TITLE 16. ECONOMIC REGULATION

PART 1. RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS

CHAPTER 12. COAL MINING REGULATIONS

The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) adopts amendments, in Subchapter A, General, Division 1, General, to §12.3 and §12.4, relating to Definitions; and Petitions to Initiate Rulemaking.

In Subchapter G, Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Operations, Permits, and Coal Exploration Procedures Systems, Division 1, General Requirements for Permit and Exploration Procedure Systems under Regulatory Programs, the Commission adopts amendments to §12.100, relating to Responsibilities.

In Subchapter G, Division 2, General Requirements for Permits and Permit Applications, the Commission adopts amendments to §12.106 and §12.108, relating to Permit Application Filing Deadlines; and Permit Fees.

In Subchapter G, Division 4, Surface Mining Permit Applications--Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related Information, the Commission adopts a change in the Division title and amendments to §12.121, relating to Identification of Other Licenses and Permits.

In Subchapter G, Division 5, Surface Mining Permit Applications--Minimum Requirements for Information on Environmental Resources, the Commission adopts amendments to §12.126 and §12.137, relating to Description of Hydrology and Geology: General Requirements; and Cross Sections, Maps, and Plans.

In Subchapter G, Division 6, Surface Mining Permit Applications--Minimum Requirements for Reclamation and Operation Plan, the Commission adopts amendments to §§12.142, 12.146, 12.148, and 12.154, relating to Operation Plan: Maps and Plans; Reclamation Plan: Protection of Hydrologic Balance; Reclamation Plan: Ponds, Impoundments, Banks, Dams, and Embankments; and Road Systems and Support Facilities.

In Subchapter G, Division 7, Underground Mining Permit Applications--Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related Information, the Commission adopts changes to the Division title and amendments to §12.161, relating to Identification of Other Licenses and Permits.

In Subchapter G, Division 8, Underground Mining Permit Applications--Minimum Requirements for Information on Environmental Resources, the Commission adopts amendments to §12.172 and §12.183, relating to Description of Hydrology and Geology: General Requirements; and Cross Sections, Maps, and Plans.

In Subchapter G, Division 9, Underground Mining Permit Applications--Minimum Requirements for Reclamation and Operation Plan, the Commission adopts amendments to §§12.188, 12.190, 12.197, and 12.198, relating to Reclamation Plan: Protection of Hydrologic Balance; Reclamation Plan: Ponds, Impoundments, Banks, Dams, and Embankments; Operation Plan: Maps and Plans; and Road Systems and Support Facilities.

In Subchapter G, Division 11, Review, Public Participation, and Approval of Permit Applications and Permit Terms and Conditions, the Commission adopts amendments to §§12.207, 12.211, and 12.215, relating to Public Notices of Filing of Permit Applications; Public Hearing on Application; and Review of Permit Applications.

In Subchapter G, Division 13, Permit Reviews, Revisions, and Renewals, and Transfers, Sale, and Assignment of Rights Granted Under Permits, the Commission adopts amendments to §12.225, relating to Commission Review of Outstanding Permits.

In Subchapter K, Permanent Program Performance Standards, Division 2, Permanent Program Performance Standards--Surface Mining Activities, the Commission adopts amendments to §§12.341, 12.344, 12.347, 12.363, 12.366, 12.368, 12.369, 12.373, 12.376, 12.382, 12.398, 12.399, and 12.401, relating to Hydrologic Balance: Diversions; Hydrologic Balance: Siltation Structures; Hydrologic Balance: Permanent and Temporary Impoundments; Disposal of Excess Spoil: General Requirements; Disposal of Excess Spoil: Durable Rock Fills; Coal Processing Waste Banks: General Requirements; Coal Processing Waste Banks: Site Inspection; Coal Processing Waste: Burned Waste Utilization; Coal Mine Waste: Dams and Embankments: General Requirements; Pipelines; Cessation of Operations: Permanent; Postmining Land Use; and Primary Roads.

In Subchapter K, Division 3, Permanent Program Performance Standards--Underground Mining Activities, the Commission adopts amendments to §§12.511, 12.514, 12.517, 12.531, 12.534, 12.535, 12.536, 12.540, 12.543, 12.549, 12.567, 12.568, and 12.570, relating to Hydrologic Balance: Diversions; Hydrologic Balance: Siltation Structures; Hydrologic Balance: Permanent and Temporary Impoundments; Disposal of Underground Development Waste and Excess Spoil: General Requirements; Disposal of Underground Development Waste and Excess Spoil: Durable Rock Fills; Coal Mine Waste Banks: General Requirements; Coal Mine Waste Banks: Site Inspection; Coal Mine Waste: Burned-Waste Utilization; Coal Mine Waste: Dams and Embankments: General Requirements; Pipelines; Cessation of Operations: Permanent; Postmining Land Use; and Primary Roads.

In Subchapter L, Permanent Program Inspection and Enforcement Procedures, Division 1, Commission Inspection and Enforcement, the Commission adopts amendments to §12.676, relating to Alternative Enforcement, and in Division 2, Enforcement, the Commission adopts amendments to §12.679, relating to Suspension or Revocation of Permits.

The Commission adopts the rules without changes to the proposed text as published in the November 6, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 7826). The rules will not be republished.

The Commission received no comments on the proposal.

The Commission adopts the amendments in order to better organize and clarify certain procedures, conform Commission rules to federal regulations and guidance such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Technical Release 60, update references to statutes or editions of external documents, update references to professional engineers and professional geoscientists, and make other nonsubstantive clarifying amendments such as making rules gender neutral and correcting internal cross-references.

Amendments to §§12.100, 12.108, 12.121, 12.146, 12.161, 12.188, 12.225, 12.398, and 12.567 result from Commission staff recommendations to update, reorganize, or clarify certain procedures. The amendments in §12.100 correspond to other amendments in §12.398 and §12.567 to require operators to notify the Commission of the intent to permanently cease and abandon operations. In §12.108, the amendments state that the annual fee for each acre of land within a permit area covered by a reclamation bond on December 31st of a year will be based on the number of bonded acres of land identified by the applicant on the map included in the permit and approved by the Commission. The amendments will require that, by December 31st of any given year, the permit bond map is updated to incorporate any releases of reclamation acreage that were approved during that year. On December 31st of each year, Commission staff will use the approved bond map on file to calculate the fee. In §12.121 and §12.161, the amendments add the permit expiration date to list of information required to be submitted with an application to conduct the proposed surface mining activities. In §12.146 and §12.188, amendments reorganize certain requirements for ease of reading and to assist Commission staff in checking that the requirements have been met; the amendments in new subsection(d)(6) in both rules are made to ensure consistency with the corresponding federal rule.

Amendments to §§12.344, 12.347, 12.376, 12.514, 12.517, and 12.543 update references to the United State Department of Agriculture's Technical Release 60 which was revised in 2005. Previously, the rules referenced the 1985 edition of Technical Release 60. In the 2005 version, several terms have been updated and those terms are updated in the Commission's rules as well. For example, these amendments replace the term "emergency spillways" with "auxiliary spillways" and change references to "Class B or C" criteria to "significant or high hazard class."

Certain amendments update the terms "registered professional engineer" and "professional geologist" to "professional engineer" and "professional geoscientist," respectively. The updates ensure consistency with terms used by professional licensing boards. These amendments are adopted in the definitions of those terms in §12.3(132) and (133) with conforming amendments adopted in §§12.137, 12.142, 12.148, 12.154, 12.183, 12.190, 12.197, 12.198, 12.341, 12.363, 12.366, 12.368, 12.369, 12.373, 12.399, 12.401, 12.511, 12.531, 12.534, 12.535, 12.536, 12.540, 12.568, and 12.570.

Finally, other nonsubstantive clarifying amendments to §§12.3(89), 12.4, 12.106, 12.126, 12.172, 12.207, 12.211, 12.215, 12.382, 12.549, 12.676, and 12.679 correct internal cross-references or references to statutes or editions of external documents, ensure consistency with state statutes, make rule wording gender neutral, or make grammatical corrections. For example, amendments in §12.4 remove outdated requirements for petitions for rulemaking, which required that the Commission respond to a petition within 90 days of receipt. The adopted changes reference the Texas Administrative Procedure Act and the Commission's corresponding rule of practice and procedure, which require a response within 60 days of receipt. Amendments in §12.106 change the required permit renewal application date to 120 days before the expiration of the permit to match the timeline in Texas Natural Resources Code §134.078.

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL

DIVISION 1. GENERAL

16 TAC §12.3, §12.4

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005331

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


SUBCHAPTER G. SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION OPERATIONS, PERMITS, AND COAL EXPLORATION PROCEDURES SYSTEMS

DIVISION 1. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR PERMIT AND EXPLORATION PROCEDURE SYSTEMS UNDER REGULATORY PROGRAMS

16 TAC §12.100

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005332

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


DIVISION 2. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR PERMITS AND PERMIT APPLICATIONS

16 TAC §12.106, §12.108

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005334

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


DIVISION 4. SURFACE MINING PERMIT APPLICATIONS--MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR LEGAL, FINANCIAL, COMPLIANCE, AND RELATED INFORMATION

16 TAC §12.121

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005335

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


DIVISION 5. SURFACE MINING PERMIT APPLICATIONS--MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR INFORMATION ON ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES

16 TAC §12.126, §12.137

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005337

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


DIVISION 6. SURFACE MINING PERMIT APPLICATIONS--MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR RECLAMATION AND OPERATION PLAN

16 TAC §§12.142, 12.146, 12.148, 12.154

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005338

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


DIVISION 7. UNDERGROUND MINING PERMIT APPLICATIONS--MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR LEGAL, FINANCIAL, COMPLIANCE, AND RELATED INFORMATION

16 TAC §12.161

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005339

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


DIVISION 8. UNDERGROUND MINING PERMIT APPLICATIONS--MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR INFORMATION ON ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES

16 TAC §12.172, §12.183

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005340

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


DIVISION 9. UNDERGROUND MINING PERMIT APPLICATIONS--MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR RECLAMATION AND OPERATION PLAN

16 TAC §§12.188, 12.190, 12.197, 12.198

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005341

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


DIVISION 11. REVIEW, PUBLIC PARTICIPATION, AND APPROVAL OF PERMIT APPLICATIONS AND PERMIT TERMS AND CONDITIONS

16 TAC §§12.207, 12.211, 12.215

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005342

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


DIVISION 13. PERMIT REVIEWS, REVISIONS, AND RENEWALS, AND TRANSFERS, SALE, AND ASSIGNMENT OF RIGHTS GRANTED UNDER PERMITS

16 TAC §12.225

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005343

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


SUBCHAPTER K. PERMANENT PROGRAM PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

DIVISION 2. PERMANENT PROGRAM PERFORMANCE STANDARDS--SURFACE MINING ACTIVITIES

16 TAC §§12.341, 12.344, 12.347, 12.363, 12.366, 12.368, 12.369, 12.373, 12.376, 12.382, 12.398, 12.399, 12.401

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005344

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


DIVISION 3. PERMANENT PROGRAM PERFORMANCE STANDARDS--UNDERGROUND MINING ACTIVITIES

16 TAC §§12.511, 12.514, 12.517, 12.531, 12.534 - 12.536, 12.540, 12.543, 12.549, 12.567, 12.568, 12.570

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005345

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


SUBCHAPTER L. PERMANENT PROGRAM INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES

DIVISION 1. COMMISSION INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT

16 TAC §12.676

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005346

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


DIVISION 2. ENFORCEMENT

16 TAC §12.679

The Commission adopts the amendments under Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013, which authorize the Commission to promulgate rules pertaining to surface coal mining operations.

Statutory Authority: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

Cross-reference to statute: Texas Natural Resources Code §134.011 and §134.013.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 8, 2020.

TRD-202005347

Haley Cochran

Rules Attorney, Office of General Counsel

Railroad Commission of Texas

Effective date: December 28, 2020

Proposal publication date: November 6, 2020

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


PART 4. TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND REGULATION

CHAPTER 75. AIR CONDITIONING AND REFRIGERATION

16 TAC §75.110

The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission) adopts amendments to an existing rule at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 75, §75.110, regarding the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Program, with changes to the proposed text as published in the August 7, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 5467). The rule will be republished.

EXPLANATION OF AND JUSTIFICATION FOR THE RULE

The rules under 16 TAC, Chapter 75, implement Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1302, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors.

The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractor License Law, Tex. Occ. Code §1302.101(a), requires the Commission to adopt rules for the practice of air conditioning and refrigeration contracting that are at least as strict as the standards provided by the Uniform Mechanical Code and the International Mechanical Code. These codes define the standard of practice for air conditioning and refrigeration contracting and are used by Department staff to evaluate the mechanical integrity and proper installation and service of air conditioning and refrigeration systems. The proposed amendments are necessary to align the program's applicable codes with currently recognized national standards and to provide clarity and consistency for the Department's licensees.

The adopted rule updates the applicable code editions from 2015 to 2018 for the International Residential Code, International Mechanical Code, International Fuel Gas Code, and Uniform Mechanical Code, effective January 1, 2021. The proposed rule previously also included an adoption by reference of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), but the Advisory Board recommended removal of this reference at its October 20 meeting.

The adopted rule was presented to and discussed by the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board at its meeting on July 15, 2020. The Advisory Board did not make any changes to the proposed rule. The Advisory Board voted and recommended that the proposed rule be published in the Texas Register for public comment. At its October 20 meeting, the Advisory Board recommended adoption of the proposed rule with one change: namely, removing the reference to the IECC.

SECTION-BY-SECTION SUMMARY

The adopted rule amends §75.110(a) to adopt the 2018 editions of the International Residential Code, International Mechanical Code, International Fuel Gas Code, and Uniform Mechanical Code, effective January 1, 2021.

The adopted rule amends subsection (b) to state that the currently adopted code editions will remain in effect through December 31, 2020. Further, adopted subsection (b) states that air conditioning and refrigeration work permitted or begun before January 1, 2021 may be performed in accordance with the 2015 edition of the applicable codes.

The other adopted amendments remove outdated or unnecessary language from the rule.

As mentioned above, the adopted rule previously also included an adoption by reference of the IECC, but the Advisory Board recommended removal of this reference at its October 20 meeting. Because the State Energy Conservation Office has adopted the IECC statewide by rule (see 34 T.A.C. §19.53), it was unnecessary to include a reference to the IECC in the ACR rules.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

The Department drafted and distributed the proposed rule to persons internal and external to the agency. The proposed rule was published in the August 7, 2020, issue of the Texas Register (45 TexReg 5467). The deadline for public comments was September 7, 2020. The Department received a comment from one interested party on the proposed rule during the 30-day public comment period. The public comment is summarized below.

Comment--One commenter urged the department to adopt only the International Mechanical Code, and not the Uniform Mechanical Code.

Department Response--The department appreciates the comment. However, Section 1302.101 of the Occupations Code requires adoption of both codes; thus, this change cannot be made without a statutory amendment. The department did not make any changes to the proposed rule based on this comment.

ADVISORY BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS AND COMMISSION ACTION

The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board met on October 20, 2020, to discuss the proposed rule and the public comment received. The Advisory Board recommended that the Commission adopt the proposed rule as published in the Texas Register with one change, to remove reference of the IECC. Because the State Energy Conservation Office has adopted the IECC statewide by rule (see 34 T.A.C. §19.53), it was unnecessary to include a reference to the IECC in the ACR rules. At its meeting on December 8, 2020, the Commission adopted the proposed rule with changes as recommended by the Advisory Board.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The adopted rule is adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 1302, which authorize the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the adopted rule are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 1302. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the adopted rule.

§75.110.Applicable Codes.

(a) Effective January 1, 2021, the commission adopts the following applicable codes as referenced in the Act and this chapter:

(1) 2018 International Residential Code;

(2) 2018 International Mechanical Code;

(3) 2018 International Fuel Gas Code; and

(4) 2018 Uniform Mechanical Code.

(b) The 2015 codes shall remain in effect through December 31, 2020. All air conditioning and refrigeration work permitted or started before January 1, 2021, may be completed in accordance with the 2015 code editions.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 11, 2020.

TRD-202005417

Brad Bowman

General Counsel

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Effective date: December 31, 2020

Proposal publication date: August 7, 2020

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