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Listening Sessions Offer Input Opportunities on Gulf Coast Restoration

Public Gives Comment on Project Criteria for Funds Resulting from Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (Natural Outlook, October 2015)

Gulf coast

Hundreds of local residents and interested parties with a stake in the environmental and economic health of the Texas Gulf Coast attended four listening sessions on the implementation of the RESTORE Act, which is the 2012 federal law that governs the distribution of a portion of the civil penalties resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Listening meeting
Tara Drissell Reid, of the Chief Clerk’s Office, and TCEQ Commissioner Toby Baker listen to comments from the public at a RESTORE Listening Session in Corpus Christi.
TCEQ photo

TCEQ Commissioner Toby Baker, Texas’ designee on the federal council created under the act, hosted the listening sessions, which were held Sept. 14 and 15 in Beaumont and Galveston, and Sept. 28 and 29 in Brownsville and Corpus Christi. The listening sessions were organized to obtain the public’s input on the priorities document that will be used as a scoring criteria to select projects for funding under the act.

“The RESTORE Act presents a unique and unprecedented opportunity to accomplish a lot in terms of environmental and economic restoration on the Texas Gulf Coast,” said Commissioner Baker. “So I was extremely pleased to see such active public interest in our process for implementing the RESTORE Act. The thoughtful and constructive comments we received are very much appreciated and we will give each of them careful consideration to make sure we get this right.”

The finalized priorities document will be posted on the Texas RESTORE website when the call for projects is announced, and it will also be included in the formal request for grant applications.

If you were unable to attend the listening sessions, you may still offer comment on the priorities document through the website. The website also has a link to the framework document that was developed to facilitate discussion of the implementation of the RESTORE Act in Texas. The deadline for written comments is Oct. 9, 2015.

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