DISASTER RELIEF FUND: MONEY TO ADDRESS EMERGENCY WATER NEEDS
Effective January 1, 2012, the Texas Department of Agriculture adopted, on an emergency basis, amendments to its rules concerning the disaster relief fund (4 Tex. Admin. Code § 30.4) administered by the department’s Office of Rural Affairs that will expand the allowable reasons a city may apply for disaster relief funds. The amendments allow applicants to qualify for and seek disaster relief funding for drought disasters that have been declared by the governor.
Effective March 9, 2012, the department adopted further amendments to require that the city council of a city applicant, rather than the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, adopt a resolution determining that the city’s dwindling water supply may cause an immediate risk to the health and welfare of its residents.
Taken together, these changes aid some cities faced with immediate threats to the health and welfare of the community as a result of inadequate and potentially unavailable water supplies. The changes essentially make it easier for cities to meet eligibility requirements for funding to assist in addressing their water issues. Projects eligible for funding consideration include, but are not limited to, relocation of water intake facilities and the installation of water lines to access new water sources.
More information about the Disaster Relief Fund, including eligibility requirements, is available at: http://www.texasagriculture.gov/