The U.S. department of Agriculture has renewed a disaster claim for Hawaii regarding lingering volcanic gasses that are causing damage to agriculture. The state is well known for its many volcanoes, which have become an attraction for tourists around the world. While the volcanoes are famously beautiful and awe inspiring, they are also the source of dangerous emissions that can kill plant life and cause serious health problems. The renewed disaster declaration concerns gasses coming from Kilauea Volcano, which began spewing fumes late last year.
The declaration will allow farmers to access emergency loans and financial support from the federal government that will help mitigate the financial damages they face from the volcano emissions. The money will also help farmers replace equipment that is being eroded by the harmful gases, such as fencing and other metal infrastructure. Hawaii insurers will be fielding claims from farmers for the coming months and will be working with state regulators to resolve any issues that may arise.
The disaster puts crop insurance into the limelight yet again. Crop insurance is expected to be a major issue this year for federal lawmakers. Farmers are anxious to see how the nation’s crop insurance regulations will change and how those changes will affect their business and ability to generate profit. Some legislators are looking to abolish the regulation that ensures that farmers continue to make money regardless of whether their crops yield anything useful. Others have plans to ensure that this regulation stays in place.