UPDATE: Spill Impact Component (Bucket 3 Grant Funds)
As the Texas representative overseeing the implementation of the federal RESTORE Act, Commissioner Baker has directed TCEQ staff to submit an administrative update to the RESTORE Council on the State’s efforts to develop a State Expenditure Plan (SEP). The SEP is required for the state to secure federal grant funds under the Spill Impact Component (Bucket 3) of the Act.
The administrative update outlines the steps that will be taken to develop the SEP. Initial efforts to develop a draft SEP have begun and a posting of the draft document for public comment is expected in early 2018. Please visit this site periodically for updates.
2018 NFWF GEBF Project Solicitation
The Texas Trustee agencies (GLO, TPWD, and TCEQ) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) are considering projects for the 2018 funding cycle from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. During this funding cycle, approximately $37 million is available for new projects in Texas. The deadline for submittal of projects was January 3, 2018.
The Texas Trustee agencies are no longer accepting project submittals for the 2018 funding cycle at this time. Announcement of NFWF GEBF Awards is currently scheduled for November 2018.
Baker Pleased to Announce Treasury’s Acceptance of the Texas Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MIP)
In an issued press release, Commissioner Baker announced receipt of a letter from Treasury accepting the MIP that was submitted to them in late October. The final MIP that was accepted differs only slightly from the one that was initially submitted. The primary difference is additional information in the question and action section of the MIP. The list of projects and requested funding amounts did not change.
Due to ongoing payments into the federal RESTORE Trust Fund, at this time, approximately $85.6 million is available to Texas under the Bucket 1 program. Since the estimated cost of projects in the MIP exceeds current available funds, it is important to note that the eligible projects/activities listed in the matrix section of the MIP is not intended as a ranking that determines the order of when funds will be requested. Based on the accepted MIP, Commissioner Baker will work with the Office of the Governor to decide which federal applications will be submitted to Treasury. Those decisions will be based on available funding and in accordance with all applicable state law governing sub-awards. As more funds become available, additional applications for projects included in the accepted MIP can be advanced.
Any questions concerning the Bucket 1/MIP process discussed above should be directed to the TCEQ’s Procurement and Contracts section in the Office of Administrative Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Texas Trustees Release Restoration Plan for Texas Gulf Coast
The Texas Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) has released its first restoration plan, selecting 13 restoration projects to compensate for injuries to natural resources caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Texas Trustee Implementation Group Final 2017 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats; and Oysters was published on October 18, 2017 and prioritizes restoration projects for oysters and wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats with a total estimated cost of $45,761,000. The final restoration plan reflects revisions to the draft plan resulting from public comments and continuing project development by the Texas TIG. View the restoration plan.
For additional information, read more about NRDA.
UPDATE: Council-Selected Bucket 2 Planning Grant Proposal
The RESTORE Council accepted public comments through August 14, 2017 on the proposal to provide limited RESTORE funds for the Council members (including Texas) to support the Comprehensive Plan commitments and identify future investments that will maximize the ability to achieve Gulf-wide restoration goals. The proposed funds would provide Council members with funding to support collaboration and leveraging that will produce the greatest on-the-ground restoration results possible.
The RESTORE Council is currently reviewing comments received and preparing the final proposal for adoption. Adoption is now expected by the end of 2017. Information on the proposed plan can be found at www.RestoreTheGulf.gov.