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Latest report on WTC site air-quality

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
10,737
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Yahoo
(excerpts)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The burning ruins of the World Trade Center spewed toxic gases "like a chemical factory" for at least six weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks despite government assurances the air was safe, according to a study released on Wednesday.

Last month, an internal report by Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites) Inspector General Nikki Tinsley said the White House pressured the agency to make premature statements that the air was safe to breathe.


The EPA issued an air quality statement on Sept. 18, 2001, even though it "did not have sufficient data and analyzes to make the statement," the report said.


The White House "convinced the EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones," Tinsley said. Among the information withheld was the potential health hazards of breathing asbestos, lead, concrete and pulverized glass, the report said.

EPA acting administrator Marianne Horinko has defended the agency, saying it used the best information it had available.

 

DealMonkey

Lifer
Nov 25, 2001
13,137
1
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Hmmmm, I wonder if this qualifies as a "lie" or not? I guess it depends on the definition of "...spewed toxic gases "like a chemical factory" for at least six weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks despite government assurances the air was safe..." Yeah, that's a sticky situation all right.

Next time the Bush administration tells me something is "safe" I'll be sure to get a second opinion on that.
 

naddicott

Senior member
Jul 3, 2002
793
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This isn't the only time the White House has interfered with the normal functioning of the EPA in matters of public safety:

Report by E.P.A. Leaves Out Datat On Climate Change - June 19, 2003
...
Drafts of the report have been circulating for months, but a heavy round of rewriting and cutting by White House officials in late April raised protest among E.P.A. officials working on the report.

An April 29 memorandum circulated among staff members said that after the changes by White House officials, the section on climate "no longer accurately represents scientific consensus on climate change."

Another memorandum circulated at the same time said that the easiest course would be to accept the White House revisions but that to do so would taint the agency, because "E.P.A. will take responsibility and severe criticism from the science and environmental communities for poorly representing the science."

The changes were mainly made by the Council on Environmental Quality, although the Office of Management and Budget was also involved, several E.P.A. officials said. It is the second time in a year that the White House has sought to play down global warming in official documents.

Last September, an annual E.P.A. report on air pollution that for six years had contained a section on climate was released without one, and the decision to delete it was made by Bush administration appointees at the agency with White House approval.
...
Forcing the E.P.A. to omit important information on environmental dangers is not much better than telling them to lie about important health risks.
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
10,737
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I've been kicking around some thoughts about how the EPA could claim the site was "safe". My rationale is that despite 100+ story buildings (constructed in the 70s) were razed by tons of jet fuel encased in aluminum . . . one could reasonably assume the a lot of the toxic byproducts would float away from the site. Accordingly, the site could be considered not very dangerous. Since not very dangerous is really close to not dangerous (only one word off by my estimate) that means the site could be considered not dangerous which is synonymous with safe. Clearly, the EPA was acting on . . . best evidence.




EPA acting administrator Marianne Horinko has defended the agency, saying it used the best information it had available.
I wonder where they got their information . . .
The White House "convinced the EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones," Tinsley said. Among the information withheld was the potential health hazards of breathing asbestos, lead, concrete and pulverized glass, the report said.
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
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Looks like Whitman is going to be the fall person. I just watched an EPA egghead call Whitman a liar for her proclamations during Sept '01.
 

Miramonti

Lifer
Aug 26, 2000
28,650
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we need another congressional hearing to find out who in the bush admin applied the pressure.
 

DealMonkey

Lifer
Nov 25, 2001
13,137
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0
Originally posted by: HeroOfPellinor
Come on...there HAS to be a way to blame Bush for this. Think hard enough.
You do have a point, considering GWB ushered in a new era of unprecedented responsibility and accountability in American politics. As "CEO" of the country, the buck most likely stops with him in these kinds of scenarios. I guess I see what you mean: Bush shouldn't have tried to make the EPA lie just to ensure there would be no economic repercussions from the inevitable shut-down of Manhattan should the truth get out. I see why he did it, when you frame the dilemma in a choice between economic prosperity OR people's health. Thank god he chose the former. Phew.
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
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www.ShawCAD.com
Originally posted by: HeroOfPellinor
Come on...there HAS to be a way to blame Bush for this. Think hard enough.
Yep everything that happens in this nation is ALL Bush's direct responsibility;) ...it happened "under his watch"


This issue however needs to looked at ....IF someone from the admin forced the changes. But ultimately the EPA is responsible for it's own statements. These people are supposed to be Professionals who look at data - not look at political decisions.

CkG
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
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CkG . . . you must be kidding? Bushies (political hacks) put their grimey hands on everything . . . including things they know nothing about. Do you remember the EPA's global warming report that got *edited* in the White House? Whitman bailed b/c she got tired of lying. George Tenet must be hiding under a rock if he wasn't I'm sure he would be the fall guy for the lack of 'vetting' on the EPA report.
 

Allaamu

Member
Apr 15, 2003
185
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Anyone been to NY or is living in NY currently, before, or after 9/11? The air quality wasn't peachy anyway. I mean come on, I live in CA and the air quality here is not like Hawaii or Alaska. NY and CA are very industrial and the air quality will stink. Dirty air will be a normal part of life. What can you expect?
 

BaliBabyDoc

Lifer
Jan 20, 2001
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You don't understand . . . elevated particulate matter alone . . . for instance, the silica from the hundreds of thousands of tons of glass and insulation alone . . . can produce disease. There's very little doubt that particulate levels remained elevated at the WTC site for weeks. Which means smaller matter was likely elevated as well. The EPA (and this research group) essentially confirmed it by finding elevated levels weeks and months after 9/11.
 

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