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Environment

University Lands’ (UL) charge is to steward the Permanent University Fund (PUF) Lands for the long-term benefit of the PUF. A long-term horizon of land ownership necessitates a hands-on, proactive environmental management approach.

University Lands (UL) implements excellent environmental and ecological stewardship by continually assessing and evaluating risk and improvement opportunities. UL expects operational integrity and excellence from its lessees and demands timely identification and resolution of environmental concerns by proactively engaging the cooperative effort of UL personnel, regulatory agencies and lessees.

UL ensures application of best practices and compliance through its relationships with environmental and regulatory organizations that include the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Railroad Commission, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Natural Resource Conservation Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Texas Habitat Conservation Foundation. UL personnel participate in the Texas Comptroller’s Interagency Task Force on Economic Growth and Endangered Species and regularly engage Texas A&M’s Institute of Renewable and Natural Resources.

UL coordinates and monitors the multiple uses of the lands by performing inspections and overseeing prescribed corrective action. UL staff monitors all construction and provides best management practices to ensure cooperative co-existence for all users of the UL acreage.

Many environmental policies are unique to University Lands. UL’s oilfield-related spill policies surpass state regulatory requirements; all spills are required to be reported to UL, including produced water. Oil and gas operators are required to comply with the Surface Operations Field Manual of Required Operating Procedures for Oil & Gas Leases, and UL maintains a right to conduct unannounced lease inspections to oversee permitting, environmental compliance and general housekeeping. More than 1,500 of these visits have been conducted since 2008.

As the lifecycle of a project or development nears its end, UL prescribes restoration requirements that return the land, to the extent feasible, to its native condition. Re-seeding guidance is provided for in the UL Rangeland Seed Mixtures Guide. Also see guide for Soil Remediation Guidance for Crude Oil, Condensate, and Produced Water Releases

University Lands is proud of its environmental record and is dedicated to prudently evolving its policies and practices as technology and industry continue to evolve.