Tsunami Debris Clean Up Reimbursbursement Introduced

Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have introduced the Tsunami Debris Cleanup Reimbursement Act. That would give the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the authority to reimburse states for tsunami marine debris cleanup that occurred before NOAA received funding from Japan.

Last year, Japan announced it would gift $5 million to the United States for cleanup of marine debris that washed up on the West coast. Last summer, a 66-foot dock, infested with invasive species, washed up in Newport. The Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation paid $85,000 to remove the dock, and a total of $300,000 for tsunami debris that was not eligible for reimbursement. The cost of removing the debris from the coast—and addressing the threat of marine invasive species—has put an strain on state budgets. In December 2012, the Japanese government provided the U.S.government with $5 million to assist with the cleanup and removal of debris. Because of the language describing the grant authority, NOAA can only provide grants for future projects, not those that are already completed. This legislation would give the N-O-A-A authority to reimburse state, local, and tribal governments for the cost of cleanup efforts they have already undertaken to address marine debris from the tsunami.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 21st, 2013 and is filed under Local News, State News.