Washington, DC -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that President Clinton has authorized federal emergency funds for New York State to reimburse local governments for part of the cost involved in combating the mosquito-borne West Nile virus outbreak this summer.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the President took the action after determining that the authorized resources available from the Centers for Disease Control and other federal agencies were insufficient for local response activities and additional assistance from FEMA was required and warranted.
Witt said the President's emergency declaration issued this afternoon provides up to $5 million in federal funds to reimburse affected local governments at 75 percent federal share for the cost of emergency measures that were taken to save lives and insure public health and safety beginning July 15.
In addition to New York City, the following 44 counties are eligible for the emergency funding: Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, Monroe, Montgomery, Nassau, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Suffolk, Sullivan, Tioga, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Westchester and Yates.
Witt, who designated the counties eligible for the assistance following the declaration, indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further evaluation.
Michael Byrne, of FEMA's regional office in New York City, was named by Witt to coordinate the federal assistance in the affected areas.