U.S. Sens. Joe Lieberman, Richard Blumenthal introduce Shellfish Equity Act, aim to make shellfish farmers eligible for two USDA disaster relief programs after Hurricane Irene hurt Connecticut's industry

HARTFORD, Connecticut , September 29, 2011 () – U.S. Sens. Joe Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal are trying to add shellfish to the list of damaged crops that would be eligible for federal disaster relief.

The senators this week introduced the Shellfish Equity Act, making shellfish farmers eligible for two U.S. Department of Agriculture's disaster relief programs.

Blumenthal says Connecticut's shellfish industry, which boasts 300 jobs, suffered severe damage when the remnants of Hurricane Storm Irene hit the state last month.

He said the bill he introduced with Lieberman would put those shellfish farmers on par with other agricultural producers and ensure they have the same access to emergency assistance.

One of the federal programs helps farmers whose crops are not eligible for traditional crop insurance. The other covers losses to livestock, honeybees or farm-raised aquaculture following natural disasters.

© 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.