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TITLE 31NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
PART 1GENERAL LAND OFFICE
CHAPTER 15COASTAL AREA PLANNING
SUBCHAPTER BCOASTAL EROSION PLANNING AND RESPONSE
RULE §15.41Evaluation Process for Coastal Erosion Studies and Projects

(a) The General Land Office (Land Office) will evaluate potential projects proposed by potential project partners for funding from the coastal erosion response account (Account) based on a two-stage evaluation process as described in this section, including an initial evaluation of project goal summaries followed by a further evaluation of preferred alternatives.

  (1) Initial evaluation of project goal summaries submitted to the Land Office by potential project partners.

    (A) A potential project partner seeking funds from the Account must submit a project goal summary to the Land Office no later than July 1 immediately preceding the state fiscal biennium in which funding is sought; provided that the Land Office in its discretion may accept a project summary that will address an emergency situation after July 1. The project goal summary must include the following:

      (i) the name of the entity that will be the potential project partner and the name, mailing address, email address, facsimile number, and telephone number of the person who will represent the potential project partner and be the primary point of contact with the Land Office;

      (ii) the location and geographic scope of the erosion problem;

      (iii) a description of the erosion problem and the severity of erosion in the area;

      (iv) a description of how the project will lessen the negative economic impacts of the erosion problem;

      (v) a description of how the project will benefit the public and private infrastructure, resources, and property that have been impacted or threatened by erosion;

      (vi) the natural resource impacts of erosion in the area;

      (vii) the estimated cost to complete the erosion response project;

      (viii) whether the project will incorporate the beneficial use of dredged materials;

      (ix) potential public and private cosponsors and sources of funding with an estimated percentage of the project to be funded with funds from a source other than the Account;

      (x) whether the potential partner can make a binding funding commitment to meet the required percentage of the shared project cost;

      (xi) a description of an emergency erosion situation the project is intended to address, if any;

      (xii) the desired outcome or goals of the project for which funding is sought from the Account;

      (xiii) a description of the type of project for which funding is sought from the Account, including an identification of the project as:

        (I) a beach nourishment project on a public beach or bay shore with a 25 % cost-sharing requirement;

        (II) a marsh restoration project with a 40% cost-sharing requirement;

        (III) a bay shoreline protection project other than beach nourishment with a 40% cost-sharing requirement;

        (IV) any other coastal erosion response study or project with a 40% cost-sharing requirement;

        (V) a project for which funding is sought from the Account is an erosion response project without a shared project cost requirement in accordance with Texas Natural Resources Code, §33.603(f);

        (VI) a project for removal of debris or structures, relocation of structures from the public beach, including the purchase of property located on a public beach, or the acquisition of property necessary for the construction, reconstruction, maintenance, widening, or extension of an erosion response project with a cost-sharing requirement to be determined by the Land Office, in accordance with subsections (b)(11) - (13) and (h) of Texas Natural Resources Code, §33.603;

        (VII) a structural shoreline protection project on or landward of a public beach that utilizes innovative technologies, designed or engineered to minimize beach scour, in accordance with Texas Natural Resources Code, §33.603(b)(12); or

        (VIII) an erosion response demonstration project in accordance with Texas Natural Resources Code, §33.603(g).

      (xiv) whether a sand source has been identified by the potential project partner for a beach nourishment project ;

      (xv) a description of how the project is consistent with the policies of the Coastal Coordination Council for shore protection projects promulgated in 31 TAC §501.26(b) (relating to Policies for Construction in the Beach/Dune System), if the project involves structural shoreline protection on or landward of a public beach; and

      (xvi) whether the potential partner seeks to manage the project or requests that the Land Office manage the project.

    (B) The Land Office will accept project goal summaries by:

      (i) email sent to coastalprojects@glo.state.tx.us;

      (ii) mail sent to the General Land Office, Attn: Director, Planning, Permitting and Technical Services Division, Coastal Resources Program Area, P.O. Box 12873, Austin, TX 78711-2873; or

      (iii) fax sent to (512) 475-0680.

    (C) The Land Office will evaluate project goal summaries received based on the following criteria:

      (i) the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of the proposed project;

      (ii) the economic impacts of erosion in the area of the proposed project;

      (iii) the effect of the proposed project on public infrastructure or resources threatened by erosion;

      (iv) the effect of the proposed project on natural resources threatened by erosion;

      (v) the effect of the proposed project on private property threatened by erosion;

      (vi) if the project is located within the jurisdiction of a local government that administers a beach/dune program:

        (I) whether the local government is adequately administering its duties under the Open Beaches Act (Texas Natural Resources Code, Chapter 61) and the Dune Protection Act (Texas Natural Resources Code, Chapter 63); and

        (II) whether the local government has implemented an erosion response plan for reducing public expenditures due to erosion and storm damage losses established under Texas Natural Resources Code, §33.607, and §15.17 of this title (relating to Local Government Erosion Response Plans);

      (vii) whether the project will provide for beneficial use of beach-quality sand dredged in constructing and maintaining navigation inlets and channels of the state;

      (viii) whether funding can be leveraged with sources other than the Account;

      (ix) whether the potential project partner has already made or received a binding commitment to fund all or a portion of a given project;

      (x) if the project involves the construction or retrofitting of dams, jetties, groins or other structural impoundments, whether such structures will be designed with a sediment bypass system; and

      (xi) if the project involves structural shoreline protection on or landward of a public beach, whether such project uses innovative technologies designed or engineered to minimize beach scour in accordance with Texas Natural Resources Code, §33.603(b)(14) and is consistent with the policies of the Coastal Coordination Council promulgated in 31 TAC §501.26(b) of this title (relating to Policies for Construction in the Beach/Dune System).

    (D) After evaluation of proposed projects according to the criteria detailed in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, the Land Office will further evaluate project goal summaries received based on the following priority criteria:

      (i) the relative severity of erosion in each area;

      (ii) whether the proposed project will address an emergency erosion situation in the area;

      (iii) the needs in other critical coastal erosion areas;

      (iv) whether federal and local governmental financial participation in the project is maximized;

      (v) whether financial participation by private beneficiaries of the project is maximized;

      (vi) whether the project achieves efficiencies and economies of scale;

      (vii) whether funding the proposed project will contribute to balance in the geographic distribution of benefits for coastal erosion response projects in Texas that are proposed or have received funding from the Account; and

      (viii) the cost of the proposed project in relation to the amount of money available in the Account.

    (E) The Land Office will conduct the initial evaluation in consultation and coordination with the potential project partner, as deemed necessary by the Land Office. Based on the initial evaluation, the Land Office will designate proposed projects as either priority projects or alternative projects.

      (i) If, as a result of the initial evaluation, the Land Office designates a potential project as an alternate project, the potential project partner will be notified in writing. The Land Office will retain the project goal summary and may reevaluate it if future conditions warrant funding the project in the current state fiscal biennium. The project goal summary must be resubmitted by the potential project partner for consideration for funding in a subsequent state fiscal biennium.

      (ii) If the Land Office's initial evaluation results in a designation of a proposed project as a priority project, the Land Office may invite the potential project partner to continue to work cooperatively with the Land Office by becoming a qualified project partner.

  (2) Evaluation of preferred alternatives with qualified project partners for priority projects.

    (A) The Land Office may require the potential project partner for a priority project to enter into a project cooperation agreement before continuing the evaluation process. Upon entering into a project cooperation agreement, the potential project partner will become a qualified project partner. The Land Office may require a qualified project partner to cooperatively evaluate alternatives for addressing the erosion problem(s) identified in the project goal summary of a priority project.

    (B) The project cooperation agreement with the qualified project partner may explicitly define the activities to be undertaken by the Land Office and the qualified project partner in the evaluation of alternatives. Funds from a source other than the Account expended by a qualified project partner in conformance with the project cooperation agreement can be used to offset the qualified project partner's cost-sharing requirement. The Land Office may, at its sole discretion, fund studies or activities that are part of the alternatives-evaluation process.

    (C) During the alternatives-evaluation process, the Land Office will evaluate projects based on the following criteria:

      (i) the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of preferred alternative projects in meeting the goals of the project goal summary; and

      (ii) whether the potential or qualified project partner has already made or received a binding commitment to fund all or a portion of a given project.

    (D) The Land Office will determine whether a potential or qualified project partner should receive funds from the Account based on the final prioritization of preferred alternatives according to the considerations detailed in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph.

    (E) Each state fiscal biennium the Land Office may determine that at least one project designated as a priority project will be undertaken by the Land Office without requiring a qualified project partner to pay a portion of the shared project cost as provided in Texas Natural Resources Code, §33.603(f). In addition to the considerations detailed in subparagraph (C) and (D) of this paragraph, the Land Office may consider the following factors in determining whether to fund erosion response projects without a cost share requirement:

      (i) whether the total cost of the projects exceeds one-half of the total amount appropriated to the Land Office for coastal erosion planning and response for the state fiscal biennium in which funding is sought;

      (ii) whether a sand source for the projects has been identified by the qualified project partner in the project goal summary;

      (iii) the relative amount of funding available to the qualified project partner from sources other than the Account; and

      (iv) the potential impact of the projects on coastal erosion in relation to the total estimated cost of the projects.

(b) The Land Office may use the criteria set forth in this section, other than submission deadlines, in selecting a project for funding that will address an emergency situation and is not included in the biennial evaluation process.


Source Note: The provisions of this §15.41 adopted to be effective July 9, 2003, 28 TexReg 5196; amended to be effective December 14, 2003, 28 TexReg 10947; amended to be effective March 1, 2005, 30 TexReg 1076; amended to be effective September 11, 2005, 30 TexReg 5371; amended to be effective March 6, 2006, 31 TexReg 1453; amended to be effective August 31, 2010, 35 TexReg 7868; amended to be effective February 27, 2011, 36 TexReg 1158

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