Sacramento, CA — Governor Jerry Brown today sent the White House a letter asking for $7.4 billion in federal funding for wildfire relief and recovery efforts.
The communication, undersigned by the state’s two U.S. Senators and 39 congressional delegation members, was sent as Brown directed the California Department of Finance to expedite the allocation of $41.5 million in funding to help address immediate needs from the deadly and devastating October fires that killed 43 people and destroyed approximately 8,900 residential and commercial structures; like cleanup, hazardous waste removal and assistance for Californians impacted by the fires who are not eligible for federal aid.
The White House letter urges the President and Congress to expedite what will be a third supplemental disaster-related appropriations bill in support of the state’s recovery from the wildfires. The $7.4 billion would be used to cover federal cleanup, recovery and assistance programs over a broad area of needs that include housing, transportation, agriculture, environmental protection, local health services, long-term recovery planning, reconstruction and small business recovery.
The Governor’s separate state appropriations action will enable California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to dedicate $35 million for debris removal and cleanup efforts. California Department of Toxic Substances Control will also be able to direct $1.5 million towards hazardous waste cleanup operations at fire-impacted lots. So far, state officials report that crews have removed household hazardous waste from more than 3,000 lots as debris removal begins across the affected counties.
Another $5 million in the appropriation is being managed by California Department of Social Services to assist wildfire victims who are not eligible to receive federal disaster assistance because of their immigration status. These monies will help cover food, housing, utility, and other expenses.