RAPID/BulkTransmission/Texas/Land Access

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RAPIDRegulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

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 Agency: Texas General Land Office
State Land Right of Way Process: Developers that require limited access on or across state land will need to obtain an easement or right-of-way from the Texas General Land Office (GLO) submitting an Application for New Rights of Way/Miscellaneous Easements. Tex. Nat. Res. Code Ann. § 51.291(a). If the project requires access to coastal zones, the developer will need to submit an Application for State Land Use Lease: Commercial/Multi-Family to the GLO.
State Highway Right of Way Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
State Highway Right of Way Process: Developers of transmission projects encroaching on an existing state highway right-of-way may apply for permits from Texas Department of Transportation. District engineers have the authority to approve permits for construction of utility facilities or construction of a driveway facility at highway access points.
Eminent Domain: Electric cooperatives have the power of eminent domain, but may not exercise eminent domain over property of the state or any of its political subdivisions. Tex. Util. Code Ann. § 161.125. Electric corporations also have "the power to enter on, condemn, and appropriate land" of any person or corporation. Tex. Util. Code Ann. § 181.004.

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