Contact: Karina Erickson Press Secretary Texas General Land Office
(512) 475-5144
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PRESS RELEASE — Sep 25, 2020

ORANGE — On Monday, September 28, Orange County will host a signing agreement ceremony with the Texas General Land Office, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and local elected officials.

The event will begin at 2:00 PM with remarks from Congressman Brian Babin, Judge John Gothia, Galveston's District commander Col. Timothy Vail, and Deputy Land Commissioner Mark Havens. The media will then be provided an opportunity to ask questions. Following the press conference, the ceremonial signing will occur.

 "We are pleased to work with the USACE and Orange County leaders on this monumental project," said Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. "This signing agreement is an important milestone in our efforts to protect, reinforce, and strengthen the Texas Coast. Texas citizens trust in their local leaders to ensure that their coastal livelihood is sustained – and the Sabine to Galveston study demonstrates the initiative to do exactly that."

"We are in a great partnership," said Col Timothy Vail, Galveston District Commander, "and the Corps, the GLO and Orange County are great partners in our quest to make not just the design of the project a reality, but the construction of the project. It's a long process before we start moving dirt but the Design Agreement is a major milestone in getting closer to building a world-class Hurricane Storm Surge Protection System in Orange County." 
"The Orange County portion of the levee project will protect citizens, the economy and the environment from storm surges and flooding," said Orange County Judge John Gothia. "I am grateful for the collaboration of all of the governmental organizations from the local to the federal groups that have worked together to bring this project to this stage."  

“The past storm events, and even most recently Hurricane Laura and Tropical Storm Beta, make clear that Orange County needs a Levee Protection System," said Orange County Drainage District General Manager Don Carona. "Construction of the project means Orange County would be protected not just from storm surge, but we will also obtain drainage improvements from significant rain events. We greatly appreciate the efforts of our State and Federal leaders in affording us the opportunity to participate in the design of the Project at this time, and in making this Project a reality in the future.”    
Media is welcome, and we ask that you RSVP so we can facilitate your coverage of the event. This event is closed to the public.
When:  Monday, September 28, 2020, 2:00 pm

Where: Orange County Convention and Expo Center, 11475 FM 1442, Orange, TX 77630

Background: Following Hurricane Harvey, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act in 2018 that fully funded more than $4B to provide a new Hurricane Storm Surge Protection System for Orange, TX and improvement of both the existing Port Arthur and Freeport Hurricane Storm Surge Protection Systems. Together, these systems reduce risk to more than 100,000 residences, critical infrastructure, and the energy industry.

The design agreement establishes a cost-share structure for the engineering design of the Orange project. The agreement was officially signed on September 18, 2020 by Orange County Drainage District General Manager Don Carona, Judge John Gothia, and Galveston District commander Col. Timothy Vail.

This is a new Coastal Storm Risk Management project, featuring the construction of more than 15 miles of new levees and nearly 11 miles of floodwalls and gates. The improved system will also include seven pump stations, more than 50 drainage structures, and 32 closure gates.

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