TWDB Flood Planning Update
By Water Laws Chair Howard Slobodin
On March 12, the Texas Water Development Board approved the adoption of a final rule package to implement Senate Bill 7. SB 7 created new vehicles to finance flood mitigation activities. TWDB’s final rule package may be found here. It also released the accompanying 2020 Flood Intended Use Plan and application (Word Doc). Abridged applications for first-round Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF) assistance are due on May 14, 2020.
TWCA’s Flood Rulemaking Subcommittee, a component of the post-Harvey Flood Response Committee, provided comments to TWDB on the proposed SB 7 rules. TWDB found several of TWCA’s comments well taken. The final rule package clarifies that: 1) rehabilitation of existing infrastructure is funding eligible; and, 2) notice and opportunity to eligible political subdivisions to participate in project planning will fulfill the requirement to have all substantially affected eligible political subdivisions participate in planning a project (31 Tex. Admin. Code § 363.408(b)(2)(B)). Most notably, TWDB’s final rules clarified when a Memorandum of Understanding will be required to accompany a FIF financing application, properly limiting it to situation in which a “project watershed” is partially located outside an applicant’s political boundaries (31 Tex. Admin. Code § 363.408(b)(1)).
TWDB also plans to vote on its proposed map of flood planning regions at its April 9 meeting. You can view the upcoming agenda here.
A note of thanks to TWCA’s members that participated on the Flood Rulemaking Subcommittee. That group also prepared and submitted comments to TWDB’s proposed Senate Bill 8 implementing rule package. That final rule package remains pending adoption at this time.