Public Comment Sought on Draft Restoration Plan, Public Meetings Set for June in Galveston and Corpus Christi
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 included 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:
federal Oil Pollution Act evaluation standards;
restoration goals and other objectives identified in the 2016 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement;
the current and future availability of funds under the Deepwater Horizon natural resource damage assessment settlement.
The draft plan is available for public review and comment through June 19, 2017. Anyone can review the draft plan and submit comments at www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/texas. 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 the draft plan. The open house will be followed by a formal presentation and opportunity for the public to provide comments on the draft plan.
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.