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.
The project submission form will be posted on this website, along with details on time frames and reviewing periods, as available.
Also at a later date, a Framework document discussing Texas's implementation of the Texas RESTORE Act will be posted.
Please check this website periodically for postings and updates.
Photos courtesy of the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.