Gregoire releases $500,000 for debris cleanup

OLYMPIA — Gov. Chris Gregoire is releasing $500,000 from her emergency fund to address costs associated with potential debris washing up on the state’s beaches from the Japanese tsunami.

Gregoire said Tuesday that the money will be released to the state’s Military Department Emergency Management Division, which is coordinating the state’s response to the debris.

The state Department of Ecology has already allocated $100,000 from its litter cleanup account for tsunami debris removal, but Gregoire says there has been a steady stream of debris showing up on beaches and costs to remove it are climbing.

The state is also asking people to call 1-855-922-6278 if they find debris on beaches they think may be hazardous or contain oil.

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