RAPID/BulkTransmission/Texas/Land Access

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Texas Bulk Transmission Land Access(3-TX)

Developers that require limited access on or across state land for a transmission line will need to obtain an easement or right-of-way lease fromm the GLO. TNRC 51.291(a). The GLO also issues special permits for access through a coastal zone. For access on most public lands, the developer will need to submit an Application for New Rights of Way / Miscellaneous Easements. For access on coastal zones, the developer will need to submit an Application for State Land Use Lease: Commercial/Multi-Family.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) district offices protect the state’s rights of way (ROWs) and facilitate and coordinate the safe and efficient operation of Texas highways. If a project will encroach on existing state ROWs, the district engineers from each district have authority to approve permits for the construction of utility facilities within a state ROW as well as construction, relocation or modification of a driveway facility (access point) on highway ROWs.

In extremely rare circumstances, the TxDOT leases highway assets. The GLO conducts the leasing process, but transmission projects will typically go through the state land leasing process and/or an encroachment permit for utility accommodation on state highway ROWs as opposed to pursuing a highway lease.

More Information

Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.

Permitting at a Glance

Texas Federal

State Land Right-of-Way: Any person may need a State Land Easement or other interest in property for rights-of-way or access across, through and under unsold public school land, the portion of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of the state, the state-owned riverbeds and beds of navigable streams in the public domain, and all islands, saltwater lakes, inlets, marshes, and reefs owned by the state within tidewater limits for the purpose of constructing electric transmission lines, power lines, roads, and any other purpose considered in the best interest of the state. TX. Nat. Res. Code §51.291(a).
State Land Right-of-Way Agency: Texas General Land Office
State Highway Right-of-Way: Public utilities may need a Public Highway Utility Accommodation Permit to operate, construct, and maintain transmission lines before constructing a utility facility over, under, across, on, or along a state highway right-of-way. TX. Admin. Code §43.21.36. Any person who is not a public utility may need a Highway Right-of-Way Lease to place utility lines along any highway asset that is not needed for the term of the lease. Any person may also need a Permit to Construct Access Connections to State Highways to construct access connections to state highways. TX. Admin. Code. §43.11.50.
State Highway Right-of-Way Agency: Texas Department of Transportation, Texas General Land Office
Eminent Domain: Electric corporations and cooperatives may exercise the power of eminent domain, though electric cooperatives may not exercise this power over land owned by the state or political subdivisions. TX. Utili. Code. Ann. §161.125, TX. Utili. Code. §181.004.