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The ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee called for an investigation into the availability of potable water in Puerto Rico following reports Friday that residents are scrounging for water from hazardous waste sites.
After the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed residents were trying to access water from three Superfund sites, and following a CNN story Friday featuring Puerto Ricans taking water from a fourth site, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) wrote a letter to acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke asking if she knew about the situation and calling the reports "beyond disturbing."
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.
On Wednesday, roughly two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck, just 50 percent of Puerto Rico had access to drinking water and only 5.4 percent had electricity. That information was clearly displayed on Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) website on disaster relief efforts in the U.S. territory.
But the next day, as first noticed by the Washington Post, those two critical pieces of information were removed from the website.
By Whitney Webb
Since Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory—which rarely garners much attention from the national media—has received widespread coverage which has focused on the Trump administration's slow response to the disaster.
The situation in Puerto Rico is undoubtedly dire, as many struggle without power and access to basic necessities for more than a week after the storm struck. In addition, the Trump administration's response has been notably lackluster in several regards, which has brought renewed scrutiny to its attitudes and performance.
By Farron Cousins
New polling data provides some inspiring news about the prospects for climate change action in the U.S.
According to public policy polling conducted by AP-NORC and the Energy Policy Institute at The University of Chicago, 61 percent of American citizens believe that climate change is a threat that the federal government should actively work to prevent. The poll also reveals that majorities in both major political parties—Democrats and Republicans—accept the fact that climate change is actually happening and that human activity is making it worse.
Cali Nurseries grower Hector Santiago told Reuters that his $300,000 investment on 244 solar panels six years ago has allowed him to continue working.
By Alexandra Rosati
"00O made it!" There was some news to celebrate on Sept. 28 in the email chain of scientists who work at the Cayo Santiago Field Station. Cayo Santiago is a 38-acre tropical island off the coast of Puerto Rico and home to approximately 1,500 rhesus monkeys, earning it the local nickname "Monkey Island."
President Trump spent the weekend playing golf and attacking Puerto Rican leadership on Twitter while the island remains in a state of severe crisis and recovery moves at a "glacial pace."
While FEMA aid has begun reaching remote parts of the island, severe shortages of food, water and diesel are grinding on residents from rich and poor regions as 95 percent remain without electricity nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit.