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News State / Region

USDA provides $6 million in disaster recovery aid to 10 states affected by storms, floods

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has made immediately available $6 million in Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program aid for disaster recovery projects in 10 states affected this month by storms and floods. These states are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

“Our thoughts are with the families and communities across many parts of the country that have been affected by this severe weather,” said Vilsack. “USDA personnel in our state and local offices are coordinating with their state and local government counterparts in order to provide much-needed assistance as quickly as possible to communities that have been hard hit by this string of terrible tragedies.”

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EPA landmark Clean Air Act settlement to modernize coal-fired power plants and promote clean energy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations at 11 of its coal-fired plants in Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The settlement will require TVA to invest an estimated $3 to $5 billion on new and upgraded state-ofthe- art pollution controls that will prevent approximately 1,200 to 3,000 premature deaths, 2,000 heart attacks and 21,000 cases of asthma attacks each year, resulting in up to $27 billion in annual health benefits.

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U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) will visit six communities in Western North Carolina on April 20 and 21. She will host “Conversations with Kay” in Andrews, Robbinsville, Bryson City, Franklin, Sylva and Marshall. Constituents can come meet with Hagan to talk about their concerns. Her constituent services staff will be on site to help people navigate issues with federal agencies, such as the VA, IRS or Social Security Administration.

Hagan will continue to hold “Conversations with Kay” in communities across the state to help North Carolinians who need assistance or want to discuss topics that concern them.

 

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The N.C. Department of Transportation is seeking volunteers from across the state to help remove litter from local roads during this year’s spring Litter Sweep event, held from April 16 to April 30. Volunteers played an integral role in removing more than 4.2 million pounds of roadside litter during the 2010 spring and fall Litter Sweeps.

“The department’s spring Litter Sweep is a great opportunity for all of us to pitch in to revitalize the beauty of North Carolina’s roads,” said Transportation Secretary Gene Conti. “By improving safety and appearance, we can ensure we provide visitors with a positive impression of our scenic state.”

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