Coastal Restoration Funding for Texas from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill


What’s New:

UPDATE ON DRAFT MIP FOR BUCKET 1 FUNDING – MAY 16, 2017

The draft MIP that is now posted includes slight revisions to the one previously posted. The revised version includes the following changes:

    • For Matrix, Question #4: $371,995,127.20

    • For Matrix, Question #8a: amounts listed reflect the cost for each activity title which includes activity cost plus management and oversight cost

    • For Matrix, Question #8c: amounts listed reflect the third party contribution associated for each activity title

    • For Matrix, Question #12: lists amounts

    • Includes the Treasury required narrative form along with the previously posted narrative document (Detailed Response)

Given the posting of this slightly revised MIP, the public input period is extended until 5:00 pm central time on Friday, June 30, 2017. Comments are to be sent to rcomments@tceq.texas.gov.

As a reminder, check this web site periodically to ensure that you have the latest update on this and other RESTORE-related activities.


TEXAS DRAFT MULTI-YEAR IMPLEMENTATION PLAN PUBLIC INPUT REQUESTED

Toby Baker, Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), announces the opportunity for the public to provide input on Texas’ draft Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MIP) to secure funds under the Direct Component (Bucket 1) section of the federal RESTORE Act.

In response to the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, the federal RESTORE Act was signed into law in 2012. The RESTORE Act establishes a regional approach to restore the long-term environmental health of the Gulf coast region and to facilitate its economic development.

In his capacity as TCEQ Commissioner, Toby Baker was appointed by the Governor to perform RESTORE-related duties for Texas, including representing the state on the federal RESTORE Council. TCEQ, on behalf of the Governor and Commissioner Baker, is tasked with assisting in the implementation of the federal RESTORE Act in Texas. The RESTORE Act establishes several grant programs to benefit the Gulf coast region. To acquire federal RESTORE funds under the Direct Component (Bucket 1) section of the Act, the state is required to develop a MIP that includes specific activities to be implemented in the coastal area.

The draft MIP was developed as part of a competitive process that began with the publication of a Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) in 2016. The over 200 applications that were submitted were reviewed and scored by a review team consisting of four state agencies and the Office of the Governor. For the next step in the continuing competitive process, Commissioner Baker, in consultation with the Governor, developed the draft list of activities included in the draft MIP.

Prior to finalizing the MIP for submission to U.S. Treasury, a draft MIP must be published for a 45 day public input period. This request for public input is the next stage in the on-going evaluation process to determine activities for inclusion in Texas’ MIP, as well as the final determination of what will be applied for funding and ultimately what will receive funding through grant contracts with the TCEQ. Due to ongoing payments into the RESTORE Trust Fund, the total funding available under the Direct Component (Bucket 1) grant program now exceeds the $56 million originally identified in the RFGA. However, the total cost of activities included in the draft MIP is greater than the total available. Eligibility for funding requires that activities directly benefit the coastal area and address ecosystem restoration, economic development and/or tourism.

The draft MIP includes the following federally required documents:
    • a matrix providing general information on activities considered for inclusion in MIP, including costs to implement the activities and the state’s cost to manage the grants;
    • a narrative describing elements of the activities considered for inclusion in the MIP, as well as general information on the review and selection process being employed;
    • a map showing the location of the activities that are being considered for inclusion in the MIP; and
    • for reference, a draft Project List of activities being considered for inclusion in the MIP.

Since the final list of activities is still being evaluated and developed, comments on activities not included in the draft MIP will also be considered in developing the final MIP that will be submitted to U.S. Treasury for acceptance.

Any questions concerning the Bucket 1 process discussed above should be directed to the TCEQ’s Procurements and Contracts section in the Office of Administrative Services at adrian.kyle@tceq.texas.gov


Public Comment on Draft of 2017 Restoration Plan

The Texas NRDA Trustees are seeking public comment on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Texas Trustee Implementation Group Draft 2017 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats; and Oysters. The draft plan, published May 18, 2017, proposes a suite of restoration projects to compensate for injuries to natural resources caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The draft plan is available for public review and comment through June 19, 2017. Anyone can review the draft plan and submit comments at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/texas.


Commissioner Baker’s presentation on March 6, 2017 to Golden Triangle Days

View the presentation


2017 NFWF GEBF Project Solicitation

The Texas Trustee agencies (GLO, TPWD and TCEQ) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) are in the process of soliciting projects for the 2017 funding cycle from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. During the next funding cycle (2017), there is approximately $37 million available for new projects in Texas.

Submission Deadlines and Award of Funds (2017)

January 3, 2017: Deadline to submit projects for Texas Trustee review. Projects submitted via the online form or the NOAA website by the deadline will be considered. Projects previously submitted on these websites during 2016 will continue to be considered and do not need to be resubmitted unless there have been material changes to the project scope or budget. Project proposals submitted prior to 2016 will need to be reapplied to be considered.

April 1, 2017: Deadline for Texas to submit pre-proposals to NFWF

November 2017: NFWF GEBF Award announcement

NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund – Texas Projects Funded to Date

See the list of Texas projects.


Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Adopts the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) adopted the update to its 2013 Comprehensive Plan. The Plan provides strategic guidance for the Council to follow as it makes decisions on funding projects and activities aimed at restoring the Gulf of Mexico. The 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.

For additional information on the Plan, visit the Council’s website at www.RestoreTheGulf.gov.


Texas Trustee Implementation Group Reviewing Restoration Project Proposals

The Texas Trustee Implementation Group (Texas TIG) is in the process of reviewing restoration proposals that were submitted by the August 31, 2016 deadline. This review is the next phase of Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) restoration planning.

Restoration funds allocated to the Texas TIG must be used for five specific restoration types. Early Restoration projects are already funding bird and sea turtle restoration types. Therefore, the Texas TIG is prioritizing current restoration planning efforts on restoration types that were not addressed previously: 1) restore and conserve wetland, coastal, and nearshore habitats; 2) restore water quality through nutrient reduction (nonpoint source); and 3) replenish and protect oysters. The Texas TIG will also consider projects for engineering and design that focus on the three restoration types mentioned above. The focus will be on these restoration categories, however the Texas TIG will continue to consider any important opportunities for additional restoration and protection of avian resources and sea turtles. All projects will be evaluated using the criteria established in the NRDA regulations (15 CFR 990.54).