On July 31, 2017 a federal Clean Water Act lawsuit was filed by San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper and S. Diane Wilson against Formosa Plastics, Corp. alleging illegal discharges from Formosa’s plant located in Point Comfort.
On June 27, 2019 the U.S. District Court in Victoria issued a declaratory judgment against Formosa for monetary and injunctive relief after which a settlement was reached that included Formosa’s commitment to undertake engineering changes, future monitoring, mitigation payments for future infractions, and remediation of past discharges. The settlement also provided for the 2020 establishment of an independent trust known as the Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust, funded by Formosa, in the amount of $50 million over a five-year period.
The mission of the Trust is to support and fund environmental mitigation projects, studies, and initiatives in the Matagorda Bay and San Antonio Bay ecosystems.
In February 2020, Steven J. Raabe, P.E. was appointed as Trustee of the Trust.
The Trustee is announcing the opening of its 2021-22 Request for Proposal period where governmental entities and non-profit organizations are invited to submit proposals for environmental mitigation projects, studies, and initiatives in the Matagorda Bay and San Antonio Bay ecosystems.
The deadline for submitting proposals is October 18.
“We are hoping to receive a broad range of proposals focused on studying and restoring the water bodies and surrounding ecosystems of the Matagorda Bay and San Antonio Bay Systems, as well as the river deltas feeding into those systems,” said Raabe. “It is important to note that, in this round of funding, our priorities include public education, youth camps, public access improvement, environmental research and advocacy, and habitat restoration.”
Since its inception in 2020, the Trust has entered into 16 contracts, totaling $7,312,504, for a wide range of environmental projects in the Matagorda and San Antonio Bay areas.
This current Request for Proposals is the second annual cycle. “We were so pleased with the first round of contracts and very much look forward to extending the Trust’s environmental projects - building upon the work from the first round. We are very excited about the possibilities,” said Raabe.
Further information and proposal documents can be found on the Trust’s website https://mbmtrust.com/rfps/.