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HB 2892, if passed, would modify the Water Code (Subchapter C, Chapter 11) by adding a new section (11.098) which deals with the process of designating a watercourse as navigable. Namely, the bill would require additional steps to be taken before a state agency may declare a watercourse as navigable under Chapter 12, Natural Resources Code, Chapter 138.
HB 2892 would require that the agency in question perform preform three additional tasks. The first is that the agency in question perform a gradient boundary survey by a licensed state land surveyor or obtain a written opinion from the Land Office regarding the boundary. Second, the agency must also provide a written notice that includes identifying agency information, specific geographic location information, time and date on which the public meeting is to be held, and any other additional information the agency regards as necessary. Third, the agency must hold a public meeting regarding the option to declare the watercourse navigable. (The specific details required regarding said meetings may be found in the bill.)
HB 2892 is a beneficial bill in that it helps maintain private property rights. The bill does not make it inordinately difficult for a state agency to declare a waterway navigable, and thus strikes a good balance which is an improvement over the status quo. Most important is the explicit guarantee that an aggrieved party may appeal the opinion of the agency by filing a petition with the district court. Due to the improvement over the current situation with regards to property rights, we support HB 2892.