(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee restored funding to Project Impact. A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program credited with preventing loss of life and greater destruction during the Nisqually earthquake, Project Impact had been slated for elimination under the Bush budget proposal.
The Senate Appropriations Bill includes $25 million in the fiscal year 2002 for the Veterans Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and independent agencies, including FEMA, to restore Project Impact. Senator Murray secured the restoration of funds as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
"I am proud that my colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee joined me in supporting the restoration of Project Impact," Senator Murray said. "The renewal of these funds is a critical first step in helping communities in Washington state and around the country to prepare for future disasters."
The VA-HUD bill is expected to go before full Senate for passage before Congress adjourns for August recess.
Since January 1998, when Seattle became one of seven cities in a Project Impact pilot program, the initiative has helped retrofit more than half of Seattle's public school buildings to make them earthquake resistant. Other communities that have received Project Impact aid include King and Pierce Counties, Kitsap County, Clark County, and the City of Walla Walla.