Coastal Restoration Funding for Texas from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

RESTORE The Texas Coast

Announcement of Restore Listening Sessions and

Posting of Priority Document & Framework

Commissioner Toby Baker, Texas designee to the federal RESTORE Council, is hosting four Listening Sessions along the coast in September.  The purpose of the Listening Sessions is to give the public an opportunity to comment on the priorities for the Texas coast as we move forward with implementing the federal RESTORE Act and distributing RESTORE funds.

Specifically the public is invited to comment on the Priorities Document, which outlines the criteria for awarding RESTORE funds and is based on elements of grant review processes currently accepted by the Federal government.

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.

In addition to receiving comments at the Listening Sessions, written comments will be accepted until October 9th at this web site.

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).

Below are the dates, times and locations of the four Listening Sessions.

Each Listening Session will begin with a brief presentation on the Federal RESTORE Act, including project eligibility and funding. 

Monday, September 14th
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

A&M Galveston
Classroom Laboratory Building (CLB)
Building 3007, Room 100 (Auditorium)
200 Seawolf Parkway
Galveston, TX 77553

Tuesday, September 15th
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Lamar University
University Theater Building
Beaumont, TX 77705

Monday, September 28th
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

UT Brownsville
El Gran Salon
One West University Blvd
Brownsville, TX 78520

Tuesday, September 29th
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Corpus Christi

A&M Corpus Christi University Center
Anchor Ballroom A&B
6300 Ocean Drive
Corpus Christi, TX 78412

RESTORE Council Announces Funded Priorities List

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council has released a draft initial Funded Priorities List. TCEQ Commissioner Toby Baker is the Texas appointee to the Council.

This draft FPL, approximately $140 million in restoration activities, includes several projects in Texas. This FPL will be funded from the settlement with Transocean.

The Council will host a series of public meetings across the Gulf Coast to seek comments from the public. The meeting in Texas will be held on Thursday, August 20, in Corpus Christi. It will begin at 6:00 p.m. on the campus of Texas A&M University/Corpus Christi in the Center’s Lonestar Ballroom.

For additional information on the draft FPL, as well as meeting details, visit the Council’s website at  Public comments can also be sent to that website address.

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.