The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is still considering waiving shipping limits to Puerto Rico in the face of disaster relief.
Congress submitted a request to DHS Monday requesting the Jones Act, which limits what can be shipped to Puerto Rico, be waived to more quickly deliver materials needed to rebuild the island devastated by hurricane Maria last week.
Speaking to Senators Wednesday, Elaine Duke, acting Secretary of Homeland Security, confirmed she received the request, but noted a request from Congress is not the usual pathway to waiving similar regulations.
Thousands of federal government personnel are already at work on the islands, according to Duke.
“With our partners, we continue to conduct 24-hour operations, aggressively conducting search-and-rescue operations,” she said after meeting Tuesday with President Donald Trump.
As of Tuesday, officials said, only 11 of 69 hospitals in Puerto Rico have fuel for their emergency generators.
The power grid throughout the island of 3.4 million people was damaged so badly by Hurricane Maria that officials have predicted it will take more than a few months to completely restore reliable electricity service.
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