RESTORE The Texas Coast
U.S. Department of Justice Accepting Public Comment on Settlement with BP
On October 5, 2015, Texas, along with four other states and the federal government announced a settlement with BP. The settlement, totaling more than $20 billion, resolves all claims pertaining to the 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill. As part of the settlement, the State of Texas expects to receive more than $800 million to restore Gulf resources with portions dedicated to the coastal economy as well as restoration projects to address damage to natural resources.
The U.S. Department of Justice has issued a Consent Decree for the proposed settlement. The public is invited to submit written comments on the Consent Decree through December 4, 2015. See more information on the consent decree and the 60-day comment period.
Programmatic Damage Assessment & Restoration Plan
Notice of Public Meetings & Comment Period
For the past 5 years, the Deepwater Horizon natural resource trustees have been working to assess the impacts of the oil and dispersants on natural resources such as wetlands, fish, marine mammals, and birds as well as the services they provide, through the natural resource damage assessment process.
The Trustees are proposing a damage assessment and programmatic restoration plan for the Gulf of Mexico. The draft plan is based on an assessment of impacts to the Gulf’s natural resources and the services they provide following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The plan also provides guidance for identifying, evaluating, and selecting future restoration projects.
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (PDARP) and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) is posted onlineand will be available at public meetings along the Gulf.
One of the public meetings will be held in Galveston, Texas on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 from 6:00 to 10:00 pm at the Hilton Island Resort (5400 Seawall).
- See the complete public meeting schedule
In addition to verbal comments provided at public meetings, the public may submit written comments through December 4, 2015.
- By U.S. Mail:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 49567
Atlanta, GA 30345
The draft plan allocates funds from a proposed settlement with BP of up to $8.8 billion for natural resource injuries stemming from the spill, including, $238 million that would be allocated for Texas restoration efforts. The Trustees have proposed to accept this settlement, which would resolve BP’s liability for natural resource injuries stemming from the spill.
The draft plan identifies five goals intended to restore wildlife, habitat, water quality, and recreational activities in the Gulf. To achieve these goals, funds are allocated to 13 different restoration types. The restoration types address a broad range of impacts at both regional and local scales. The implementation of this plan will restore wildlife and habitat and associated services such as recreational opportunities that were impacted by the Spill. The figure below identifies the 5 restoration goals and 13 restoration types.
Proposed Rule for Bucket 3 Posted for Public Comment
The proposed rule developed by the RESTORE Council to implement the Spill Impact Component (Bucket 3) of the RESTORE Act has been posted for public comment. The proposed rule establishes the formula that will be used to allocate funds from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund to the five Gulf Coast States, including Texas.
As the Governor’s appointee to the RESTORE Council, TCEQ Commissioner Baker encourages Texans to review the proposed rule and provide public comment. Comments should be emailed by Wednesday, October 29, 2015 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Comments on “Priorities Document” Accepted Through 10/9/15
Though the Listening Sessions to hear public comment on the Priorities Document have now been completed, the public can still provide comments until October 9, 2015. The Priorities Document outlines the criteria for awarding RESTORE funds and is based on elements of grant review processes currently accepted by the Federal government.
The public input will be used to develop scoring criteria for the RESTORE project selection process. That scoring criteria will be posted on the web site when a call for RESTORE-funded projects is announced, as well as included in the Request for Grant Applications (RFGA).
A Framework document has been developed to facilitate the discussion of the implementation of the RESTORE Act in Texas. Among other things, the Framework document describes the importance of a healthy coastal community on both the environment and economy of Texas and the United States.View Commissioner Baker’s presentation at the Listening Sessions:
Update: Funded Priority List (Bucket 2)
The comment period on the RESTORE Council’s proposed Funded Priority List (FPL) has ended. The final FPL is expected to be adopted by the Council by early December 2015.
For additional information on the draft FPL visit the RESTORE Council’s website at www.RestoreTheGulf.gov.
Texas: First Gulf State to Receive RESTORE Funds for Centers of Excellence
TCEQ Commissioner Toby Baker today announced that Texas is the first state in the nation to receive money from the RESTORE Trust Fund through an award from the U.S. Treasury to fund two Centers of Excellence. The two centers, Texas OneGulf, at Texas A&M, Corpus Christi, and Subsea Systems Institute, at the University of Houston, will equally share an initial $4.036 million.Read the full news release
About RESTORE the Texas Coast
The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill began with the explosion of the Macondo exploratory well off the coast of Louisiana on April 20, 2010. The explosion killed 11 workers. The resulting blowout at the wellhead more than a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico caused the largest oil spill in American history. The oil flowed into the Gulf for almost three months before the well was contained. The well discharged millions of barrels of oil. Cleanup of oil is still ongoing in some areas.
The entities responsible for the cleanup and damage from the DWH oil spill are the “responsible parties” or “RPs” under the federal Oil Pollution Act (OPA). The responsible parties are also responsible for restoring lost natural resources. For the DWH oil spill, the responsible parties are owners and operators of the Macondo oil rig, including British Petroleum (BP), MOEX, Halliburton, and Transocean.
The DWH oil spill and its aftermath created a unique set of circumstances for funding Gulf restoration projects. The funds will be paid by the parties responsible for the spill as natural resource damages, civil fines, or criminal penalties. The uncertainties and complexities of this funding and how it will be spent pose many challenges. To facilitate the public’s understanding of the various DWH funding sources the state, in consultation with federal authorities, is working cooperatively to provide the public with information about the Deepwater Horizon funding.
Texas has asserted its claims related to the DWH oil spill in federal court. These claims have been consolidated into the multi-district litigation pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Because of this ongoing litigation, the DWH funding process is ongoing and dynamic. As more information becomes available, this website will be updated to keep the public informed about how DWH funding may best be utilized to ultimately restore the Texas coast.
This website provides an opportunity for interested parties to suggest projects for consideration for funding made available to Texas as a result of the DWH oil spill.
Included in this website is information on three funding sources: NFWF/GEBF, NRDA, and the RESTORE Act. This website, along with the associated links to other websites, provides information on the different requirements for funding from each of the three sources, as well as information on the varied stages of the availability of funds. To provide the most current information, the website will be updated as needed.
A project submitted through this website will be reviewed by a working group consisting of staff from the three state agencies representing NFWF/GEBF and NRDA, along with staff representing the RESTORE Act. This working group will provide an initial review only to determine which funding sources would be the most appropriate for each submission. This process is intended to be flexible. Submitted projects may be determined to be appropriate for multiple funding sources and the working group may reassess a project’s suitability for the various funding sources as appropriate.