County reviews grant options for environment

BROWNSVILLE — In a special workshop yesterday morning, the Cameron County Commissioner’s Court discussed which projects should be submitted for consideration for funds available through environmental funding grants, such as the RESTORE Act.

The RESTORE Act makes funds available for the restoration and protection of the Gulf Coast Region and certain programs with respect to the Gulf of Mexico, through a trust fund in the Treasury of the United States, known as the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund.

Daniel Rios, senior vice president for consulting firm S&B Infrastructure, and attorney Jose Caso led a presentation detailing the application process, funding, and identification of grants of which the county would be the best qualified.

Cameron County Administrator David Garcia said the grant awards were monumental. A civil settlement agreement against British Petroleum and Transocean brought in approximately $6.5 billion to the RESTORE ACT.

“This can mean that we address both economic development and environmental opportunities to enhance the region as a whole because a lot of the projects we are addressing are regional, along the Gulf Coast,” Garcia said.

Applications for the next round of grants are due April 15.

Commissioners agreed to meet for another workshop at 9 a.m. Feb. 19 to review the most suitable project proposals.