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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

May 18, 2017

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Texas Trustees Propose New Restoration Plan for Texas Gulf Coast

Public Comment Sought on Draft Restoration Plan, Public Meetings Set for June in Galveston and Corpus Christi

Sunrise on Texas coastal dunes

TEXAS—The Texas Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) is working to restore the Texas coast along the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and is 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 Texas TIG reviewed more than 800 restoration projects suggested by the public, state and federal agencies, and other various stakeholders. Of these projects, the Texas TIG proposes 13 preferred projects in the draft restoration plan and environmental assessment.

The natural resource damage assessment funds allocated to the Texas Restoration Area— with more than $175 million remaining in unallocated funds —are to be used to restore and conserve wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats, restore water quality through nutrient reduction, as well as replenish and protect sea turtles, birds, and oysters. For this draft plan, the Texas TIG prioritized restoration projects for wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats and oysters.

In identifying projects to include in the draft plan, the Texas TIG considered multiple factors including:

The draft plan is available for public review and comment through June 19, 2017. Anyone can review the draft plan and submit comments. The plan will be available at public meetings in Galveston and Corpus Christi. Details regarding the public meetings are below.

All public meetings will begin with an interactive open house where the public can ask questions and learn details of proposed projects. The open house will be followed by a formal presentation and opportunity for the public to provide comments on the draft plan.

TEXAS PUBLIC MEETINGS

Date

Times

Location

June 7, 2017

6:00 p.m. Open House

6:30 p.m. Meeting

Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies: Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi

6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412

June 8, 2017

6:00 p.m. Open House

6:30 p.m. Meeting

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service: Galveston County Office,

4102 –B Main Street (FM 519), La Marque, Texas 77568

Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this meeting is asked to advise the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department by June 1, 2017 by calling 512-389-4620 or emailing TXDWHNRDA@tpwd.texas.gov.

Background

A federal district court in New Orleans entered a consent decree resolving civil claims against BP arising from the April 20, 2010 Macondo well blowout and the massive oil spill that followed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Under this settlement, BP has agreed to pay the Trustees for Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment up to $8.8 billion for restoration over 15 years to address natural resource injuries. This includes $238 million for Texas restoration efforts, which includes approximately $49 already received as part of early restoration. The chart and table below show the restoration funding allocated to the Texas Restoration Area for each restoration goal. Note that some restoration categories have been fully addressed in Early Restoration; the remaining restoration funds will be allocated over the next 15 years. For more information on the allocation of funds, please visit the Department of Justice Deepwater Horizon page (https://www.justice.gov/enrd/deepwater-horizon).

Texas Allocation of Restoration Funds

Texas TIG Funding Table

The Trustees finalized the Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS) in February 2016. The plan identifies the types of restoration needed to compensate the public for impacts to natural resources that resulted from the oil spill. The Plan identifies five goals intended to restore wildlife, habitat, water quality, and recreational activities in the Gulf. To achieve these goals, funds are allocated to 13 different restoration types. The restoration types address a broad range of impacts at both regional and local scales. The implementation of The Plan will restore wildlife and habitat and associated services such as recreational opportunities that were impacted by the spill.

The Plan does not identify specific projects for each restoration type, but lays out a framework by which future project-specific restoration plans will be developed. The public will have the opportunity to comment on these subsequent restoration plans. The figure below identifies the 5 restoration goals and 13 restoration types.

 

Chart showing how restoration types relate to overall goals

To manage restoration activities identified as part of the settlement, a Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) was assigned for each of seven restoration areas (restoration in each of the five Gulf States, the Open Ocean, and Region-wide). The Texas TIG includes representatives of each state Natural Resource Trustee agency, including the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and the Texas General Land Office (GLO) along with our federal partners, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI).

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