U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and White House senior officials participated in a forum hosted by the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Latino Leadership to discuss ongoing efforts to help Puerto Rico recover from natural disasters dating back to Hurricanes Irma and María in 2017 and recent earthquakes.
EPA Associate Deputy Administrator Doug Benevento, EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary Walker and EPA Region 2 Administrator Pete Lopez were joined by The White House’s Special Representative for Puerto Rico Disaster Recovery, Rear Admiral Peter Brown, and staff from Senator Marco Rubio’s, Congresswoman Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon’s, and Florida Representative Rene Plasencia’s offices.
The forum included a discussion of partnerships and remaining challenges as Puerto Rico’s recovery continues to move forward.
“EPA is identifying areas the agency can help improve upon and forge partnerships to achieve sustainable disaster recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. The forum with Latino leaders in Florida was a way to expand those efforts beyond the boundaries of Puerto Rico,” said Benevento.
At present, there are more than a dozen U.S departments and agencies that are delivering nearly $50 billion in federal funds for recovery of the infrastructure, economy, environment, and the people of Puerto Rico, said Brown.
“This engagement builds off of our trip a few weeks ago to Puerto Rico where we all met with the government of Puerto Rico, members of the federal family, local governments, and the nonprofit and business communities to continue our respectful partnership working to help aid disaster recovery efforts in Puerto Rico,” said Lopez.