Governor Abbott, House and Senate Leadership announce state funds to help victims of Hurricane Harvey pay for debris removal

Published 9:20 am Saturday, November 11, 2017

Special to The Leader


AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott, in partnership with Texas House and Senate leaders, announced the approval of emergency funding to help Texans in disaster-declared counties pay for the removal of debris caused by Hurricane Harvey. In total, $90 million has been identified from General Revenue (GR) Account 5000, the Solid Waste Disposal Fees Account, which will be made available to pay for costs associated with debris removal across impacted regions.

In most cases, even with federal assistance, cities and counties in the impacted areas are responsible for ten percent of costs associated with debris removal. Today’s funding allocation will help alleviate that burden for communities as they continue to rebuild. The Governor thanks the Comptroller and members of the Texas Legislature for their work in securing this funding for Harvey-impacted areas.

“While there is still much work to be done to help rebuild Texas, the funds made available today will go a long way in helping mitigate the burdensome costs on communities for debris removal,” said Governor Abbott. “Today’s action is just one more step in a long process to help our cities and counties recover, and I want to thank all the members of both the Texas House and Senate for their effort to secure this much needed funding.”

“The historic level of destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey demands a historic response. I’m glad we have been able to move quickly and get funds to local governments for debris removal,” said Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. “Acting on this priority is essential so we can move forward with rebuilding and recovery efforts.”

“This is an important step in our state’s recovery from Hurricane Harvey,” House Speaker Joe Straus said. “There is a long way to go, but these resources will provide valuable help to communities that are still coping with, and responding to, the damage caused by this storm. The Texas House remains committed to helping all areas of our state that were impacted by Hurricane Harvey.”

“Harvey caused catastrophic damage to the Gulf Coast, and through this budget decision we are lending our support to help local communities with recovery and relief,” said Senator Jane Nelson. “All Texas leaders — local, state and federal — need to work hand in hand to ensure that Texas rebuilds and comes out stronger.”

“It is clear that Texas communities are still in need of assistance, and the Legislature should use the tools we have available to assist in the recovery of these cities, towns, and counties,” said Representative John Zerwas. “The testimony the House Appropriations Committee is receiving from local officials is extremely compelling and while I know our local leaders are resilient, the State must support their efforts.”

The funds announced for debris removal will be administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, who will work with the Texas Department of Emergency Management.