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.
About the RESTORE Act
The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012, or The RESTORE Act. The RESTORE Act, was passed by Congress on June 29, 2012, and signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012. The RESTORE Act envisions a regional approach to restoring the long-term health of the valuable natural ecosystems and economy of the Gulf Coast region. The RESTORE Act dedicates 80 percent of any civil and administrative penalties paid under the Clean Water Act, after the enactment of the RESTORE Act, by responsible parties in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Trust Fund for ecosystem restoration, economic recovery, and tourism promotion in the Gulf Coast region.
Due to uncertainty around a variety of factors associated with ongoing litigation, the ultimate amount of administrative and civil penalties that may be available to the Trust Fund and the timing of their availability are unknown. As a result of the settlement of Clean Water Act civil claims against Transocean Deepwater Inc. and related entities, a total of $800 million, plus interest, will be deposited in the Trust Fund within the next two years.
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) is charged with helping to restore the ecosystem and economy of the Gulf Coast region by developing and overseeing the implementation of the RESTORE Act. The Council is chaired by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and includes the Governors of the States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Army, Homeland Security and the Interior and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Texas Governor Rick Perry has designated Toby Baker, Commissioner, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, as the Texas representative on the Council.
FundingThe money in the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund will be allocated to the Gulf Coast states and the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council according to the following guidelines:
- 35 percent divided equally between the five Gulf Coast States to be used for ecosystem restoration, economic development & tourism promotion (Direct Component);
- 30 percent for ecosystem restoration under the Comprehensive Plan developed and approved by the Council (Comprehensive Plan Component);
- 30 percent divided among the five Gulf Coast States according to a formula to implement State Expenditure Plans, which require Council approval–each Gulf state is guaranteed a minimum of 5% of the 30% allocation (Spill Impact Component);
- 2.5 percent dedicated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to establish a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Science, Observation, Monitoring & Technology Program; and
- 2.5 percent allocated to the Gulf Coast States to award grants to establish Centers of Excellence.
Allocation of Funds Under the RESTORE ActRestore Council: Initial Comprehensive Plan
On August 28, 2013, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council approved the Initial RESTORE Plan is approved: Restoring the Gulf Coasts Ecosystem and Economy (4MB PDF). The Initial Plan was developed with input received through 14 public meetings held in the Gulf Coast area, including Texas. Over 2,300 individuals attended these meetings and approximately 41,000 public comments were received. The Initial Comprehensive Plan provides a framework to implement a coordinated region-wide restoration effort in a way that restores, protects, and revitalizes the Gulf Coast region following the DWH oil spill.The Council and the State of Texas recognize this unique and unprecedented opportunity to implement a coordinated Gulf region-wide restoration effort. The Council’s five goals included in the Initial Comprehensive Plan are: (1) Restore and Conserve Habitat – Restore and conserve the health, diversity, and resilience of key coastal, estuarine, and marine habitats. (2) Restore Water Quality – Restore and protect water quality of the Gulf Coast regions fresh, estuarine, and marine waters. (3) Replenish and Protect Living Coastal and Marine Resources – Restore and protect healthy, diverse, and sustainable living coastal and marine resources. (4) Enhance Community Resilience – Build upon and sustain communities with capacity to adapt to short- and long-term changes. (5) Restore and Revitalize the Gulf Economy – Enhance the sustainability and resiliency of the Gulf economy.
Governor Rick Perry established The Texas RESTORE Advisory Board (PDF) (TxRAB) to advise and assist TCEQ Commissioner Toby Baker in performing his duties under the RESTORE Act. TxRAB members, representing 11 state agencies, will assist in developing the required RESTORE Act plans as well as provide guidance and counsel regarding the allocation of RESTORE Act funds.
A document outlining the importance of the Texas coast and Texas’ implementation of the RESTORE Act is being developed. Upon completion, it will be posted on this website.
Listening sessions will be held in communities along the Texas coast. The purpose of these sessions will be for the public to present projects and inform TxRAB of local needs and opportunities. A project submission form is required for all projects regardless of whether or not the project was presented at the listening sessions.
Opportunities for public participation will be posted on this website.
Please check this website periodically for those postings and more details.
Do You Have a Project to Propose?
Submit project proposals using the online form.
Proposals submitted will be considered for all three funding sources: NRDA, RESTORE Act, and Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (NFWF).
Information on review periods and timeframes associated with funding are posted on this website as it becomes available. Please check back periodically for postings.
NOTE: Projects submitted for RESTORE funding consideration should be consistent with the RESTORE Council’s Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem & Economy and consider this Policy Guidance (PDF). The Policy Guidance is applicable only to RESTORE funding consideration. This Policy Guidance document represents a consensus on restoration and recovery values developed by the Texas natural resource agencies and the Office of the Governor. It highlights the state’s commitment to the Gulf and Gulf coast and serves as a touchstone for standards and procedures that are being developed for the submission of projects for inclusion in the Texas RESTORE Plan.