Federal government will review Irma debris removal costs

MIAMI (AP) — The federal government is reviewing debris removal costs in the Florida Keys following Hurricane Irma last year.

WFOR-TV reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has responded to requests for an audit from Florida’s 11 Democratic members of Congress.

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.

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