The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this subchapter,
shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates
otherwise. All other terms are defined in §19.2 of this title
(relating to Definitions).
(1) Abandoned vessel--A vessel that has been left,
moored, or anchored in the same area without the express consent,
or contrary to the rules of, the owner, manager, or lessee of the
submerged lands below or on which the vessel is located for either
a period of more than 21 consecutive days or for more than a total
of ninety days in any three hundred sixty-five-day period, and the
vessel's owner is:
(A) Not known or cannot be located; or
(B) Known and located but is unwilling to take control
of the vessel. For the purposes of this subchapter only, "in the same
area" means within a radius of five miles of any location where the
vessel was previously moored or anchored on submerged lands.
(2) Authorized public entity--The commissioner of the
General Land Office or a local government with jurisdiction over submerged
land on or over which a derelict vessel is located that has adopted
a local ordinance relating to removal and disposal of derelict vessels
and has contracted with the commissioner for such removal or disposal.
(3) Derelict structure--Any structure or facility in
or on coastal waters that presents, in the commissioner's sole determination,
an imminent and unreasonable threat to public health, safety or welfare.
(4) Derelict vessel--A vessel that is either wrecked
or in a substantially dismantled condition.
(5) Disposal--Disposition of a derelict vessel or structure
in a reasonable and environmentally sound manner. The term includes:
(A) delivery of possession to a person claiming ownership
in accordance with §19.74 of this title (relating to Claim of
(B) delivery of possession to a lien holder claiming
a right to possession in accordance with §19.75 of this title
(relating to Lien Holder Rights);
(C) sale to a third party in accordance with §19.76
of this title (relating to Sale of Derelict Vessel or Structure);
(D) transportation of waste generated from the removal
of a vessel or structure with no intrinsic value to an authorized
landfill, recycling center, or hazardous waste management facility
for in accordance with Chapter 361 Texas Natural Resources Code.
(6) Hazardous substance--Any substance, except oil,
designated as hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency pursuant
to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability
Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. §9601 et seq.) and designated by the Texas
Commission on Environmental Quality.
(7) Intact hull--A vessel that has no openings or perforations
in the bottom or side below the deck.
(8) Lien holder--The holder of a security interest
in a vessel or structure created by statute or contract to secure
the payment of a debt or performance of some other obligation, where
the security interest is perfected in accordance with the laws of
this State or some other jurisdiction.
(9) Navigation hazard--Any vessel or structure that
presents, in the commissioner's sole determination, an obstruction
which impedes or stops navigation; or poses an immediate and significant
threat to life, property, or a structure that facilitates navigation.
The term includes a vessel or structure without appropriate navigational
markers or a vessel that is not moored to a dock, mooring buoy, or
other appropriate navigational structure.
(10) No intrinsic value--The condition of a vessel
or structure where the cost of removal and disposal of a vessel or
structure that has been abandoned or left in or on coastal waters
exceeds the salvage value of the vessel or structure.
(11) Numbered vessel--A vessel:
(A) for which a certificate of number has been awarded
by this state as required by Chapter 31, Texas Parks and Wildlife
(B) covered by a number in full force and effect awarded
under federal law or a federally approved numbering system of another
(12) Person claiming ownership--A person listed as
the last known owner of a numbered vessel or who provides evidence
of ownership as provided in §19.72 of this title (relating to
Authority of Authorized Public Entity). The term includes an insurance
company that obtains title to a vessel or structure as the result
of payment of a total loss claim.
(13) Person responsible or responsible person--The
owner or operator of a vessel or structure. In the case of an abandoned
vessel or terminal facility, the person who would have been the responsible
person immediately prior to the abandonment. The term includes a person
that owns a controlling interest in the entity that is considered
a person responsible.
(14) Removal--The removal of a derelict vessel or structure
from waters of the state to a secure storage area or place of disposal.
(15) Substantially dismantled--A vessel that lacks
any of the following elements:
(D) engine; or
(E) intact hull. For purposes of this subchapter only,
a barge constructed and used for the transportation of cargo does
not require a functional helm or engine, provide that is not wrecked
(16) Threatened unauthorized discharge of oil--The
condition of a derelict vessel that has either a history of an actual
unauthorized discharge of oil or the presence of oil on the vessel.
(17) Threat to public health, safety, or welfare--Any
vessel or structure in or on coastal waters which presents, in the
commissioner's sole determination, an imminent and unreasonable threat
to public health, safety or welfare. In making such determination,
the commissioner shall consider whether or not a structure or facility:
(A) is fit for its intended purpose;
(B) is safe for its foreseeable use by the public;
(C) is hidden or not visibly apparent to the public;
(D) possesses other characteristics or conditions which
threaten public safety, health, or welfare.
(18) Threat to the environment--The condition of a
derelict vessel that has either a history of an actual release of
a hazardous substance or the presence of a hazardous substance on
(19) Unnumbered Vessel--A vessel for which no certificate
of number or other number as defined in paragraph (11) of this section
(20) VMS Site--A vessel management storage site used
for the purpose of providing a means of dry-land access to vessels
for removal from state waters, temporary storage, and disposal offsite
after appropriate processing of the vessel.
(21) Wrecked--A vessel that is fully or partially submerged,
resting fully or partially on submerged land, or is in danger of sinking.