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TPWD News Release — May 2, 2013

Texas to Receive Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Restoration Funding

Artificial Reef, Coastal State Park Projects Proposed for Latest Round of Early Restoration

AUSTIN – Five Texas-based projects totaling about $18 million have been proposed to begin to compensate Texas for lost human use of natural resources resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The three artificial reef and two state park projects are part of the latest round of early restoration led by state and federal Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees.

“These restoration dollars are good for our Gulf, good for Texas coastal communities, and good for jobs and the economy,” said Governor Rick Perry. “While the pace of early restoration has been slower than the trustees would prefer, these first Texas-based projects would move us closer to restoring the entire Gulf of Mexico.”

The five Texas projects are among a total of 28 restoration projects across the Gulf that BP has agreed to fund under a conditional agreement with the trustees. The trustees plan to present all the additional early restoration projects for public review and comment in coming months. If selected for inclusion in a final early restoration plan, the 28 projects collectively would represent close to $600 million. This latest round of proposed early restoration follows two previous phases totaling $71 million.

The five proposed Texas-based projects are listed below. All costs are approximate.

These latest proposals show trustee early restoration efforts continuing during the government legal case against BP, seeking penalties under the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act. The first phase of the trial ended in April, with the second phase to begin in September.

In 2011, after negotiations with the trustees, BP agreed to provide up to $1 billion to fund early restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico to begin addressing injuries to natural resources caused by the spill. The purpose is to speed the start of restoration before the injury assessment process is completed. The latest proposals would continue to tap the $1 billion agreement.

The trustees continue to actively seek public input on restoration project ideas through various means, including public meetings, electronic communication, and a public website managed by NOAA for all the trustees, which includes a database to share project information and receive public project submissions.

In addition to the latest restoration projects identified, the trustees are continuing to identify other early restoration projects to address natural resource damages resulting and will seek BP’s approval for funding them. Ultimately, all early restoration plans will be incorporated into a single, comprehensive Oil Pollution Act Restoration Plan/Environmental Impact Statement.

Texas trustees include Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the General Land Office and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Other trustees include federal agencies and state agencies from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.