US lawmakers approve $9.7bn for flood insurance claims from Sandy

04 January 2013 22:00  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US House of Representatives voted 354-67 on Friday to pass a $9.7bn (€7.5bn) measure allowing the National Flood Insurance Program to keep paying insurance claims from Hurricane Sandy.

The Senate unanimously approved the measure, which now goes to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it.

Congress will consider the rest of the $60bn aid package on 15 January. The bill was meant to help northeastern states rebuild after the storm hit the US coast at the end of October.

The Senate had approved the aid package last week, but House speaker John Boehner delayed the vote after the House passed the fiscal cliff compromise late on Tuesday.

Sandy was the mostly costly natural disaster to hit the US since Hurricane Katrina and the most costly storm to hit the northeast.

In New York alone, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said on Friday that it has approved almost $827m in federal disaster assistance for individuals and households including almost $736m for housing and over $91m other needs.

In addition, the US Small Business Administration has approved over almost $378m in disaster loans for homeowners and renters and another $25m for businesses.

About $323m in public assistance funds have also been allocated to reimburse the state for services before, during and after the storm.

The housing market is a key downstream consumer for the chemical industry, driving demand for a variety of chemicals, resins and derivative products such as plastic pipe, insulation, paints and coatings, adhesives, roofing materials and synthetic fibres.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) estimates that each new home represents $15,000 worth of chemicals and derivatives used in the structure or in production of component materials.

In addition, every $1,000 spent on non-residential construction generates $160-230 worth of consumption of chemicals and derivatives, according to the ACC.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Tracy Dang
+1 713 525 2653

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