Just after President Obama admitted that regulatory gaps played a role in the West, Texas fertilizer depot explosion in April, FEMA, the Federal Emergancy Management Agency, announces it will contribute federal funds to the rebuilding of the small town.
FEMA had previously refused funding (read more) to West and that decision reeked of punitive action against the chemical industry stating FEMA funds are intended to help with natural disasters, not chemical explosions. But after hearings with California Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer and testimony from witnesses and experts, it turns out the fertilizer supply outpost was in compliance with federal, state and local regulations at the time of the accident.
The funds will go toward regbuilding infrastructure including roads and publick byways, schools, emergency protective measures and other hazzard mitigation projects. The complete list of what the funding will cover is listed below from a FEMA press release as well as information on how to apply for funds. As the truth of this terrible accident becomes evident, the Obama Administration has stepped up to assist in the cleanup, and in the absence of a crime, it is about time.
Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:
- Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, taken to save lives and protect property and public health. Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
- Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
- Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
How to Apply for Assistance:
Application procedures for state and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.
Visit FEMA's website for more...