Bill Text: TX HB3939 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the exercise of the power of eminent domain by a common carrier pipeline.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-21 - Referred to Land & Resource Management [HB3939 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB3939-Introduced.html
  86R12479 JAM-F
 
  By: Lozano H.B. No. 3939
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the exercise of the power of eminent domain by a common
  carrier pipeline.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 111.019, Natural Resources Code, is
  amended by adding Subsections (d) and (e) to read as follows:
         (d)  In the exercise of the power of eminent domain granted
  under the provisions of Subsection (a), a common carrier shall make
  a good faith effort to negotiate with the owner of property sought
  to be condemned with regard to the particular route or location of
  the pipeline or incidental facility on the owner's property. The
  requirement to negotiate provided in this subsection:
               (1)  may not be construed to allow an owner of property
  to unreasonably refuse to agree to a particular route proposed by
  the common carrier or to negotiate a route or location of a pipeline
  or incidental facility on property not owned by the property owner;
  and
               (2)  is presumed to be satisfied if the common carrier
  or its employees, contractors, agents, or assigns contact the
  property owner in person, by telephone, or through certified mail,
  return receipt requested, and the property owner does not respond
  before the 15th day after the date of contact.
         (e)  Before entering property for the purpose of making a
  preliminary survey to be used in the exercise of the power of
  eminent domain granted under this section, the common carrier or
  its employees, contractors, agents, or assigns shall obtain from
  the property owner a written authorization for the right to enter
  the property. A written authorization under this subsection:
               (1)  may not be unreasonably refused by a property
  owner; and 
               (2)  must: 
                     (A)  require notice before entering the property
  under the authorization; 
                     (B)  require the authorized access to be at a time
  that is agreeable to both the common carrier and the property owner; 
                     (C)  limit the right of entry to only the portion
  of the property that is affected by the proposed pipeline; 
                     (D)  limit the right of entry to the purpose of
  conducting surveys; 
                     (E)  prohibit the cutting, removal, or relocation
  of a fence for the purpose of conducting the survey without the
  prompt restoration or repair of the fence; 
                     (F)  require the restoration of property to be as
  close as possible to the original condition before entry; 
                     (G)  require all equipment and tools used in the
  survey to be removed by a certain date;
                     (H)  require the common carrier or its employees,
  contractors, agents, or assigns to promptly repair or remediate any
  damage caused by the common carrier or its employees, contractors,
  agents, or assigns while on the property; 
                     (I)  provide an indemnification provision in
  favor of the property owner; 
                     (J)  require that the property owner, on written
  request, be provided, at no charge, all non-privileged information
  gathered from the entry, including surveys, reports, maps, and
  photographs; and 
                     (K)  provide for an expiration date for the
  authorization.
         SECTION 2.  The changes in law made by this Act to Section
  111.019, Natural Resources Code, apply only to a condemnation
  proceeding in which the petition is filed on or after the effective
  date of this Act and to any property condemned through the
  proceeding. A condemnation proceeding in which the petition is
  filed before the effective date of this Act and any property
  condemned through the proceeding are governed by the law in effect
  immediately before that date, and that law is continued in effect
  for that purpose.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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