Trust the EPA? I Don’t

Sep 8, 2006 by

Here are two pertinent quotes from an interview with  Gina Solomon, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, and she joined us from New Orleans.

Living on Earth: New Orleans Health
“We have been comparing the numbers with the EPA’s own clean up standards that they normally use for waste sites or any other facility that might be contaminated. And we’ve discovered that the arsenic levels, lead levels, diesel fuel levels and levels of other sooty contaminants are all over numbers that would normally trigger clean up, or at least investigation. EPA has dismissed those results saying that the contamination likely was present before the hurricane. Well, first of all I’m not convinced that it’s ok just to dismiss results even if the contamination pre-existed the hurricane. And secondly, they don’t even have any evidence to say that those levels were high before the hurricane, especially for the arsenic levels, which are quite high in the city.”

Oh Look! Here is the expected 9-11 tie in near the end of he interview:

“The talk of the day down in New Orleans right now is about the 9/11 situation. I’m hearing person after person say, “We now know that the EPA wasn’t to be trusted in New York after 9/11, so why should we trust the EPA and what they’re telling us now after Katrina?” It seems ironic to people that EPA is announcing that the sediment is safe and that there are no toxic contaminants left behind from the flooding right at the same time that there’s information revealed that they gave a false all-clear in New York. So, there’s a lot of skepticism, a lot of mistrust, and EPA, frankly, has a long way to go to earn back people’s trust down here in New Orleans.”

9-11 was the first great and grievous failure of our government to protect its people. 8-29 was the next. Two great American cities, two abyssmal failures. Any question?

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