FEMA won't pay for northern NY trash cleanup - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

FEMA won't pay for northern NY trash cleanup

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ESSEX COUNTY, N.Y. -

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to buyout homes in Essex County, N.Y., but it won't pay to clean up debris.

Tropical Storm Irene littered several tons of trash across Essex County. It was washed there by the Ausable River which went 21 feet over its banks. The debris sat there for more than a year because it was going to cost half a million dollars to cleanup. The county couldn't afford it because it was already in millions of dollars in debt due to other Irene-related cleanup projects. The county asked FEMA for help, but it rejected the claim. However the state came through with a half million dollar grant to clean up the debris.

"FEMA do not feel it was an immediate threat to public safety and we disagreed with that because of where it is at, numerous tonnages of piles, and we felt it was a danger in future floods downstream to our infrastructure," said Randy Douglas, D-Essex County Supervisor.

Work began this week to remove the debris. The county has appealed the FEMA ruling.

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