TX NATURAL RESOURCES CODE

TITLE 3. OIL AND GAS

SUBTITLE A. ADMINISTRATION

CHAPTER 85. CONSERVATION OF OIL AND GAS

SUBCHAPTER K. PENALTIES, IMPRISONMENT, AND CONFINEMENT



§ 85.381. PENALTY FOR VIOLATION OF LAWS, RULES, AND ORDERS.
     (a) In addition to being subject to any forfeiture
      provided by law and to any penalty imposed by the commission for contempt for violation of its rules or orders, any person who violates the provisions of Sections 85.045 and 85.046 of this code, Title 102, Revised Civil Statutes of Texas, 1925, as amended, including provisions of this code formerly included in that title, or any rule or order of the commission promulgated under those laws is subject to a penalty of not more than:
          (1) $10,000 when the provision, rule, or order pertains to safety or the prevention or control of pollution; or
          (2) $1,000 when the provision, rule, or order does not pertain to safety or the prevention or control of pollution.
     (b) The applicable maximum penalty may be assessed for each and every day of violation and for each and every act of violation.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2528, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5251, ch. 967, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983.

§ 85.382. VENUE.
     The penalty provided in Section 85.381 of this code shall be recovered in a court of competent jurisdiction in Travis County, in the county in which the violation occurred, or in the county of the residence of any defendant.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2528, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5251, ch. 967, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983.

§ 85.383. SUIT.
     By direction of the commission, the suit to recover the penalty shall be instituted and conducted in the name of the state by the attorney general or by the county or district attorney in the county in which the suit is brought.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2528, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 85.384. EFFECT OF RECOVERY OR PAYMENT OF PENALTY.
     The recovery or payment of the penalty shall not authorize the violation of any provision of Section 85.045 or 85.046 of this code, Title 102, Revised Civil Statutes of Texas, 1925, as amended, including provisions of this code formerly included in that title, or any rule or order of the commission adopted under those laws.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2528, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 85.385. PERSONS AIDING OR ABETTING VIOLATION.
     Any person who aids or abets any other person in violating Section 85.045 or 85.046 of this code, Title 102, Revised Civil Statutes of Texas, 1925, as amended, including provisions of this code formerly included in that title, or any rule or order adopted by the commission under those laws is subject to the same penalties as provided in Section 85.381 of this code.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2529, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 85.3855. ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY.
     (a) The commission may impose an administrative penalty on a person who:
          (1) violates Section 85.165 or 85.166 or a rule or order adopted under Section 85.165 or 85.166; or
          (2) knowingly destroys, breaks, removes, or otherwise tampers with, or attempts to destroy, break, remove, or otherwise tamper with, a cap, seal, or other device placed by the commission on an oil well, gas well, oil and gas well, or other associated oil or gas gathering equipment.
     (b) The amount of the penalty may not exceed $10,000 for each violation. The amount shall be based on:
          (1) the seriousness of the violation, including the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation;
          (2) the economic harm to property or the environment caused by the violation;
          (3) the history of previous violations;
          (4) efforts to correct the violation; and
          (5) any other matter that justice may require.
     (c) The enforcement of the penalty may be stayed during the time the order is under judicial review if the person pays the penalty to the clerk of the court or files a supersedeas bond with the court in the amount of the penalty. A person who cannot afford to pay the penalty or file the bond may stay the enforcement by filing an affidavit in the manner required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure for a party who cannot afford to file security for costs, subject to the right of the commission to contest the affidavit as provided by those rules.
     (d) The attorney general may sue to collect the penalty.
     (e) A proceeding to impose the penalty is considered to be a contested case under Chapter 2001, Government Code.
     (f) A penalty imposed under this section is in addition to a forfeiture provided by law or a penalty imposed by the commission for contempt for violation of a commission rule or order.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1252, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

§ 85.386. FORGING NAMES ON PERMITS AND TENDERS.
     A person shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary for not less than two nor more than five years if he:
          (1) forges the name of an agent, officer, or employee of the commission to a permit or tender of the commission relating to oil or gas or any product or by-product of oil or gas;
          (2) forges the name of any person to such a tender or permit; or
          (3) knowingly uses a forged instrument to induce another to handle or transport oil or gas or any product or by-product of oil or gas.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2529, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 85.387. PROCURING TENDERS AND PERMITS.
     A person shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary for not less than two nor more than five years if he:
          (1) knowingly procures or causes an agent, officer, or employee of the commission to approve or issue a permit or tender of the commission relating to oil or gas or any product or by-product of oil or gas that includes a statement or representation that is false and that materially misrepresents the true facts respecting the oil or gas or any product or by-product of either; or
          (2) procures or causes an agent, officer, or employee of the commission to issue to him a permit or tender relating to oil or gas or any product or by-product of either with the intent to defraud.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2529, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 85.388. POSSESSING A FORGED PERMIT OR TENDER.
     Any person who knowingly has in his possession a forged tender or permit of the commission relating to oil or gas or any product or by-product of oil or gas for the purpose of transporting, handling, or selling oil or gas shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $1,000 or shall be confined in the county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than one year, or both.

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2529, ch. 871, art. I, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.

§ 85.389. CRIMINAL PENALTY.
     (a) A person who is not the owner or operator of an oil well, gas well, or oil and gas well, a purchaser under contract of oil, gas, or oil and gas from a well, a gatherer with written authorization from the owner, operator, or purchaser, or an authorized representative of the commission who knowingly destroys, breaks, removes, or otherwise tampers with or attempts to destroy, break, remove, or otherwise tamper with any cap, seal, or other device placed on an oil well, gas well, oil and gas well, or associated oil or gas gathering equipment by the owner or operator for the purpose of controlling or limiting the operation of the well or associated equipment commits an offense.
     (b) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 5230, ch. 960, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983.