Federal Government Will Review Irma Debris Removal Costs

What to Know

  • Democratic lawmakers accuse the state of wasting millions by ignoring existing debris removal contracts and hiring other companies.
  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott's office has defended the post-hurricane contracts.

The federal government is reviewing debris removal costs in the Florida Keys following Hurricane Irma last year.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz on Monday made the announcement on Twitter.

"Today I'm announcing that the Department of Homeland Security has answered my call to open a federal audit of Rick Scott's disastrous and costly debris removal effort after Hurricane Irma. Florida's taxpayers deserve better," she wrote.

The lawmakers have alleged the state squandered millions of federal taxpayer dollars by ignoring debris removal contracts already in place and instead hiring more expensive companies for the work.

In a Sept. 20 letter to the lawmakers, Homeland Security's acting inspector general, John V. Kelly, said the Federal Emergency Management Agency's program implementation for those contracts and the contracts in Monroe County were under review.

In a statement, Florida Gov. Rick Scott's office defended the post-hurricane contracts and said some contractors had been trying to gouge the public in Irma's wake.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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