Nov 21, 2017

Texas Expedites Post-Hurricane Dune Restoration

A temporary emergency rule is evoked to bypass General Land Office approval and repair dunes quickly

Texas embarks on erosion control dune restoration

The Texas General Land Office (GLO) issued an emergency rule permitting Galveston, Texas, the ability to authorize emergency beachfront and dune repairs in the community until Jan. 3. Ordinarily, the GLO would individually approve applications, but has temporarily amended the rule in order to accelerate post-hurricane repairs.

The main stipulation being that these emergency rules do not allow for new dune construction, only restoration to the dunes pre-hurricane condition. Regarding permit requirements, spokeswoman for the land office Brittany Eck said, "The homeowners must still get the permit through the local entity, but the GLO does not have to review it for approval to be granted. The rules regulating these improvements are still in place."

Currently, the city has approved less than a dozen applications for dune repair. The dune repairs remain essential for protection of infrastructure in the event of future floods or natural disasters. Regarding the necessity of the repairs Hernan Botero, owner of Beachside Environmental and undertaker of several dune repairs, said , "If we get another Harvey or another Ike or something worse, there's not going to be anything here. You need these dune systems to be able to protect the buildings."