In New Letter To FEMA, Leader Schumer Urges A 90-Day Extension On The Deadline To Provide Input On The Environmental Assessment For The Reconstruction Of Puerto Rico’s Electrical Grid

The People Of Puerto Rico Deserve A Rebuilt Energy Grid That Is Environmentally Friendly And Resilient

November 20, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sent a letter to FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor strongly urging a 90-day extension from the November 22, 2020 deadline for comments on the Programmatic Environmental Assessment for the Utility Repair, Replacement, and Realignment of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The comment period comes after an almost $10 billion allocation to FEMA to rebuild the Island’s electrical grid in the wake of the 2017 hurricane season. Leader Schumer cited that it is imperative that all key members of the Puerto Rican community, including organizations and community groups who had not received notice of this action, have the opportunity to provide their input as this assessment will impact their health and safety.

Leader Schumer’s letter to Administrator Gaynor can be found here and below:

November 20, 2020

The Honorable Peter Gaynor

Administrator

Federal Emergency Management Agency

500 C Street S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20472

Dear Administrator Gaynor:

I write today to strongly urge you to provide a 90-day extension on the November 22, 2020 deadline for comments on the Programmatic Environmental Assessment for the Utility Repair, Replacement, and Realignment of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. It is imperative that all members of the community have the opportunity to provide input as this assessment will impact their health and safety.

This environmental assessment comes as a result of the historic allocation of funds, almost $10 billion, to rebuild the electrical grid on the Island after the horrific hurricane season of 2017. This funding is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we cannot let it be squandered. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) environmental assessment is an important first step in this process and the people of Puerto Rico need adequate time to respond. To date, at least nine organizations and community groups, actively engaged in energy issues, had not received any notice of this action, including: Comité Diálogo Ambiental, Inc. (“CDA”), El Puente de Williamsburg, Inc. – Enlace Latino de Acción Climática (“El Puente – ELAC”), Comité Yabucoeño Pro-Calidad de Vida, Inc. (“YUCAE”), Alianza Comunitaria Ambientalista del Sureste, Inc. (“ACASE”), Sierra Club Puerto Rico, Inc. (“Sierra Club PR”), Mayagüezanos por la Salud y el Ambiente, Inc. (“MSA”), Coalición de Organizaciones Anti Incineración, Inc. (“COAI”), Amigos del Río Guaynabo, Inc. (“ARG”), Campamento Contra las Cenizas en Peñuelas, Inc. I appreciate FEMA’s efforts to ensure a safe, responsible, and transparent environmental assessment, however, I believe it is imperative that the interested and impacted communities, individuals, and organizations have adequate time to submit their comments and concerns.

Therefore, it is my sincere request that FEMA to offer a 90-day extension for comments on the Programmatic Environmental Assessment for the Utility Repair, Replacement, and Realignment of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. We must ensure our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico have their voices heard in this momentous decision.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter, if you have questions please do not hesitate to contact my staff.  

Sincerely,

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