The Texas Weather Modification Advisory Committee met January 7 in Austin. The agenda is available online. The meeting was archived and is available for viewing via RealPlayer.
Here are the public comments on general topics received during the 2012 Strategic Planning process. The comments are grouped as answers to the four questions we based our discussions on.
- What are we doing well?
- What can we do better?
- If you could change one service that we provide or eliminate or amend any provision of TDLR’s statutes or rules, what would it be?
- What major changes will occur over the next five years that will impact the way you do business and the services we provide?
Read the comments (7 kb PDF) To see the comments for each individual license program, go to that program's section on the web site.
TDLR adopted amended rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code, (TAC) Chapter 79, §79.80 regarding the Weather Modification program. The proposed amendments were a result of the Department’s fee review, pursuant to Texas Occupations Code, §51.202, to ensure that fees charged in a particular program are set at the appropriate amount to cover the Department’s costs in operating the program.
The adoption was published in the January 27, 2012, issue of the Texas Register. The effective date of the adopted rules is February 1, 2012. The adoption justification and the updated rule chapter are available online.
Weather Modification - Currently, cloud-seeding projects designed to increase rainfall from convective cloud towers are conducted in nearly 31 million acres of Texas (or almost one-fifth of the state’s land area). In administering the Texas Weather Modification Act (enacted by the Texas Legislature in 1967), TDLR’s weather modification program issues licenses and permits for these projects, many of which have been in existence since 2000. The projects use specialized aircraft and sophisticated weather radar systems, operated by skilled meteorologists, at sites near Amarillo, Plains, Pecos, San Angelo, and Pleasanton.
In addition, TDLR issues licenses and permits to other organizations, as well as individuals, responsible for carrying out weather modification operations for both rainfall enhancement and hail suppression. The aim of the regulatory function is to ensure that various methods of modifying the weather do not dissipate clouds nor inhibit their ability to produce rainfall to the detriment of people or property in the affected areas.
The program also sponsors and provides administrative and technical oversight for ongoing weather modification research and development activities. This includes the use of federal grants for exploratory, and confirmatory, cloud seeding experiments. TDLR issues reports on the results of cloud seeding research work and shares information on technological advances with other State agencies, governmental organizations, and interested individuals.
The TDLR staff also works with political subdivisions, other organizations, and individuals in the design, or modification, of rain enhancement projects as well as the implementation of new seeding strategies for augmenting rainfall over targeted watersheds.
Weather Modification Regulation
All individuals and organizations intending to conduct weather modification activities are required to obtain a weather modification license and permit from the TDLR. George Bomar (512-936-4313; firstname.lastname@example.org) is the contact person at TDLR for information on, and assistance with, the licensing and permitting of weather modification operations.
The Department relies on its staff, as well as the Weather Modification Advisory Committee, for recommendations on applications for weather modification licenses and permits. The Committee, consisting of an engineer, businessmen, attorney at law, and agricultural producer, meets quarterly, usually in Austin, to review applications for licenses and permits.
For more information about the weather modification program, e-mail TDLR at email@example.com.