Oil Spill

The US state of Texas has received a payout from the RESTORE Trust Fund through a federal award for two centres of excellence as part of legislation to compensate for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

According to the state’s environmental agency Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the two centres plan to split an initial $4.036m fund. The centres are Texas OneGulf at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and the Subsea Systems Institute at the University of Houston.

TCEQ said that the funds amount to 2.5% of the RESTORE Trust Fund, which is obtained from administrative and civil penalties that were paid by those responsible for the oil spill disaster.

Under the federal RESTORE Act, the five Gulf states affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are required to establish centres to conduct research on the Gulf Coast region.

The implementation of the act in Texas would be managed by TCEQ commissioner Toby Baker.

Baker said: "Through these dedicated financial resources, we can now get to work and focus on the research and development needed to protect and revitalise our Gulf Coast and enrich our state’s economy impacted by this disaster."

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"We can now get to work and focus on the research and development needed to protect and revitalise our Gulf Coast and enrich our state’s economy impacted by this disaster."

The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies is leading the Texas OneGulf Center of Excellence at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, while the Subsea Systems Institute Center of Excellence is being led by the University of Houston.

By assembling a consortium of Texas institutions focused on marine science and human health, OneGulf will concentrate on the Gulf of Mexico and promote collaborative research, synthesis, and problem solving.

Harte Research Institute executive director Dr Larry McKinney said: "Texas OneGulf joins with these state institutions to focus on the Gulf of Mexico.

"This collaboration will ensure that our political leadership, resource managers, business and industry, and our citizens have the best available science to address issues affecting the environmental and economic health of our state."

The primary focus of Subsea Systems Institute would be on science and technology to establish best practices for safe and responsible energy development in the Gulf.

Image: Texas OneGulf and Subsea Systems are part of RESTORE Act implementation related to 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Photo: courtesy of petty officer 2nd class Justin Stumberg.