University Lands (UL) mission is to manage the Permanent University Fund (PUF) lands and groundwater resources for the long-term benefit of the puF and citizens of Texas. The university’s long-term ownership of the Lands requires assertive and proactive environmental management.
UL continually assesses and evaluates risk and best practices of all activity occurr¡ng on the Lands, including O&G development, renewable energy development, ranching, retail, and industrial processes.
UL coordinates facilitates communications and compliance through its relationships with regulatory agencies that include the Texas Commission on Environmental equality, Railroad Commission of Texas, Environmental Protection Agency, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Texas Habitat Conservation Foundation’ UL participates on the Texas Comptroller’s Interagency Task Force on Economic Development and Endangered Species.
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 2,500 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.
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