Hawaii Still Lacks Tsunami Debris Cleanup Plan, Funding

NOAA/ U.S. Navy

Hawaii has no plan for dealing with Japanese tsunami debris that has begun showing up in offshore waters, no task force to help coordinate federal, state and city response efforts and virtually no funding to deal with the issue.

But debris is starting to hit the shoreline here, and scientists expect the bulk of it will continue to wash up through the spring.

And that's starting to worry state officials. William Aila, who heads the Department of Land and Natural Resources, says he expects to ask the Legislature for $2 million for tsunami response and cleanup when it convenes in January.

Meanwhile, federal officials say they are not sure exactly what happened to nearly a million dollars that Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye had pushed through Congress to deal with tsunami debris. Aila said Hawaii received none of it.

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