electric entities have discretion to prioritize electric load shed in the event of an energy emergency.

Proposed new subsection (c) requires an operator of a facility designated as critical under subsection (b) of this section to acknowledge the facility's critical status by filing proposed new Form CI-D, the Acknowledgement of Critical Customer/Critical Gas Supplier Designation, or by submitting the acknowledgment electronically as provided in the subsection. The operator must submit the acknowledgment unless subsection (d) applies. The acknowledgment shall be made bi-annually on Form CI-D. In the year 2022, the Form CI-D acknowledgment shall be filed by January 15, 2022 and September 1, 2022. Beginning in 2023, the Form CI-D acknowledgment is required to be filed bi-annually by March 1 and September 1 of each year. Until the electronic system is established, operators shall file Form CI-D in accordance with the Form CI-D Instructions. When an electronic system is established, the acknowledgment shall be submitted through the electronic system.

The Form CI-D, to be proposed at an upcoming Commission open meeting, consists of two pages: an acknowledgment page and an attachment. An operator required to file Form CI-D will acknowledge its critical facilities and certify that it has provided, or will within five business days provide, the critical customer information specified on Table CCI to the electric entities as required by §3.65(e). The operator will also complete the Form CI-D attachment, which allows the operator to list all the operator's facilities designated critical under subsection (b) and include identifying information for each facility. Pursuant to subsection (b)(8), the operator must include on its attachment any facilities under the jurisdiction of the Commission that are not listed in subsection (b)(1) - (7) but must operate for the facilities in subsection (b)(1) - (7) to operate.

Proposed new subsection (d) allows a facility listed in subsection (b) of this section to obtain an exception if the facility's operator asserts the facility is not prepared to operate during a weather emergency. This provision is incorporated to comply with Texas Natural Resources Code §81.073(b)(3), as added by Senate Bill 3. An operator shall submit its exception by filing a proposed new Form CI-X exception application. Each Form CI-X shall be accompanied by a one-time $150 exception application fee. Form CI-X will be due at the same time as the Form CI-D acknowledgement. Therefore, the first Form CI-X filings are due by January 15, 2022 and September 1, 2022. Beginning in 2023, the Form CI-X shall be filed bi-annually by March 1 and September 1 of each year. When an electronic system is established, Form CI-X shall be submitted through the electronic system.

Like Table CCI and Form CI-D, the Form CI-X will be proposed at an upcoming Commission open meeting. Form CI-X also consists of two pages: an exception application and an attachment that allows the operator to list all its facilities that are not prepared to operate in a weather emergency. Until the electric system is established, operators shall file Form CI-X in accordance with the Form CI-X Instructions. An operator may file one Form CI-X for all the facilities for which it claims an exception. If an operator chooses to file multiple forms concurrently, multiple filings are permitted. However, the $150 exception application fee will be charged for each filing. Subsequent amendment of or updates to an approved exception does not require an additional $150 exception application fee. The Commission notes that an operator may have some facilities for which it files a Form CI-D and some facilities for which it files a Form CI-X.

Proposed new subsection (e) ensures that the electric entities have the information they need to prioritize power delivery and power restoration to the facilities designated critical in subsection (b). During an energy emergency caused by a weather emergency, factors unrelated to power may hinder a facility's ability to provide natural gas. These factors include road conditions and telecommunication availability. However, subsection (e) implements the purpose of House Bill 3648 and sections 4 and 16 of Senate Bill 3, which is to prevent the loss of power to critical natural gas facilities and entities that, if they receive power, could help alleviate the need to load shed. Proposed new subsection (e) states that unless a facility is identified on an approved Form CI-X exception application, the facility's operator shall provide the critical customer information to the electric entities. As mentioned above, the critical customer information will be detailed on Commission Table CCI. The critical customer information shall be provided in accordance with PUC's rule 16 Texas Administrative Code §25.52 (relating to Reliability and Continuity of Service) as certified on the operator's Form CI-D acknowledgment. PUC's §25.52 specifies the method by which the information shall be provided to the required electric entities. Subsection (e) also requires that the critical customer information be provided in a format that is usable by the electric entity receiving the information. The operator is required to certify on its Form CI-D that the critical customer information has been provided to the electric entities at the time the Form CI-D acknowledgment is filed, or within five business days of the date the acknowledgement was filed.

Proposed new subsection (f) specifies that exceptions are not transferable upon a change of operatorship. When a facility is transferred, both the transferor operator and the transferee operator shall ensure the transfer is reflected on each operator's Form CI-D or Form CI-X when the applicable form update is submitted in accordance with the bi-annual filing timelines in subsections (c) and (d) of this section. If the facility has an exception under subsection (d) of this section, the exception shall remain in effect until the next bi-annual filing deadline. If the transferee operator seeks to continue the exception beyond that time period, the transferee operator shall indicate the transferred facility on the Form CI-X pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. If the transferee operator elects to continue the exception but does not have a Form CI-X on file, the $150 exception application fee would be required.

Proposed new subsection (g) states that an operator who fails to comply with this section may be subject to penalties under §3.107 of this title.

The proposed amendments in §3.107 are found in the tables in subsection (e)(1) and subsection (j) and add references to the requirements of proposed new §3.65, along with the dollar amounts for the specified penalties.

Corey Crawford, Chief Financial Officer, has determined that for each year of the first five years that the rules will be in effect, there will be an estimated additional cost to state government as a result of enforcing and administering the rules as proposed. The effect on state government for each year of the first five years the proposed rules are in effect is an estimated cost of $2,463,638 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, $1,265,558 in FY 2023, $1,190,678 in FY 2024, $1,115,798 in FY 2025, and $1,115,798 in FY 2026. The Commission included these costs in its Senate Bill 3 fiscal note submitted to the Legislature.

The Commission may have an increase in revenue from fees from operators who file a Form CI-X application for an exception pursuant to §3.65(d). The Commission lacks sufficient data on the number of operators that will file the exception application to estimate revenue generated from this proposed rule. However, the Commission estimates that approximately 6200 operators are subject to proposed §3.65. For each operator that files an exception application, the Commission will collect $150. There will be no fiscal effect on local government.

Randall Collins, Director, Chief Operating Officer, has determined that for each year of the first five years the new rule and amendments as proposed are in effect the primary public benefit will be establishing a clear process for facilities who are critical natural gas suppliers and who are prepared to operate in a weather emergency to be given priority in a load shed event, thus increasing the availability of natural gas for electric power generation in an energy emergency. The public benefit will also be compliance with applicable state law.

Mr. Collins has determined that for each year of the first five years that the new rule and amendments will be in full effect, there will be economic costs for persons required to comply as a result of adoption of the proposed new rule and amendments. The Commission estimates that 6200 operators are required to comply with the proposed new rule and amendments. Under the proposed new rule, each operator will have bi-annual filing requirements that may impose operational costs. An operator that files a Form CI-X because some or all of its facilities are not prepared to operate in a weather emergency will incur a cost of $150. An operator that fails to comply with the proposed filing requirements in the new rule will be subject to a minimum penalty of $1000. An operator that fails to provide the critical customer information as required under proposed subsection (e) will be subject to a minimum penalty of $2500.

Texas Government Code, §2006.002, relating to Adoption of Rules with Adverse Economic Effect, directs that, as part of the rulemaking process, a state agency prepare an economic impact statement that assesses the potential impact of a proposed rule on rural communities, small businesses, and micro-businesses, and a regulatory flexibility analysis that considers alternative methods of achieving the purpose of the rule if the proposed rule will have an adverse economic effect on rural communities, small businesses, or micro-businesses. The proposed amendments will not have an adverse economic effect on rural communities. The statute defines "small business" as a legal entity, including a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship, that is formed for the purpose of making a profit; is independently owned and operated; and has fewer than 100 employees or less than $6 million in annual gross receipts. A "micro-business" is a legal entity, including a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship, that is formed for the purpose of making a profit; is independently owned and operated; and has no more than 20 employees.

Entities that perform activities under the jurisdiction of the Commission are not required to report to the Commission their number of employees or their annual gross receipts, which are elements of the definitions of "micro-business" and "small business" in Texas Government Code, §2006.001; therefore, the Commission has no factual bases for determining whether any persons required to comply with the proposed new rule classify as small businesses or micro-businesses, as those terms are defined. However, based on the information available, the Commission expects that there are operators subject to the proposed requirements that fall within the definition of a small business or micro-business.

In preparing the proposed rule, the Commission considered whether the purpose of the rule amendment could still be achieved if (1) small or micro-businesses have different reporting requirements, or (2) small or micro-businesses pay reduced fees. The Commission rejected these alternatives because House Bill 3648 and Senate Bill 3 require the Commission to define critical customer information, to designate entities as critical customers, and require those entities to provide the critical customer information to the electric entities. The proposed new rule and amendments merely implement these statutory requirements. Although an operator will likely incur operational costs associated with providing the critical customer information, these operational costs are mostly due to compiling the information for the first filing. The operational costs will likely decrease dramatically for future filings. Also, the operational cost an operator incurs should correlate to the number of facilities it operates. Thus, an operator with less facilities will likely expend less effort (i.e., less time and resources) to collect the required information. Further, the $150 fee is only required if an operator chooses to file an exception application. Even if the exception application is filed, each operator will only incur a one-time cost of $150 for the first filing of the application. The $150 exception application fee is set by statute in Texas Natural Resources Code §81.0521 and, therefore, cannot be reduced for certain operators.

The Commission has also determined that the proposed new rule and amendments will not affect a local economy. Therefore, the Commission has not prepared a local employment impact statement pursuant to Texas Government Code §2001.022.

The Commission has determined that the new rule and amendments do not meet the statutory definition of a major environmental rule as set forth in Texas Government Code, §2001.0225(a); therefore, a regulatory analysis conducted pursuant to that section is not required.

During the first five years that the rules would be in full effect, the proposed new rule and amendments adopted pursuant to recent legislation would create a new government program, create a new regulation, expand the Commission's existing penalty regulations to encompass violations of the proposed new rule, and increase responsibility for persons under the Commission's jurisdiction. The proposed new rule and amendments do require an increase in future legislative appropriations. Senate Bill 3, the legislation requiring adoption of the rules and amendments, prompted this increase. Because proposed §3.65 is a new rule, it would not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to the rule's applicability. Finally, the proposed rule and amendments would not affect the state's economy.

In addition to accepting written comments, the Commission has scheduled a workshop pursuant to Texas Government Code §2001.029 to allow members of the public to engage with Commission staff on the proposed new rule and amendments. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 beginning at 9:30 a.m. Details and any updates on the workshop will be available on the Commission's website.

Comments on the proposed new rule and amendments may be submitted to Rules Coordinator, Office of General Counsel, Railroad Commission of Texas, P.O. Box 12967, Austin, Texas 78711-2967; online at www.rrc.texas.gov/general-counsel/rules/comment-form-for-proposed-rulemakings; or by electronic mail to rulescoordinator@rrc.texas.gov. The Commission will accept comments until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 1, 2021. The Commission finds that this comment period is reasonable because the proposal and an online comment form will be available on the Commission's website more than two weeks prior to Texas Register publication of the proposal, giving interested persons additional time to review, analyze, draft, and submit comments. The Commission cannot guarantee that comments submitted after the deadline will be considered. For further information, call Mr. Collins at (512) 463-5928. The status of Commission rulemakings in progress is available at www.rrc.texas.gov/general-counsel/rules/proposed-rules. Once received, all comments are posted on the Commission's website at https://rrc.texas.gov/general-counsel/rules/proposed-rules/. If you submit a comment and do not see the comment posted at this link within three business days of submittal, please call the Office of General Counsel at (512) 463-7149. The Commission has safeguards to prevent emailed comments from getting lost; however, your operating system's or email server's settings may delay or prevent receipt.

The Commission proposes the new rule under Texas Natural Resources Code §81.073, which requires the Commission to adopt rules to establish a process to designate natural gas facilities and entities associated with providing natural gas in this state as critical customers or critical gas suppliers during an energy emergency; and Texas Natural Resources Code, §81.051 and §81.052, which give the Commission jurisdiction over all persons owning or engaged in drilling or operating oil or gas wells in Texas and the authority to adopt all necessary rules for governing and regulating persons and their operations under the jurisdiction of the Commission. The amendments are proposed under Texas Natural Resources Code, §81.0531, which gives the Commission authority to assess a penalty if a person violates provisions of Texas Natural Resources Code, Title 3, that pertain to safety or the prevention or control of pollution or the provisions of a rule, order, license, permit, or certificate that pertain to safety or the prevention or control of pollution that are issued under Title 3.

Statutory authority: Natural Resources Code §§81.051, 81.052, 81.0531, and 81.073.

Cross reference to statute: Natural Resources Code Chapter 81.

§3.65.Critical Designation of Natural Gas Infrastructure.

(a) Definitions.

(1) Energy emergency--Any event that results in or has the potential to result in load shed required by an independent organization certified under Texas Utilities Code, §39.151 resulting in an electric outage.

(2) Weather emergency--Any weather condition that results in or has the potential to result in an energy emergency as defined in this section.

(3) Critical customer information--The critical customer and critical gas supply information specified on Commission Table CCI such as facility identification information, facility location information, emergency contact information, gas production and/or handling information, electrical power and backup power capabilities, and electric utility information.

(b) Critical designation criteria. The following facilities are designated critical gas suppliers and critical customers of the entities described by Texas Utilities Code, §38.074(b)(1) during an energy emergency:

(1) wells producing gas or casinghead gas;

(2) gas processing plants;

(3) natural gas pipelines and pipeline facilities including compressor stations;

(4) local distribution company pipelines and pipeline facilities including compressor stations;

(5) natural gas storage facilities;

(6) natural gas liquids transportation and storage facilities;

(7) saltwater disposal facilities including saltwater disposal pipelines; and

(8) other facilities under the jurisdiction of the Commission the operation of which is necessary to operate any of the facilities in paragraphs (1) through (7) of this subsection.

(c) Acknowledgment of critical status. Except as provided by subsection (d) of this section, an operator of a facility designated as critical under subsection (b) of this section shall acknowledge the facility's critical status by filing Form CI-D or submitting an electronic acknowledgment as provided in this subsection.

(1) Until an electronic system is established, the acknowledgment shall be made on Form CI-D. In the year 2022, the Form CI-D acknowledgment shall be filed bi-annually by January 15, 2022 and September 1, 2022. Beginning in 2023, the Form CI-D acknowledgment shall be filed bi-annually by March 1 and September 1 of each year.

(2) When the electronic system is established, the Form CI-D acknowledgment shall be submitted through the electronic system.

(d) Critical designation exception. A facility listed in subsection (b) of this section is designated as a critical gas supplier unless the facility's operator asserts the facility is not prepared to operate during a weather emergency. An operator shall submit a Form CI-X exception application that identifies each such facility. The Form CI-X shall be accompanied by a $150 exception application fee.

(1) Until an electronic system is established, the exception application shall be filed on Form CI-X. In the year 2022, the Form CI-X exception application shall be filed bi-annually by January 15, 2022 and September 1, 2022. Beginning in 2023 the Form CI-X exception application shall be filed bi-annually by March 1 and September 1 of each year.

(2) When the electronic system is established, the Form CI-X exception application shall be submitted through the electronic system.

(3) Once an operator has an approved Form CI-X on file with the Commission, the operator is not required to pay the $150 exception application fee when the operator updates the facilities identified on its Form CI-X.

(e) Providing critical customer information. Unless a facility is identified on an approved Form CI-X exception application under subsection (d) of this section, the facility's operator shall provide the critical customer information to the entities described in Texas Utilities Code §38.074(b)(1). The critical customer information shall be provided in accordance with 16 Tex. Admin. Code §25.52 (relating to Reliability and Continuity of Service). The operator shall certify on its Form CI-D that it has provided, or will within five business days provide, the critical customer information to the electric entity in a format usable to the electric entity.

(f) Exceptions not transferable. Exceptions are not transferable upon a change of operatorship. When a facility is transferred, both the transferor operator and the transferee operator shall ensure the transfer is reflected on each operator's Form CI-D or Form CI-X when the applicable form update is submitted in accordance with the bi-annual filing timelines in subsections (c) and (d) of this section. If the facility has an exception under subsection (d) of this section, the exception shall remain in effect until the next bi-annual filing deadline. If the transferee operator seeks to continue the exception beyond that time period, the transferee operator shall indicate the transferred facility on the Form CI-X pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

(g) Failure to file or provide required information. An operator who fails to comply with this section may be subject to penalties under §3.107 of this title (relating to Penalty Guidelines for Oil and Gas Violations).

§3.107.Penalty Guidelines for Oil and Gas Violations.

(a) - (d) (No change.)

(e) Typical penalties. Regardless of the method by which the guideline typical penalty amount is calculated, the total penalty amount will be within the statutory limit.

(1) A guideline of typical penalties for violations of Texas Natural Resources Code, Title 3; the provisions of Texas Water Code, Chapters 26, 27, and 29, that are administered and enforced by the Commission; and the provisions of a rule adopted or an order, license, permit, or certificate issued under Texas Natural Resources Code, Title 3, or Texas Water Code, Chapters 26, 27, and 29, are set forth in Table 1.

Figure: 16 TAC §3.107(e)(1) (.pdf)

[Figure: 16 TAC §3.107(e)(1)]

(2) (No change.)

(f) - (i) (No change.)

(j) Penalty calculation worksheet. The penalty calculation worksheet shown in Table 5 lists the guideline minimum penalty amounts for certain violations; the circumstances justifying enhancements of a penalty and the amount of the enhancement; and the circumstances justifying a reduction in a penalty and the amount of the reduction.

Figure: 16 TAC §3.107(j) (.pdf)

[Figure: 16 TAC §3.107(j)]

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 September 14, 2021.

TRD-202103643

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Earliest possible date of adoption: October 31, 2021

For further information, please call: (512) 475-1295


PART 2. PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION OF TEXAS

CHAPTER 25. SUBSTANTIVE RULES APPLICABLE TO ELECTRIC SERVICE PROVIDERS

SUBCHAPTER C. INFRASTRUCTURE AND RELIABILITY

16 TAC §25.52

The Public Utility Commission of Texas Staff proposes amendments to existing 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §25.52, relating to Reliability and Continuity of Service. These proposed amendments will implement amendments to the Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA) enacted by the 87th Texas Legislature. Specifically, these amendments will implement changes made to PURA §38.072(a) and (b), adding end stage renal disease facilities to the list of health facilities prioritized during system restoration following an extended power outage. These amendments will also implement PURA §38.074 by requiring a critical natural gas facility to provide critical customer information to the utility from which it receives electric delivery service and requiring the utility to incorporate this information into its load-shed and restoration planning.

Growth Impact Statement

The agency provides the following governmental growth impact statement for the proposed rule, as required by Texas Government Code §2001.0221. The agency has determined that for each year of the first five years that the proposed rule is in effect, the following statements will apply:

(1) the proposed rule will not create a government program and will not eliminate a government program;

(2) implementation of the proposed rule will not require the creation of new employee positions and will not require the elimination of existing employee positions;

(3) implementation of the proposed rule will not require an increase and will not require a decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency;

(4) the proposed rule will not require an increase and will not require a decrease in fees paid to the agency;

(5) the proposed rule will not create a new regulation;

(6) the proposed rule will not expand, limit, or repeal an existing regulation;

(7) the proposed rule will change the number of individuals subject to the rule's applicability by applying certain requirements to municipally owned utilities and electric cooperatives, which were previously excluded from the rule; and

(8) the proposed rule will not affect this state's economy.

Fiscal Impact on Small and Micro-Businesses and Rural Communities

There is no adverse economic effect anticipated for small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities as a result of implementing the proposed rule. Accordingly, no economic impact statement or regulatory flexibility analysis is required under Texas Government Code §2006.002(c).

Takings Impact Analysis

The commission has determined that the proposed rule will not be a taking of private property as defined in chapter 2007 of the Texas Government Code.

Fiscal Impact on State and Local Government

Harika Basaran, Economist, Market Analysis Division, has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications for the state or for units of local government under Texas Government Code §2001.024(a)(4) as a result of enforcing or administering the sections.

Public Benefits

Ms. Basaran has also determined that, for each year of the first five years the proposed rules and amendments are in effect, the anticipated public benefits expected as a result of the adoption of the proposed amendments will be the alignment of commission rules with the requirements of PURA §38.072 and §38.074. Ms. Basaran also anticipates that the proposed rules will assist utilities in keeping critical facilities from losing electric service during energy emergencies. Ms. Basaran does not believe there will be any major economic costs to persons required to comply with the rule under Texas Government Code §2001.024(a)(5).

Local Employment Impact Statement

For each year of the first five years the proposed section is in effect, there should be no effect on a local economy; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code §2001.022.

Costs to Regulated Persons

Texas Government Code §2001.0045(b) does not apply to this rulemaking because the commission is expressly excluded under subsection §2001.0045(c)(7).

Public Hearing

The commission staff will conduct a public hearing on this rulemaking on October 12, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing Room, 7th floor, William B. Travis Building if requested in accordance with Texas Government Code §2001.029. The request for a public hearing must be received by October 7, 2021. If no request for public hearing is received and the commission staff cancels the hearing, it will file in this project a notification of the cancellation of the hearing prior to the scheduled date for the hearing.

Public Comments

Interested persons may file comments electronically through the interchange on the commission's website. Comments must be filed by October 7, 2021. Comments should be organized in a manner consistent with the organization of the proposed rules. The commission invites specific comments regarding the costs associated with, and benefits that will be gained by, implementation of the proposed rule. The commission will consider the costs and benefits in deciding whether to modify the proposed rules on adoption. Please include a bulleted executive summary to assist the commission in reviewing the filed comments in a timely fashion. All comments should refer to project number 52345.

Statutory Authority

These amendments are proposed under the following provision of PURA: §14.001, which provides the commission the general power to regulate and supervise the business of each public utility within its jurisdiction and to do anything specifically designated or implied by PURA that is necessary and convenient to the exercise of that power and jurisdiction; §14.002, which provides the commission with the authority to make and enforce rules reasonably required in the exercise of its powers and jurisdiction; §38.072, which requires the commission to adopt a rule requiring an electric utility to give end stage renal disease facilities the same priority it gives to hospitals in the utility's emergency operations plan for restoring power after an extended power outage; and §38.074, which requires the commission to, in collaboration with the Railroad Commission of Texas, rules to establish a process to designate certain natural gas facilities and entities as critical natural gas customers during energy emergencies and to require utilities to prioritize these facilities for load-shed and power restoration purposes during an energy emergency.

Cross reference to statutes: PURA §§14.001, 14.002, 38.072, and 38.074.

§25.52.Reliability and Continuity of Service.

(a) Application. This section applies to all electric utilities as defined by §25.5(41) of this title (relating to Definitions) [the Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA)] and all transmission and distribution utilities as defined by §25.5(137) of this title [PURA §31.002(19)]. When specifically stated, this section also applies to electric cooperatives and municipally-owned utilities (MOUs). The term "utility" as used in this section means [shall mean] an electric utility and a transmission and distribution utility. In subsection (h) of this section, the term "utility" also includes electric cooperatives and MOUs.

(b) General.

(1) Every utility must [shall] make all reasonable efforts to prevent interruptions of service. When interruptions occur, the utility must [shall] reestablish service within the shortest possible time.

(2) Each utility must [shall] make reasonable provisions to manage emergencies resulting from failure of service, and each utility must [shall] issue instructions to its employees covering procedures to be followed in the event of emergency in order to prevent or mitigate interruption or impairment of service.

(3) In the event of national emergency or local disaster resulting in disruption of normal service, the utility may, in the public interest, interrupt service to other customers to provide necessary service to civil defense or other emergency service entities on a temporary basis until normal service to these agencies can be restored.

(4) Each utility must [shall] maintain adequately trained and experienced personnel throughout its service area so that the utility is able to fully and adequately comply with the service quality and reliability standards.

(5) With regard to system reliability, a [no] utility must not [shall] neglect any local neighborhood or geographic area, including rural areas, communities of less than 1,000 persons, and low-income areas.

(c) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, [shall] have the following meanings unless the context [clearly] indicates otherwise.

(1) Critical loads--Loads for which electric service is considered crucial for the protection or maintenance of public safety; including but not limited to hospitals, police stations, fire stations, critical water and wastewater facilities, and customers with special in-house life-sustaining equipment.

(2) Critical natural gas--A facility designated as a critical gas supplier by the Railroad Commission of Texas under §3.65(b) of this title (relating to Critical Designation of Natural Gas Infrastructure) unless the critical gas supplier has obtained an exception from its critical status under §3.65(d) of this title. Critical natural gas is a critical load during an energy emergency.

(3) [(2)] Interruption classifications:

(A) Forced--Interruptions, exclusive of major events, that result from conditions directly associated with a component requiring that it be taken out of service immediately, either automatically or manually, or an interruption caused by improper operation of equipment or human error.

(B) Scheduled--Interruptions, exclusive of major events, that result when a component is deliberately taken out of service at a selected time for purposes of construction, preventative maintenance, or repair. If it is possible to defer an interruption, the interruption is considered a scheduled interruption.

(C) Outside causes--Interruptions, exclusive of major events, that are caused by influences arising outside of the distribution system, such as generation, transmission, or substation outages.

(D) Major events--Interruptions that result from a catastrophic event that exceeds the design limits of the electric power system, such as an earthquake or an extreme storm. These events shall include situations where there is a loss of power to 10% or more of the customers in a region over a 24-hour period and with all customers not restored within 24 hours.

(4) [(3)] Interruption, momentary--Single operation of an interrupting device which results in a voltage zero and the immediate restoration of voltage.

(5) [(4)] Interruption, sustained--All interruptions not classified as momentary.

(6) [(5)] Interruption, significant--An interruption of any classification lasting one hour or more and affecting the entire system, a major division of the system, a community, a critical load, or service to interruptible customers; and a scheduled interruption lasting more than four hours that affects customers that are not notified in advance. A significant interruption includes a loss of service to 20% or more of the system's customers, or 20,000 customers for utilities serving more than 200,000 customers. A significant interruption also includes interruptions adversely affecting a community such as interruptions of governmental agencies, military bases, universities and schools, major retail centers, and major employers.

(7) [(6)] Reliability indices:

(A) System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) -- The average number of times that a customer's service is interrupted. SAIFI is calculated by summing the number of customers interrupted for each event and dividing by the total number of customers on the system being indexed. A lower SAIFI value represents a higher level of service reliability.

(B) System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) -- The average amount of time a customer's service is interrupted during the reporting period. SAIDI is calculated by summing the restoration time for each interruption event times the number of customers interrupted for each event, and dividing by the total number of customers. SAIDI is expressed in minutes or hours. A lower SAIDI value represents a higher level of service reliability.

(d) Record of interruption. Each utility must [shall] keep complete records of sustained interruptions of all classifications. Where possible, each utility must [shall ] keep a complete record of all momentary interruptions. These records must [shall] show the type of interruption, the cause for the interruption, the date and time of the interruption, the duration of the interruption, the number of customers interrupted, the substation identifier, and the transmission line or distribution feeder identifier. In cases of emergency interruptions, the remedy and steps taken to prevent recurrence must [shall also] be recorded. Each utility must [shall] retain records of interruptions for five years.

(e) Notice of significant interruptions.

(1) Initial notice. A utility must [shall] notify the commission, in a method prescribed by the commission, as soon as reasonably possible after it has determined that a significant interruption has occurred. The initial notice must [shall ] include the general location of the significant interruption, the approximate number of customers affected, the cause if known, the time of the event, and the estimated time of full restoration. The initial notice must [shall] also include the name and telephone number of the utility contact person, and must [shall] indicate whether local authorities and media are aware of the event. If the duration of the significant interruption is greater than 24 hours, the utility must [shall] update this information daily and file a summary report.

(2) Summary report. Within five working days after the end of a significant interruption lasting more than 24 hours, the utility must [shall] submit a summary report to the commission. The summary report must [shall] include the date and time of the significant interruption; the date and time of full restoration; the cause of the interruption, the location, substation and feeder identifiers of all affected facilities; the total number of customers affected; the dates, times, and numbers of customers affected by partial or step restoration; and the total number of customer-minutes of the significant interruption (sum of the interruption durations times the number of customers affected).

(f) Priorities for power restoration to certain medical facilities [Power Restoration to Certain Medical Facilities].

(1) A utility must [shall] give the same priority that it gives to a hospital in the utility's emergency operations plan for restoring power after an extended power outage, as defined by Texas Water Code, §13.1395, to the following:

(A) An assisted living facility, as defined by Texas Health and Safety Code, §247.002;

(B) A facility that provides hospice services, as defined by Texas Health and Safety Code, §142.001; [and]

(C) A nursing facility, as defined by Texas Health and Safety Code, §242.301; and

(D) An end stage renal disease facility, as defined by Texas Health and Safety Code, §251.001.

(2) The utility may use its discretion to prioritize power restoration for a facility after an extended power outage in accordance with the facility's needs and with the characteristics of the geographic area in which power must be restored.

(g) System reliability. Reliability standards [Standards shall] apply to each utility[,] and are [shall be] limited to the Texas jurisdiction. A "reporting year" is the 12-month period beginning January 1 and ending December 31 of each year.

(1) System-wide standards. The standards must [shall] be unique to each utility based on the utility's performance, and may be adjusted by the commission if appropriate for weather or improvements in data acquisition systems. The standards will be the average of the utility's performance from the later of reporting years 1998, 1999, and 2000, or the first three reporting years the utility is in operation.

(A) SAIFI. Each utility must [shall] maintain and operate its electric distribution system so that its SAIFI value does [shall] not exceed its system-wide SAIFI standard by more than 5.0%.

(B) SAIDI. Each utility must [shall] maintain and operate its electric distribution system so that its SAIDI value does [shall] not exceed its system-wide SAIDI standard by more than 5.0%.

(2) Distribution feeder performance. The commission will evaluate the performance of distribution feeders with ten or more customers after each reporting year. Each utility must [shall] maintain and operate its distribution system so that no distribution feeder with ten or more customers sustains a SAIDI or SAIFI value for a reporting year that is more than 300% greater than the system average of all feeders during any two consecutive reporting years.

(3) Enforcement. The commission may take appropriate enforcement action, including action against a utility, if the system and feeder performance is not operated and maintained in accordance with this subsection. In determining the appropriate enforcement action, the commission will [shall] consider:

(A) the feeder's operation and maintenance history;

(B) the cause of each interruption in the feeder's service;

(C) any action taken by a utility to address the feeder's performance;

(D) the estimated cost and benefit of remediating a feeder's performance; and

(E) any other relevant factor as determined by the commission.

(h) Critical natural gas. In accordance with §3.65 of this title, critical natural gas standards apply to each facility designated as a critical gas supplier in the state.

(1) Critical customer information.

(A) The operator of a critical natural gas facility must provide critical customer information, as defined by §3.65(a)(3) of this title, to the entities listed in clauses (i) and (ii) of this subparagraph. The critical customer information must be provided in usable format via email:

(i) The utility from which the critical natural gas facility receives electric delivery service; and

(ii) For critical natural gas facilities located in the ERCOT region, the independent organization certified under PURA §39.151.

(B) The commission will maintain on its website a list of utility email addresses to be used for the provision of critical customer information under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph. Each utility must ensure that the email address listed on the commission's website is accurate. If the utility's email address changes or is inaccurate, the utility must immediately provide the commission with an updated email address.

(C) Within five business days of receipt, the utility must evaluate the critical customer information for completeness and provide written notice to the operator of the critical natural gas facility regarding the status of its critical natural gas designation.

(i) If the information submitted is incomplete, the utility's notice must specify what additional information is required.

(ii) If the information submitted is complete, the utility's notice must notify the operator of the facility's critical natural gas status, the date of its designation, any additional classifications assigned to the facility, and notice that its critical status does not constitute a guarantee of an uninterrupted supply of energy.

(D) A utility or an independent system operator receiving critical customer information from a critical natural gas facility under this subsection must not release critical customer information to any person unless authorized by the commission or the operator of the critical natural gas facility. This prohibition does not apply to the release of such information to the commission, the Railroad Commission of Texas, the utility from which the critical natural gas facility receives electric service, or the independent system operator for the region in which the critical natural gas facility is located. This prohibition also does not apply if the critical customer information is redacted, aggregated, or organized in such a way as to make it impossible to identify the critical natural gas facility to which the information applies.

(2) Prioritization of critical natural gas facilities. A utility must incorporate critical natural gas facilities into its load-shed and restoration planning.

(A) A utility must prioritize critical natural gas facilities for load-shed purposes during an energy emergency.

(B) A utility may use its discretion to prioritize power delivery and power restoration among critical natural gas facilities and other critical loads on its system.

(C) A utility must consider any additional guidance or prioritization criteria provided by the commission, the Railroad Commission of Texas, or the independent system operator for its power region to prioritize among critical natural gas facilities during an energy emergency.

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 September 16, 2021.

TRD-202103682

Andrea Gonzalez

Rules Coordinator

Public Utility Commission of Texas

Earliest possible date of adoption: October 31, 2021

For further information, please call: (512) 936-7244


PART 4. TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND REGULATION

CHAPTER 60. PROCEDURAL RULES OF THE COMMISSION AND THE DEPARTMENT

SUBCHAPTER B. POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

16 TAC §60.24

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) proposes amendments to an existing rule at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 60, Subchapter B, §60.24, regarding the Procedural Rules of the Commission and the Department.

EXPLANATION OF AND JUSTIFICATION FOR THE RULE

The rules under 16 TAC Chapter 60 implement Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, the enabling statute for the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission) and the Department, and other laws applicable to the Commission and the Department.

Texas Government Code, Chapter 2110 addresses state agency advisory committees. In accordance with Texas Government Code §2110.008, Duration of Advisory Committees, the Commission has adopted 16 TAC §60.24, which lists the agency's advisory boards and committees (advisory boards) and establishes the abolishment date of each of these advisory boards.

The proposed rule updates the list of the Department's advisory boards and their abolishment dates, as applicable. The proposed rule reflects the separate statutory changes that have been made to the Department's program statutes to add programs, to deregulate programs, or to add or repeal advisory boards for certain programs. The proposed rule is necessary to ensure that the rule reflects the current advisory boards and their abolishment dates, if applicable, as required under Texas Government Code §2110.008.

SECTION-BY-SECTION SUMMARY

The proposed rule amends §60.24, Advisory Boards. The proposed rule amends subsection (c) to update the list of the Department's advisory boards. The proposed rule adds advisory boards to subsection (c) with an abolishment date of September 1, 2024, to align with the other advisory boards in the list. The proposed rule also removes advisory boards from the list to reflect the programs that have been deregulated or the advisory boards that have been repealed through separate statutory changes. A few clean-up changes also have been made to this subsection.

The proposed rule adds new subsection (d). A separate list is created for those advisory boards that are specifically exempt from Texas Government Code, Chapter 2110 and do not have a designated abolishment date. The exempt advisory boards have been listed to avoid confusion and to account for the Department's advisory boards.

FISCAL IMPACT ON STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Tony Couvillon, Policy Research and Budget Analyst, has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed rule is in effect, there are no estimated additional costs or reductions in costs to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rule.

Mr. Couvillon has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed rule is in effect, there is no estimated increase or loss in revenue to the state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rule.

Mr. Couvillon has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed rule is in effect, enforcing or administering the proposed rule does not have foreseeable implications relating to costs or revenues of state governments or local governments.

LOCAL EMPLOYMENT IMPACT STATEMENT

Mr. Couvillon has determined that the proposed rule will not affect the local economy, so the agency is not required to prepare a local employment impact statement under Government Code §2001.022.

PUBLIC BENEFITS

Mr. Couvillon also has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect, the public benefit is that the rule will reflect the current list of advisory boards and their abolishment dates. The proposed rule will provide notice to the agency's advisory boards and to the public regarding the date on which the advisory boards will be abolished if action is not taken to continue their existence. The proposed rule also allows the public to be aware of the advisory boards that are exempt by statute and do not have abolishment dates.

PROBABLE ECONOMIC COSTS TO PERSONS REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH PROPOSAL

Mr. Couvillon has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rule is in effect, there are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the proposed rule.

FISCAL IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESSES, MICRO-BUSINESSES, AND RURAL COMMUNITIES

There will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities as a result of the proposed rule. Since the agency has determined that the proposed rule will have no adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities, preparation of an Economic Impact Statement and a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, as detailed under Texas Government Code §2006.002, are not required.

ONE-FOR-ONE REQUIREMENT FOR RULES WITH A FISCAL IMPACT

The proposed rule does not have a fiscal note that imposes a cost on regulated persons, including another state agency, a special district, or a local government. Therefore, the agency is not required to take any further action under Government Code §2001.0045.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT STATEMENT

Pursuant to Government Code §2001.0221, the agency provides the following Government Growth Impact Statement for the proposed rule. For each year of the first five years the proposed rule will be in effect, the agency has determined the following:

1. The proposed rule does not create or eliminate a government program.

2. Implementation of the proposed rule does not require the creation of new employee positions or the elimination of existing employee positions.

3. Implementation of the proposed rule does not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency.

4. The proposed rule does not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the agency.

5. The proposed rule does not create a new regulation.

6. The proposed rule does not expand, limit, or repeal an existing regulation.

7. The proposed rule does not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to the rule's applicability.

8. The proposed rule does not positively or adversely affect this state's economy.

The proposed rule updates the list of the Department's advisory boards and their abolishment dates, if applicable, as required by statute.

TAKINGS IMPACT ASSESSMENT

The Department has determined that no private real property interests are affected by the proposed rule and the proposed rule does not restrict, limit, or impose a burden on an owner's rights to his or her private real property that would otherwise exist in the absence of government action. As a result, the proposed rule does not constitute a taking or require a takings impact assessment under Government Code §2007.043.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted electronically on the Department's website at https://ga.tdlr.texas.gov:1443/form/gcerules; by facsimile to (512) 475-3032; or by mail to Monica Nuñez, Legal Assistant, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711. The deadline for comments is 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The proposed rule is proposed under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, which authorizes the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement this chapter and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department. The proposed rule also is proposed under Texas Government Code, Chapter 2110, §2110.008, regarding the duration of advisory committees.

The statutory provisions affected by the proposed rule are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51 and Texas Government Code, Chapter 2110. In addition, the following statutes for the programs that have advisory boards are affected by the proposed rule: Agriculture Code, Chapter 301 (Weather Modification and Control); Education Code, Chapter 1001 (Driver and Traffic Safety Education); Government Code, Chapter 469 (Elimination of Architectural Barriers); Health and Safety Code, Chapters 754 (Elevators, Escalators, and Related Equipment) and 755 (Boilers); Occupations Code, Chapters 202 (Podiatrists); 203 (Midwives); 401 (Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists); 402 (Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers); 403 (Dyslexia Practitioners and Therapists); 451 (Athletic Trainers); 455 (Massage Therapy); 506 (Behavioral Analysts); 605 (Orthotists and Prosthetists); 701 (Dietitians); 802 (Dog or Cat Breeders); 1151 (Property Tax Professionals); 1152 (Property Tax Consultants); 1302 (Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors); 1305 (Electricians); 1601 (Barbers); 1602 (Cosmetologists); 1603 (Barbers and Cosmetologists); 1703 (Polygraph Examiners); 1802 (Auctioneers); 1901 (Water Well Drillers); 1902 (Water Well Pump Installers): 1952 (Code Enforcement Officers); 1953 (Sanitarians); 2052 (Combative Sports); 2303 (Vehicle Storage Facilities); 2308 (Vehicle Towing and Booting); 2309 (Used Automotive Parts Recyclers); and 2310 (Motor Fuel Metering and Quality); and Transportation Code, Chapter 662 (Motorcycle Operator Training and Safety).

No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the proposed rule.

§60.24.Advisory Boards.

(a) Unless otherwise provided by law, the presiding officer of the commission, with the commission's approval, shall appoint the members of each advisory board.

(b) The purpose, duties, manner of reporting, and membership requirements of each advisory board are detailed in the statutes and rules of the specific program regulated by the department.

(c) In accordance with Texas Government Code[,] §2110.008, the commission establishes the following periods during which the advisory boards listed will continue in existence. The automatic abolishment date of each advisory board will be the date listed for that board unless the commission subsequently establishes a different date:

(1) Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers--09/01/2024;

(2) Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

[(2) Advisory Board on Barbering--09/01/2024];

[(3) Advisory Board on Cosmetology--09/01/2024];

(3) [(4)] Architectural Barriers Advisory Committee--09/01/2024;

[(5) Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board--09/01/2024;]

(4) [(6)] Auctioneer Education Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

(5) Barbering and Cosmetology Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

(6) Behavior Analyst Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

(7) Board of Boiler Rules--09/01/2024;

(8) Code Enforcement Officers Advisory Committee--09/01/2024;

(9) [(8)] Combative Sports Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

(10) [(9)] Dietitians Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

(11) [(10)] Dyslexia Therapists and Practitioners Advisory Committee--09/01/2024;

(12) [(11)] Electrical Safety and Licensing Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

(13) [(12)] Elevator Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

(14) [(13)] Hearing Instrument Fitters and Dispensers Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

[(14) Licensed Breeders Advisory Committee--09/01/2024;]

(15) Massage Therapy Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

(16) [(15)] Midwives Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

(17) Motor Fuel Metering and Quality Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

(18) [(16)] Orthotists and Prosthetists Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

[(17) Polygraph Advisory Committee--09/01/2024;]

(19) Podiatric Medical Examiners Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

(20) [(18)] Property Tax Consultants Advisory Council--09/01/2024;

(21) Registered Sanitarian Advisory Committee--09/01/2024;

(22) [(19)] Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

(23) [(20)] Texas Tax Professional Advisory Committee--09/01/2024;

(24) [(21)] Towing and [,] Storage[, and Booting] Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

(25) [(22)] Used Automotive Parts Recycling Advisory Board--09/01/2024;

[(23) Vehicle Protection Product Warrantor Advisory Board--09/01/2024;]

(26) [(24)] Water Well Drillers Advisory Council--09/01/2024; and

(27) [(25)] Weather Modification Advisory Committee--09/01/2024.

(d) The following advisory boards are specifically exempt from Texas Government Code, Chapter 2110 and do not have a designated abolishment date:

(1) Driver Training and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee (exempt under Education Code §1001.058(i));

(2) Licensed Breeder Advisory Committee (exempt under Occupations Code §802.065(j)); and

(3) Motorcycle Safety Advisory Board (exempt under Transportation Code §662.0037(h)).

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 September 20, 2021.

TRD-202103714

Brad Bowman

General Counsel

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Earliest possible date of adoption: October 31, 2021

For further information, please call: (512) 475-4879