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FEMA: 'Significant Concerns' About Whitefish Energy Contract

FEMA says it had no part in selecting Whitefish Energy and has "significant concerns" about the contract.
Nicky Ouellet
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FEMA says it had no part in selecting Whitefish Energy and has "significant concerns" about the contract.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Friday it did not approve a $300 million contract between the Puerto Rican power utility and a small Montana company for power restoration work. The agency says it has “significant concerns” about the contract.In a statement, FEMA says it was not involved in selecting Whitefish Energy. FEMA officials said the agency is currently in talks with the Puerto Rican utility and its legal counsel to get more information about the contract and how the deal was made.
In a leaked copy of the contract the Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, stated that FEMA did review and approve of the contract.

171027_Prepa_FEMAApproval.PNG
The contract between Whitefish Energy and Prepa says FEMA did approve the contract

FEMA also says it has not confirmed if the contract prices are reasonable. The contract outlines wages of at least $300 an hour for site supervisors, and more for subcontractors.

On Thursday the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee sent a letter to PREPA, scrutinizing the deal, and the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce wrote to Whitefish Energy CEO Andy Techmanski asking for documents and information. A group of eight members of Congress urged the Inspector General of the Interior Department to investigate the contract's procurement Wednesday.

Puerto Rico's Governor, Ricardo Rossello, has requested an audit.

Nicky is MTPR's Flathead-area reporter.
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