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Harris County Steps up Inspections and Enforcement of Industrial Permitting and Fire Code Compliance

March 11, 2021

Businesses that own and operate industrial facilities in Harris County, Texas, should be aware of recent efforts by the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office (HCFMO) to ensure that these facilities have obtained proper permits and certificates of compliance for construction and development projects for energy infrastructure and related operations. Failure to obtain the necessary permits and certificates of compliance presents the attendant risk of an enforcement case with the issuance of a notice of violation and potential shutdown of all operations.

While it is unclear at this time whether there is a systematic approach or random auditing which is driving this initiative by the HCFMO, it is safe to say that any current construction or development project will cause not only a review of the current permit process, but a comprehensive review of all legacy permits and certificates of compliance for the past fifty years or more.

If your company is constructing improvements on your property in Harris County, Texas, outside the City of Houston limits, be sure to check the permitting matters and exceptions.  Keep in mind the local government codes and various exemptions and alternatives to permitting that may apply, as well as the possibility of establishing an Industrial District and understanding the jurisdictional limits of the city and county boundaries.

This post was drafted by Jason Davis. He is an attorney in the Houston, Texas office of Spencer Fane. For more information, visit