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Desperate for water, Puerto Ricans are resorting to any available sources, such as this stream in Cayey. Angel Valentin / NPR

Desperate Puerto Ricans Are Drinking Water From Hazardous Waste Sites

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."

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Damage caused by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico. EPA

House Passes $36.5 Billion Relief Package After Hurricane and Wildfire Disasters

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $36.5 billion package for hurricane and wildfire relief funding, which included emergency food assistance for low-income Puerto Rico residents.

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.

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Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long

FEMA Chief Says 'We Filtered Out' San Juan Mayor After She Pleads 'We Need Water!'

The administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) dismissed the mayor of San Juan's vocal criticism of the Trump administration's Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

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Sgt. Jose Ahiram Diaz-Ramos/Flickr

FEMA Scrubs Data About Puerto Rico's Lack of Water and Electricity

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.

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Ta'u, an island in American Samoa, runs nearly 100 percent on renewable energy thanks to Tesla technology. Photo credit: Tesla

Elon Musk Wants to Rebuild Puerto Rico's Power Grid With Solar

Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló responded positively to Tesla CEO Elon Musk's offer to help restore the island's hurricane-wrecked power grid with the company's batteries and solar panels.

"Let's talk," the governor tweeted to Musk Thursday evening. "Do you want to show the world the power and scalability of your #TeslaTechnologies? PR could be that flagship project."

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The water utility at Ebeye, Marshall Islands, February 2012.. Erin Magee / DFAT / Flickr

While Puerto Rico Fights For Aid, This Long-Forgotten Island Remains 'Slum of the Pacific’

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.

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Cali Nurseries/Facebook

Puerto Rican Farm Powers On After Hurricane Thanks to Solar Energy

An ornamental plant farm in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico that was wrecked by Hurricane Maria is slowly rebuilding thanks to solar panels that power the 40-acre nursery.

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.

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Research station staff return to Cayo Santiago after Hurricane Maria to start assessing conditions on the island. Angelina Ruiz

Scientists Join Forces to Save Puerto Rico’s ‘Monkey Island’

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."

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Damage caused by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico. EPA-EFE / Jorge J. Muñiz

'Civil Society Is Pretty Much Gone' in Puerto Rico as White House Scrambles to Defend Slow Response

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.

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