Federal agencies to testify before Congress about Puerto Rico power grid restoration
SAN JUAN – The federal agencies that are working on the restoration of electric service in Puerto Rico after the passage of Hurricane Maria will appear before Congress in a public hearing scheduled for Feb. 28.
According to a press release, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González expressed concern to Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s National Security Subcommittee, regarding the pace of recovery on the island.
DeSantis then scheduled the public hearing to help find a solution to the ongoing electric service delivery issue. According to data provided by the Puerto Rico government, via www.status.pr, more than four months after Hurricane Maria nearly 30% of the utility’s subscribers remain without power.
González requested that representatives of the federal entities who have worked on the response to the disaster testify. Among those cited to the hearing are the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Department of Energy.
The hearing will revolve around determining how prepared the federal government is to deal with natural disasters; the status of the response team four months after María’s impact; what financial, human and material resources have been used in these missions and their combined cost estimate.
It will also seek to learn the number of personnel involved and how many should be in the missions; the best estimate of when reliable electric service will be restored to 95% of subscribers; what resources are needed so that in 30 days that percentage is achieved; what is the actual availability of materials; what are the problems related to the production, storage, transportation and delivery of these resources; what are USACE, FEMA and Prepa’s long-term plans for reconstruction; among other topics.