On April 10, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello Nevares provided a second monthly report to the U.S. Congress on the development of a recovery plan for the territory from last September’s hurricanes.
The report comes in the form of a letter from the Governor to leaders of the House and Senate, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
The plan covers 12 sectors:
1) Capacity Building
3) Economic Development
4) Health & Social Services
6) Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Resiliency
7) Natural and Cultural Resources
8) Energy and Power
9) Public Buildings
“The general charge of each of these Sectors,” the report explains, “is to develop a damage and needs assessment and then to develop courses of action and identify potential funding sources. As issues arise that need deeper analysis or may involve more than one Sector, Solution Based Teams will be formed with key stakeholders to develop courses of action that work toward unified outcomes…”
Many partners are listed in the report, including not only government agencies both in Puerto Rico and on a federal level, but also community and philanthropic organizations, the University of Puerto Rico and other institutes of higher education, corporate partners, and faith-based organizations.
Accurate assessment of damages is the first goal. Identifying both the pre-hurricane conditions and the realistic needs for infrastructure across the Island is the current project. This phase will include information about response to the 2017 hurricanes, details on further deterioration since Hurricane Maria, and identification of gaps in information about these questions.
The Governor wrote that, “The current projection is to have at least preliminary data on damage and needs assessments delivered in early May.”
The plan and updates on the status of its development with Federal agencies and the PROMESA Financial Oversight and Management Board were required by the funding bill that became law two months ago.
The Governor wrote, “The overall vision is a Puerto Rico with a sustainable economy as well as recovered and resilient infrastructure built to the highest standards currently available.”