TX NATURAL RESOURCES CODE

TITLE 3. OIL AND GAS

SUBTITLE A. ADMINISTRATION

CHAPTER 133. QUARRY SAFETY

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS



§ 133.001. SHORT TITLE.
     This chapter may be cited as the Texas Aggregate Quarry and Pit Safety Act.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 668, § 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991.

§ 133.002. PURPOSE.
     The Legislature of the State of Texas finds that:
          (1) protection of the public good by requiring safety devices for certain aggregate quarries and pits and regulation of public access to such aggregate quarries and pits, with reasonable, fair, and certain laws, accompanied by civil penalties for failure to obey such laws, are essential to protect the public good and welfare;
          (2) to carry out the stated purpose of this Act, a method must be provided to secure usable information concerning the definition, existence of, operation of, and abandonment of aggregate quarries and pits;
          (3) to provide for a centralized, easily understood method of requiring safety devices and the administration thereof by one agency of this state to the exclusion of any other governmental entity is essential to the smooth workings of any law having statewide impact.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 668, § 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991.

§ 133.003. DEFINITIONS.
     In this chapter:
          (1) "Abandoned" means having relinquished all right, title, claim, and possession with the intent of never again claiming a future right or title or resuming possession.
          (2) "Aggregates" includes any commonly recognized construction material originating from a quarry or pit by the disturbance of the surface, including dirt, soil, rock asphalt, clay, granite, gravel, gypsum, marble, sand, shale, stone, caliche, limestone, dolomite, rock, riprap, or other nonmineral substance.
          (3) "Barrier" means an object of substantial construction that will obstruct, restrain, and prevent the normal passage of persons or vehicular traffic and may include guardrails, fences, or berms or barricades composed of consolidated material or overburden.
          (4) "Berm" means a ridge of refuse, overburden, consolidated material, or other material in a lengthened elevation designed to act as a dike or barrier, capable of moderating or limiting the force of a vehicle in order to impede the passage of the vehicle.
          (5) "Commission" means the Railroad Commission of Texas.
          (6) "Consolidated material" means material of sufficient hardness or ability to resist weathering and to inhibit erosion or sloughing.
          (7) "Division" means the Surface Mining and Reclamation Division, Railroad Commission of Texas, or such department, bureau, or commission as may lawfully succeed to the powers and duties of such division.
          (8) "Director" means the director, Surface Mining and Reclamation Division, Railroad Commission of Texas, or the director's representative.
          (9) "Federal act" means the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (Public Law 95-87), and any amendment thereof.
          (10) "Fund" means the abandoned mine reclamation fund established pursuant to Section 401 of the federal act, and any amendment thereof.
          (11) "Guardrail" means a system of posts and metal rails as defined by the Texas Department of Transportation.
          (12) "Inactive quarry or pit" means a site or any portion of a site that although previously in aggregate production is not currently being quarried by any ownership, lease, joint venturer, or some other legal arrangement.
          (13) "In hazardous proximity to a public road" means that distance beginning 200 feet from the nearest roadway edge of a public road or highway to the pit perimeter.
          (14) "Operator" means any person, partnership, firm, or corporation engaged in and responsible for the physical operation and control of the extraction of aggregates.
          (15) "Overburden" means all materials displaced in an aggregate extraction operation that are not or reasonably would not be expected to be removed from the affected area.
          (16) "Owner" means any person, partnership, firm, or corporation having title, in whole or in part, to the land on which an aggregate operation exists or has existed.
          (17) "Pit" means an open excavation not less than five feet below the adjacent and natural ground level from which aggregates have been or are being extracted.
          (18) "Public road or right-of-way" means every way publicly maintained or any part thereof as defined by Section 541.302, Transportation Code, and the decisions thereunder.
          (19) "Quarrying" means the current and ongoing surface excavation and development without shafts, drafts, or tunnels, with or without slopes, for the extraction of aggregates from natural deposits occurring in the earth.
          (20) "Quarry" means the site where aggregates are being or have been removed or extracted from the earth to form the pit, including the entire excavation, stripped areas, haulage ramps, the land immediately adjacent thereto upon which the plant processing the raw materials is located, exclusive of any land owned or leased by the responsible party not being currently used in the production of aggregates.
          (21) "Refuse" means all waste material directly connected with the production, cleaning, or preparation of aggregates that have been produced by quarrying.
          (22) "Responsible party" means the operator, lessor, or owner of lessee as may be subject to the provision of Chapters 2 and 3 of this Act.
          (23) "Ridge" means a lengthened elevation of overburden created in the aggregate production process.
          (24) "Roadway" means the part of the public road intended for vehicular traffic that consists of an improved driving surface constructed of concrete, asphalt, compacted soil, rock, or other material.
          (25) "Setback distance" means from the outer right-of-way line of a public road or highway up to a distance of 25 feet.
          (26) "Site" means the tract of land on which is located a pit and includes the immediate area on which the plant used in the extraction of aggregates is located.
          (27) "Unacceptable unsafe location" means a condition where the edge of a pit is located within 200 feet of a public roadway intersection in a manner which, in the judgment of the commission:
               (A) presents a significant risk of harm to public motorists by reason of the proximity of the pit to the roadway intersection; and,
               (B) has no naturally occurring or artificially constructed barrier or berm between the road and pit that would likely prevent a motor vehicle from accidentally entering the pit as the result of a motor vehicle collision at or near the intersection; or which,
               (C) in the opinion of the commission, is also at any other location constituting a substantial dangerous risk to the driving public, which condition can be rectified by the placement of berms, barriers, guardrails, or other devices as prescribed by this code.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 668, § 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 693, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, § 22(56), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, § 30.231, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.