TCEQ Executive Director and Governor Abbott’s appointee to the RESTORE Council Toby Baker’s presentation at the September 9 and September 10 public meetings.
PROPOSED PRE-PROPOSALS FOR BUCKET 2 FUNDING
PUBLIC MEETINGS AND COMMENT PERIOD
With the approval of the RESTORE Council’s Planning Framework document, Toby Baker, Texas’ appointee to the RESTORE Council and TCEQ Executive Director, is developing the programs/projects that will be submitted as pre-proposals to the RESTORE Council for Bucket 2 funding consideration. As part of that effort, Baker is hosting two public meetings to receive public comment on identified proposed programs/projects.
Working with various Texas based workgroups and County Judges representing RESTORE eligible counties, Baker has identified programs/projects that are being considered for submission as pre-proposals to the RESTORE Council.
These identified programs/projects will be the focus of public meetings and requested public comment. Baker is asking for the public to comment on each of the 23 potential programs/projects listed under 17 designations. Some of the 16 designations include more than one project and we are asking that comments reflect on each of the individual projects, including prioritizing between grouped projects.
In developing comments, it would be useful to refer to a project’s connection to the issues listed in the RESTORE Council’s Planning Framework, particularly the Texas and Chenier Plan sections. As a reminder, the Planning Framework was developed with public input and will be used by Council members to select programs/projects for funding under the next round of Bucket 2, referred to as FPL3. The Planning Framework can be accessed at www.restorethegulf.gov.
As Texas’ appointee to the Council, Baker is authorized to submit six projects for consideration for the next round of Bucket 2 funding estimated at $360 million for the five Gulf states. His selection of projects for submission will be made in consultation with Governor Abbott’s office.The public meetings will be held:
Monday, September 9, 2019
- 6:00 – 8:00 pm
- Galveston Convention Center
- Ballroom C
- 5600 Seawall Blvd
- Galveston, Texas
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
- 6:00 – 8:00 pm
- Texas A&M/Corpus Christi
- Harte Research Institute, Room 127
- 6300 Ocean Drive
- Corpus Christi, Texas
Announcement: Request for ProposalsThe TCEQ has posted the following Request for Proposals (RFP): Oversight and Monitoring Services for Restore Act Grant Projects. The solicitation number is 582-20-10405 and involves Class 926, Items 40, 42 and 72 and Class 958, Items 25, 26 and 77. The RFP can be accessed through the Electronic State Business Daily (ESDB) web site. On the web site, in the “Solicitation ID/PO Number ” field, enter the solicitation number (582-20-10405) and then click on “Search” to access this solicitation. The deadline for submitting proposals in response to the RFP is 3:00 pm (central time) on Thursday, September 12th. A pre-proposal conference has been scheduled for Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 at 9:30 A.M. (Central Time). Attendance at the pre-proposal conference is not mandatory; however, attendance is strongly recommended. The location of the Pre-Proposal Conference is at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, 12100 Park 35 Circle, Building D, Conference Room 191, Austin, TX 78753. Through this RFP, the TCEQ is seeking a Contractor(s) to provide scientific and technical services to assist TCEQ with its duties related to monitoring and oversight of funded projects awarded to Texas under the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economics of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act). The Contract may also be utilized at the discretion of TCEQ for other activities related to the RESTORE Act program. All questions concerning the RFP must be presented through the ESDB site, listed above.
Bucket 3 Texas State Expenditure Plan ApprovedOn March 4, 2019, Toby Baker, TCEQ Executive Director and Governor Abbott’s appointee to the RESTORE Council, received approval¹ of Texas’ Initial State Expenditure Plan (SEP). As a reminder, the initial SEP² focuses on Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts and is a programmatic plan addressing the distribution of approximately $31 million in RESTORE Bucket 3 funds. Other plans will be developed in later years as additional Bucket 3 funds become available. Texas is expected to receive a total of $121 million by the end of 2031. With the approval of the Texas programmatic SEP the next steps to secure the Bucket 3 funds for Texas projects are outlined below.
- TCEQ develops and submits to the RESTORE Council staff federal applications for each of the four programmatic areas in the approved SEP.
- Once the RESTORE Council has awarded grants for each of the four programmatic areas, TCEQ will develop work plans for selected projects that will be funded under each of the awarded programmatic grants.
- The selection of projects will be made through collaboration between the Office of the Governor, Baker, and the Commission to Rebuild Texas (CRT), a Governor-established Commission to manage Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. The extensive project lists that have been compiled by CRT following the hurricane will be used in determining which projects are most needed and are eligible to receive RESTORE funds through the Bucket 3 SEP component of the RESTORE Act.
- eligible activity;
- authorized geographic location; and
- qualified recipient type.
2019 NFWF GEBF Project SolicitationThe Texas Trustee agencies (GLO, TPWD, and TCEQ) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) are considering projects for the 2019 funding cycle from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. During this funding cycle, approximately $35 million is available for new projects in Texas. The submittal period closed on January 4, 2019.
Update on Bucket 1 MIPTCEQ RESTORE staff continue to prepare federal applications for submission to Treasury to receive grant awards for Bucket 1 funds. TCEQ will submit seven federal applications consisting of 22 of the 26 projects in the accepted Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MIP). The applications are based on the following primary eligible activities: Restoration & Protection; Mitigation; Promotion of Consumption of Seafood; Planning Assistance; Tourism; Flood Protection; and Workforce Development. Each of the 22 projects will be included in one of the seven applications associated with the eligible activity that it was listed under in the MIP. Staff has submitted the following applications to Treasury: Restoration & Protection (four projects); Flood Protection (five projects); and Workforce Development (two projects). The Tourism application (six projects) is currently being finalized. As a reminder, approximately $97 million is currently available to Texas under Bucket 1. Projects moving forward to the application phase were selected by then TCEQ Commissioner Baker using his discretionary authority and in consultation with the Office of the Governor. Factors that were considered included whether the projects (1) strengthen coastal resiliency, (2) stimulate local coastal economies, (3) increase tourism, and (4) establish a foundation for future economic and ecosystem restoration through careful planning and study. Consideration was also given to projects that had a strong economic component in addition to ecological restoration. Finally, these projects were also selected to provide funding for as many RESTORE eligible counties as possible, as well as to ensure a cross-section of projects that addressed as many of the RESTORE eligible activities as possible. Any questions concerning the Bucket 1/MIP process should be directed to the TCEQ’s Procurement and Contracts section in the Office of Administrative Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018 NFWF GEBF Project Awards AnnouncementThe NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of more than $20 million for 5 new projects in Texas that address high-priority conservation needs, including the acquisition of significant coastal habitats and restoration work to address resiliency needs across the Texas coast in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The projects include:
- Greens Lake Shoreline Protection and Marsh Construction Project – Phase II
- East Matagorda Bay Land Conservation (Cornelius Ranch)
- South Padre Island Land Acquisition (Laguna Atascosa, Allison Tracts)
- Bahia Grande Coastal Corridor Acquisitions – Phase III
- Port Aransas Nature Preserve Debris Removal