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FEMA Faulted For Oversight Of Debris Removal After Irma

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Wikimedia Commons
The Florida Channel
Damage from Hurrican Irma was significant on Islamorada in the Florida Keys.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is being faulted for inadequate oversight of debris removal operations after Hurricane Irma.

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General released a management alert Tuesday saying auditors observed "virtually no debris oversight in Florida," limited monitoring in Georgia and overstated debris loads in both states.

A lack of oversight leaves FEMA vulnerable to fraud and waste. The report said debris removal costs after Irma totaled roughly $1.5 billion in both states.

FEMA concurred with OIG recommendations for the agency to clarify its guidelines for monitoring removal operations and to verify debris loads claimed for reimbursement.

The report did not address debris removal costs in the Florida Keys that are being reviewed separately at the request of Florida's Democratic members of Congress.