FEMA, N.Y. City Reach 9/11 Accord

April 13, 2004

The Federal Emergency Management Authority has agreed to a plan that could relieve New York City of up to $350 million in costs for debris removal from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The $350 million had become an issue between the city and federal officials, who had argued that $1 billion in insurance funds for debris removal would only kick in after the first $350 million claims were paid, or only on clean up costs incurred after Sept. 29.

But FEMA has now agreed the $1 billion can be used to cover the costs of debris removal beginning from Sept. 11

“The city and contractors will have full insurance coverage for debris removal claims arising from Sept. 11 forward,” said Michael Brown, who heads FEMA.

N.Y. City Mayor Richard Bloomberg hailed the agreement.

“I am pleased that FEMA will now allow all claims arising from debris removal from the World Trade Center site to be eligible for coverage under the $1 billion captive insurance company, saving the city up to $350 million. This is the result of months of negotiations between FEMA, the city and state, and also the contractors who worked at the site to provide an insurance structure to address claims arising from the removal of debris. Today’s decision will allow the remaining details to be resolved quickly so the insurance company may then process all debris removal claims without the city incurring any additional liability,” Bloomberg said in a written statement.

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