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Wed Jun 23, 2021, 01:41 AM

Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands closer to getting $2 billion for electric grid repairs

The federal government will take another step Monday toward releasing nearly $2 billion to repair Puerto Ricoís troubled electrical grid, part of a pool of money withheld from the island for years even as it struggled to recover from the devastation of 2017ís Hurricane Maria.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will publish a federal register notice for $1.93 billion in electrical grid funding, outlining the rules and regulations governing its use. The money is meant to help the electrical system become more resistant to future storms and climate change, as well as emit less carbon dioxide. It also requires the islandís government to outline how it will ensure the money reaches marginalized and underserved populations.

ďWe think that it will really kick-start some of the conversations that are already happening on the island around the future of the electrical system and make sure itís not only resistant to the next storm but contributes less to climate change than it did before,Ē a HUD official told the Miami Herald.

The HUD funds laid out in the federal registry on Monday will also be distributed to improve the energy systems of the U.S. Virgin Islands. St. John and St. Thomas experienced a total outage days ago.

The release of funds is the latest move from President Joe Bidenís administration to free up the long-stalled relief money, originally assigned by Congress during the Trump administration.

Read more: https://www.mcclatchydc.com/article252213058.html

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