Audit: $5 million IOU as West Virginia missed FEMA deadlines

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A state audit says West Virginia’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management didn’t comply with federal regulations, forcing localities to pay for disaster relief.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports on the Legislative Auditor’s Office audit released on Sunday. It says the state has been late for years in submitting a grant spending report to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Last year, it says, the agency missed a federal deadline by more than 170 days.

It says the agency is three years behind in requesting $8.3 million in federal grants that have already been spent. Over $5 million of that is owed to counties and cities.

FEMA penalized the state for that noncompliance, requiring it to use state funds for relief that may be eligible for federal reimbursement.

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