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House Passes $36.5 Billion Relief Package After Hurricane and Wildfire Disasters
This aid comes on top of the $15.3 billion relief measure approved by Congress in September following Hurricane Harvey. The bill advances to the Senate, which will resume session next week, before heading to the desk of President Trump, who early Thursday suggested he may withdraw federal relief workers from Puerto Rico.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times:
"More than three weeks after Hurricane Maria raked the island, some 85% of the people remain without power, with nearly half of its 3.4 million residents lacking running water.
Food and basic supplies remain scarce in the mountainous interior, waterborne diseases pose a growing threat, and many hospitals are in dire circumstances. Deaths attributed to the storm stand at 45, but the number is expected to rise.
The Environmental Protection Agency this week advised against "tampering with sealed or locked wells or drinking from these wells" after reports of Puerto Rico residents trying to get water from wells at "Superfund" hazardous-waste sites.
In a series of tweets early Thursday, Trump implied that Puerto Rico was to blame for its problems, and suggested he would not endorse the type of years-long, multibillion-dollar federal recovery effort that typically follows a storm of such magnitude, or another large-scale disaster, striking a U.S. locale."
For a deeper dive:
Disaster Package: New York Times, Reuters, USA Today, LA Times, PBS Newshour, Houston Chronicle, CNN, Politico. Trump: Washington Post, New York Times, NBC News, CNN, USA Today. Commentary: Washington Post, Jessica Trisko Darden op-ed, New York Times, Paul Krugman column, Washington Post, Jennifer Sciubba & Jeremy Youde op-ed
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Get ready to toast bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. National Pollinator Week is June 17-23 and it's a perfect time to celebrate the birds, bugs and lizards that are so essential to the crops we grow, the flowers we smell, and the plants that produce the air we breathe.
The U.S Forest Service unveiled a new plan to skirt a major environmental law that requires extensive review for new logging, road building, and mining projects on its nearly 200 million acres of public land. The proposal set off alarm bells for environmental groups, according to Reuters.
By Teju Adisa-Farrar & Raul Garcia
In the summer of 1969 a banner hung over a set of condemned homes in what was then the predominantly black and brown Brookland neighborhood in Washington, DC. It read, "White man's roads through black men's homes."
Earlier in the year, the District attempted to condemn the houses to make space for a proposed freeway. The plans proposed a 10-lane freeway, a behemoth of a project that would divide the nation's capital end-to-end and sever iconic Black neighborhoods like Shaw and the U Street Corridor from the rest of the city.
Michigan prosecutors dropped all criminal charges against government officials involved in the Flint water crisis Thursday, citing concerns about the investigation they had inherited from the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) appointed by former Attorney General Bill Schuette, CNN reported.