1. #1
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    Default White House Coverup of WTC Health Hazards

    Aug 22, 6:34 PM EDT
    EPA Watchdog Rips White House on NYC Air
    By JOHN HEILPRIN
    Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- At the White House's direction, the Environmental Protection Agency gave New Yorkers misleading assurances that there was no health risk from the debris-laden air after the World Trade Center collapse, according to an internal inquiry.
    President Bush's senior environmental adviser on Friday defended the White House involvement, saying it was justified by national security.
    The White House "convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones" by having the National Security Council control EPA communications in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, according to a report issued late Thursday by EPA Inspector General Nikki L. Tinsley.
    "When EPA made a Sept. 18 announcement that the air was 'safe' to breathe, the agency did not have sufficient data and analyses to make the statement," the report says, adding that the EPA had yet to adequately monitor air quality for contaminants such as PCBs, soot and dioxin.
    In all, the EPA issued five press releases within 10 days of the attacks and four more by the end of 2001 reassuring the public about air quality. But it wasn't until June 2002 that the EPA determined that air quality had returned to pre-Sept. 11 levels - well after respiratory ailments and other problems began to surface in hundreds of workers cleaning dusty offices and apartments.
    The day after the attacks, former EPA Deputy Administrator Linda Fisher's chief of staff e-mailed senior EPA officials to say that "all statements to the media should be cleared" first by the National Security Council, which is Bush's main forum for discussing national security and foreign policy matters with his senior aides and Cabinet, the inspector general's report says.
    Approval from the NSC, the report says, was arranged through the White House Council on Environmental Quality, which "influenced, through the collaboration process, the information that EPA communicated to the public through its early press releases when it convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones."
    For example, the inspector general found, EPA was convinced to omit guidance for cleaning indoor spaces and tips on potential health effects from airborne dust containing asbestos, lead, glass fibers and concrete.
    James Connaughton, chairman of the environmental council, which coordinates federal environmental efforts, said the White House directed the EPA to add and delete information based on how it should be released publicly. He said the EPA did "an incredible job" with the World Trade Center cleanup.
    "The White House was involved in making sure that we were getting the most accurate information that was real, on a wide range of activities. That included the NSC - this was a major terrorist incident," Connaughton said.
    "In the back and forth during that very intense period of time," he added, "we were making decisions about where the information should be released, what the best way to communicate the information was, so that people could respond responsibly and so that people had a good relative sense of potential risk."
    Andy Darrell, New York regional director of Environmental Defense, an advocacy group, said the report is indicative of a pattern of White House interference in EPA affairs. "For EPA to do its job well, it needs to be allowed to make decisions based on the science and the facts," he said.
    Marianne L. Horinko, EPA's acting administrator, said the White House's role was mainly to help the EPA sift through an enormous amount of information.
    "We put out the best information we had, based on just the best data that we had available at the time," said Horinko, who headed the agency's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, which oversaw the World Trade Center environmental monitoring and cleanup.
    "And it was using our best professional judgment; it was not as a result of pressure from the White House," she said. "The White House's role was basically to say, 'Look, we've got data coming in from everywhere. What benchmarks are we going to use, how are we going to communicate this data? We can't have this Tower of Babel on the data.'"
    The EPA inspector general recommended that EPA adopt new procedures so its public statements on health risks and environmental quality are supported by data and analysis. Other recommendations include developing better procedures for indoor air cleanups and asbestos handling in large-scale disasters.

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    This is just another in a growing list of "blame Bush" items. The libs will try to add to this list as the election grows nearer. The Dems do this because they have no message of their own and continue to focus on hate to advance their agenda.

    You will notice that the report said nothing about the air actually being dangerous. What they are picking on is the communications problem and confusion that followed the worst terrorist attack in the history of the world.

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    I didn't post this to start a political argument, but because the subject is of interest to people who were involved in the WTC cleanup, including firefighters. Since you raised it, however, you should take particular note of this paragraph in the article:

    The White House "convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones" by having the National Security Council control EPA communications in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, according to a report issued late Thursday by EPA Inspector General Nikki L. Tinsley.

    Note that the source is not "libs" but the Bush administration's own EPA Inspector. You're going to have to come up with something better than calling it "hate." While you're at it, please explain how national security justifies lying about the health hazards to rescue workers.

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    I really don't know if there was a cover-up or an effort to sugar coat the results of these EPA tests. What I CAN say for certain is the overwhelming amount of rescuers, WTC survivors, and people who live downtown, who continue to experience the following symptoms, some very severely to the point of medical leave:

    Recurring respiratory ailments
    Acid reflux
    Pneumonia
    PSTD
    Anxiety
    Depression
    Persistent asthma
    Nose bleeds
    Sinusitis
    Acute nose/throat irritation

    There has even been some discussion lately about the affects it had for babies whose mothers were exposed at the time.

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    I didn't say you posted it as a political argument. The article speaks for itself.

    The White House "convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones" by having the National Security Council control EPA communications in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, according to a report issued late Thursday by EPA Inspector General Nikki L. Tinsley.
    As I remember it, ALL departmental communications were being controlled by the NSC in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

    Note that the source is not "libs" but the Bush administration's own EPA Inspector. You're going to have to come up with something better than calling it "hate." While you're at it, please explain how national security justifies lying about the health hazards to rescue workers.
    From the article:
    "Marianne L. Horinko, EPA's acting administrator, said the White House's role was mainly to help the EPA sift through an enormous amount of information.
    "We put out the best information we had, based on just the best data that we had available at the time," said Horinko, who headed the agency's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, which oversaw the World Trade Center environmental monitoring and cleanup.
    "And it was using our best professional judgment; it was not as a result of pressure from the White House," she said. "The White House's role was basically to say, 'Look, we've got data coming in from everywhere. What benchmarks are we going to use, how are we going to communicate this data? We can't have this Tower of Babel on the data.'"
    The EPA inspector general recommended that EPA adopt new procedures so its public statements on health risks and environmental quality are supported by data and analysis. Other recommendations include developing better procedures for indoor air cleanups and asbestos handling in large-scale disasters."

    Also, the people who lived in that area were not going back for some time. The cleanup of their property was not a priority at that point.

    I don't think you can also overlook the fact that the EPA was run by an idiot at the time, our former governor, Christine Whitman. Nothing positive occurred within that agency under her watch.

    nycgal, your point is well taken. But, as in in the fire service, the initial response to a major disaster is at the local level. For the first week, it was not the federal government who was responsible for providing for the safety of the workers and residents, it was the city and state environmental agencies. Why weren't the first responders provided with proper respiratory protection until many days in? Why weren't the first responders provided with the answer to the question "Why should I wear this APR"? That was not the federal government's job. I was there, I saw FF being given half-face APR's with chlorine canisters. No wonder there are people with chronic respiratory problems.

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    Default White House and CITY Coverup of WTC Health Hazards

    More and more news reports point to increases in serious ailments, especially lung illnesses, among workers who toiled at ground zero after the terrorist destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC) on Sept. 11, 2001. Now, it turns out former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s own deputy mayor has suffered from lung ailments he says were caused by the toxic chemicals released at the WTC site.

    Today’s New York Times reports:

    “Rudy Washington’s health has deteriorated significantly,” a friend, Randy M. Mastro, who was chief of staff and then deputy mayor for operations under Mr. Giuliani, said last night. “He’s suffering severe respiratory problems. He has an asthmatic condition for the first time ever. He now has to take multiple medications. He has had to be rushed to the emergency room on multiple occasions because of those breathing problems.” Even as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) tries to settle Washington’s compensation claims, a new health study co-authored by the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) shows New York City firefighters suffered a significant decline in their lung capacity after working at ground zero. In fact, the study finds more than 400 chemicals in the toxic World Trade Center air.

    According to the New York Post:

    The FDNY’s chief medical officer, Dr. David Prezant, who is a study co-author and Einstein College professor, considered the discrepancy in the rate of illnesses—based on when firefighters and EMTs arrived at the disaster site—the most significant scientific finding. Pollution and debris were most prevalent when the buildings crashed, and dissipated in time. “The closer you were to the morning of the collapse,” Prezant said, “the worst drop in symptoms and pulmonary function.”

    In the weeks after Sept. 11, then-Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christine Todd Whitman assured the public the site was safe, according to Democracy Now. In August 2002, President Bush vetoed a bill that included $90 million to monitor the health of rescue and clean-up workers who were at ground zero following the terrorist destruction of the World Trade Center, Sept. 11, 2001.

    A year later, it was revealed that just days after the Sept. 11 tragedy, the Bush White House pressured the EPA to tone down reports about the potential health hazards resulting from the buildings’ collapse.

    Meanwhile, we may just be learning how deadly the site really was. According to the Times, the Uniformed Firefighters Association earlier this year linked the deaths of two firefighters and a battalion chief—from lung disease and respiratory ailments. Further: …three young emergency medical technicians who worked in the dust and smoke at ground zero have died from pulmonary diseases and coronary problems aggravated by their battered lungs, according to the union that represented them. The three paramedics, members of AFSCME District Council 37 (DC 37), include Deborah Reeve, who died March 15 at age 41. According to DC 37’s Public Employee Press: During the eight-month recovery period, Reeve was assigned at various times to the morgue at Ground Zero, where she helped medical examiners identify body parts from the rubble. Pat Bahnken, president of AFSCME 2507, Reeve’s local union, puts it bluntly: This should not be happening. And it’s happening not only to our members, but also to construction workers and everybody that worked down there. Jordan Barab, who covers job safety and health issues at Confined Space, has excerpts from several other recent news stories that explore the link between workers’ exposure to the toxic dust and debris and diseases and death.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

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