At their October 13 regular meeting, the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) Board of Directors are expected to approve dates for one or more public hearings to receive comments on proposed rule revisions.
HPWD Board Members met with the District’s County Advisory Committees (CAC) during a series of annual meetings in March 2020. At that time, the CAC members provided feedback on current HPWD rules and recommended that the Board proceed with draft revisions.
The proposed rule revisions cover a wide range of topics, including:
- Removing requirement for pump log submittal in order for a water well permit to be considered administratively complete.
- Adding a “Sunset provision” for the conservation reserve (water banking) program.
- Separating the “Permit Application” and “Permit” language to help identify when the application is administratively complete and when the board must act on it.
- Revising property line spacing requirements as suggested by County Advisory Committee members.
- Changing production reporting language from “Reports shall be submitted to the District” to “Reports may be submitted to the District.”
- Adding “Sunset provisions” for “contiguous” acreage connected by pipeline.
- Removing the requirement for a litigation policy.
- Removing meter sealing provisions from the rules.
- Removing “illegal well” language from definitions in the rules.
- Changing the definition of “abandoned wells” to match TDLR statute
- Making other non-substantive rules cleanup, such as numbering and grammatical edits.
During the October meeting, the HPWD Board members will review proposed rule revisions and set dates for one or more public hearings in November. In accordance with state law, public notice must be provided 20 days in advance of the rulemaking hearing(s). The proposed rule changes would be adopted in December.
“These proposed rule revisions are based upon four guiding principles,” said Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo. “They are: 1) Leave the District in a better place than when this Board started; 2) Do no harm. Create rules where people can comply; 3) Examine longer term issues that may be confusing or problematic; and 4) make certain staff can follow and implement policies,” he said.
The HPWD rules were last revised in March 2015.
Questions about the proposed rule revisions should be directed to General Manager Jason Coleman at email@example.com or (806) 762-0181.