Florida Governor Crist requests $50 million in federal funds typically reserved for natural disasters to respond to oil spill

May 7th, 2010 - 2:31 am ICT by BNO News  

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA (BNO NEWS) – Florida Governor Charlie Crist on Thursday requested $50 million in federal aid from the U.S. Department of Labor as part of the State’s response plans to the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill that resulted from the Deepwater Horizon incident.

Governor Crist made the request in a letter to President Barack Obama, saying Florida is preparing for an environmental disaster of “unprecedented proportions for our state and our Gulf of Mexico partner states.”

He said that Florida and other states have in the past benefited from the application of the Stafford Act, the engagement of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the availability of National Emergency Grants and Disaster Unemployment Assistance for workers not covered by state unemployment laws.

“Encouraged by your pledge ‘to spare no effort to respond to this crisis for as long as it continues […] And we will spare no resource to clean up whatever damage is caused’, we ask that you seek ways to help bring about an application of provisions of the Stafford Act that would permit disaster National Emergency Grants and the payment of Disaster Unemployment Assistance,” Crist wrote.

Governor Crist noted that, while the State recognizes that BP is the responsible party, due to the extensive nature and urgency of the disaster, the State will seek assistance from the Department of Labor as it has proved to be effective and timely in the past.

“Such engagement is urgently needed to help ensure a comprehensive state and federal response. Due to the ever growing impact resulting from the continuing oil discharge, we urgently seek your full support and assistance,” Crist added.

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