Murkowski urges federal plan for tsunami debris

Associated PressJune 29, 2012 

JUNEAU -- Alaska's senior senator wants a federal task force to devise a plan for addressing debris from last year's deadly tsunami in Japan.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski told the president it's essential the administration establish a plan for how the U.S. will prepare for and recover from debris as it reaches the nation's waters and shores. While the Japanese government estimated 1.5 million tons of debris was set adrift by the disaster, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said it's unclear how much remains afloat. NOAA says it's difficult to distinguish tsunami debris from regular ocean trash but says significant changes in the type and volume of debris onshore is an indicator of tsunami debris.

Murkowski toured parts of coastal Alaska and says more government action is needed.

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