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FEMA Rejects State's Chinese Drywall Request

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has rejected Florida's request for help in assessing damage caused by corrosive Chinese drywall, according to a letter from Phil May, FEMA's regional administrator in Atlanta.

The letter said that the state's request doesn't meet the federal criteria for an emergency or major disaster and thus cannot be granted.

``Conditions experienced by individuals from a consumer product safety matter, such as the degradation of imported drywall, does not constitute an emergency or major disaster incident,'' said May

The state's interim Emergency Management Director David Halstead wrote to FEMA last week and asked the federal agency for help in conducting a joint preliminary damage assessment. Halstead also asked FEMA to ``identify and distribute financial aid to the families suffering as a result of this defective drywall.''

In his reply, May directed state officials to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which plans to make money available to homeowners affected by Chinese drywall.

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