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Congress members seek to change FEMA aid laws

5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty is teaming up with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro on new legislation to encourage federal disaster relief aid to homeowners for fallen trees and debris. 


While Connecticut is receiving federal disaster aid to cover public expenses in Fairfield and New Haven Counties from the May storms, individual property owners were denied aid.  Litchfield County towns were also denied aid.


The lawmakers say the cost of debris removal cannot currently be included in damage assessments provided by FEMA to the president, making it harder for states to qualify for needed disaster declarations and federal relief.  The state delegation says clearing fallen trees from a tornado, hurricane, or other major disaster can cost homeowners tens of thousands of dollars, but current federal law bars Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance.

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Todd Schnitt

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