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FEMA to Melt $24 Million in Unused Ice
By Eileen Sullivan, CQ Staff

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is getting rid of nearly $24 million worth of unused ice it purchased after Hurricane Katrina. Factoring in storage and melting fees brings the cost to just under $40 million.

FEMA purchased about 224 million pounds of ice at 28 cents a pound to support Hurricane Katrina victims. The agency stored the remaining 84.9 million pounds with the intent of using it during the 2006 hurricane season. But last year’s hurricane season turned out to be mild and the ice was not needed, FEMA spokesman Aaron Walker said.

It has cost the agency an additional $12.5 million to store the ice, which FEMA said may pose health hazards if frozen too long. FEMA attempted to donate the ice but those efforts fell through and the agency says it has instructed its vendor, Georgia-based AmeriCold Logistics â€" to get rid of the ice entirely. FEMA will be paying AmeriCold an additional $3.4 million in melting fees.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, FEMA was criticized for not getting ice to those in need. FEMA was later criticized for purchasing too much ice and subsequently wasting it. Walker said there is no published shelf life for ice. The Food and Drug Administration said the shelf life is indefinite when ice is prepared and stored appropriately. In April, The Washington Post reported FEMA wasted $70 million on prepared meals it purchased in anticipation of a severe 2006 hurricane season.

“If we had not had this ice on hand and we had an active hurricane season last year, the criticism would be louder than perhaps now for not being prepared,†Walker said. “There is a cost for preparedness. We accept that and we’re working to have a smarter business model.†He added, “I think that individuals need to understand that government agencies cannot respond to disasters without an associated cost.â€

FEMA says it has not purchased or stored any new ice since 2005 and instead relies on local contracts or agreements made through the Army Corps of Engineers.
Source: CQ Homeland Security
 

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Token Liberal Hippie
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Melting fees?

I'll take $3.4 million in melting fees...

just dump all the ice in the ocean, thereby combating global warming!
 

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gsusnake said:
Melting fees?

I'll take $3.4 million in melting fees...

just dump all the ice in the ocean, thereby combating global warming!
:lol:

Why couldn't they have sold it for a little bit more than they paid and make a profit from it to offset other expenses? Oh wait, that's not very government-like, is it? I see instances of money getting thrown around like it's nothing at work...it's crazy. I've said something about it a couple times and basically got an "oh, ok, that's nice" response. :?
 

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$24 Million worth of ice? A quick turn on the calculator says that would buy me 148,836,800 8lb bags at my local Kroger. And $3.7 Million for "Melting Fees"

I love seeing my Federal Tax Dollars at work :roll:
 

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Brian618 said:
$24 Million worth of ice? A quick turn on the calculator says that would buy me 148,836,800 8lb bags at my local Kroger. And $3.7 Million for "Melting Fees"

I love seeing my Federal Tax Dollars at work :roll:
Well, you also have to factor in all the trucks needed to move the ice. That may turn out to be the more expensive part of the equation.
 

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budder said:
Brian618 said:
$24 Million worth of ice? A quick turn on the calculator says that would buy me 148,836,800 8lb bags at my local Kroger. And $3.7 Million for "Melting Fees"

I love seeing my Federal Tax Dollars at work :roll:
Well, you also have to factor in all the trucks needed to move the ice. That may turn out to be the more expensive part of the equation.
It's not like they have to use refrigerated trucks, they're just gonna melt it when it gets there anyway.
 

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budder said:
Well, you also have to factor in all the trucks needed to move the ice. That may turn out to be the more expensive part of the equation.
I am sure that is a large portion of the cost, but I would love to see the Specification document on the contract for the ice. It's probably 15 pages long and explains in laborious details what is acceptable FEMA Spec Ice. They probably ended up paying $6 a pound for the stuff. :D
 

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Just give it away to everyone that is willing to pick it up!!

Saves the expense of melting it etc. :D 8)
 

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gsusnake said:
budder said:
Brian618 said:
$24 Million worth of ice? A quick turn on the calculator says that would buy me 148,836,800 8lb bags at my local Kroger. And $3.7 Million for "Melting Fees"

I love seeing my Federal Tax Dollars at work :roll:
Well, you also have to factor in all the trucks needed to move the ice. That may turn out to be the more expensive part of the equation.
It's not like they have to use refrigerated trucks, they're just gonna melt it when it gets there anyway.
Err, I meant for the initial trip to FEMA storage.
 

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They should have just given it to south Georgia to dump on those fires last month..
Or sell it to people to fill up their swimming pools.
Or let people buyit & then water their lawn with it & avoid the water restrictions.
Or spread it around in lake lanier over a couple of months.
or make a big snow field out of it & then sell tickets for a day or three so people could tube down it.

Basically FEMA is just uncreative. They could make money off of it if they wanted & then pay it back to the people that bought it originally - us. But it's typical governement, they have to spend it or else they won't get it next year.
 

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Tinkerhell said:
Or spread it around in lake lanier over a couple of months.
Yeah, but then the ACE would just screw up their gauges again and waste even more water.
 

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You can't simply dump it in the ocean or a lake or anyplace where the melt would run into a stream, creek, etc. The water used to make the ice was regular city water, which had been treated with chlorine of some type. Putting that into any navigable watercourse violates the Refuse Act of 1899.



"U.S. Code collection

TITLE 33 > CHAPTER 9 > SUBCHAPTER I > § 407

§ 407. Deposit of refuse in navigable waters generally

It shall not be lawful to throw, discharge, or deposit, or cause, suffer, or procure to be thrown, discharged, or deposited either from or out of any ship, barge, or other floating craft of any kind, or from the shore, wharf, manufacturing establishment, or mill of any kind, any refuse matter of any kind or description whatever other than that flowing from streets and sewers and passing therefrom in a liquid state, into any navigable water of the United States, or into any tributary of any navigable water from which the same shall float or be washed into such navigable water; and it shall not be lawful to deposit, or cause, suffer, or procure to be deposited material of any kind in any place on the bank of any navigable water, or on the bank of any tributary of any navigable water, where the same shall be liable to be washed into such navigable water, either by ordinary or high tides, or by storms or floods, or otherwise, whereby navigation shall or may be impeded or obstructed: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall extend to, apply to, or prohibit the operations in connection with the improvement of navigable waters or construction of public works, considered necessary and proper by the United States officers supervising such improvement or public work: And provided further, That the Secretary of the Army, whenever in the judgment of the Chief of Engineers anchorage and navigation will not be injured thereby, may permit the deposit of any material above mentioned in navigable waters, within limits to be defined and under conditions to be prescribed by him, provided application is made to him prior to depositing such material; and whenever any permit is so granted the conditions thereof shall be strictly complied with, and any violation thereof shall be unlawful. "


Jointly administered by the Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard and the EPA as well as the various states.
 

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If you read the pertinent section of the Act, you'll note the Sec'y of the Army can issue a waiver, but...

Anybody wanna bet the company receiving the "melting fee" is owned by people who contributed large amounts to Dubbya's reelection efforts???

Once again proving the system still works...!
 
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