Monday, June 25, 2007
Ex-EPA Chief Bombarded With Boos For 9/11 Safety Questions
The woman who headed up the EPA during the Sept.11th disaster and the aftermath was hit by boos and accusations about her assurances that the workers onsite were able to breathe safely. She was confronted by critics who say that the area was not at all safe for workers who were trying to save as many survivors as possible. Then they were working to clean up and to unearth bodies in the aftermath of the most horrendous disaster since Pearl Harbor's attack by the Japanese.
For three hours, the former EPA head, Christie Whitman, faced charges by the chairman of the meeting, Rep. Jerrold Nadler and her critics who stated that the statements that the area around the World Trade Center was safe to work in were giving people a false sense of security when, in fact, it was quite dangerous to be there breathing without safety equipment. The confrontation became quite heated at times.
Whitman did maintain that the workers were warned to use respirators while in the rest of Manhattan it was safe to live and breath the air.
"There are indeed people to blame. They are the terrorists who attacked the United States, not the men and women at all levels of government who worked heroically to protect and defend this country," Whitman said.
However, since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center government reviews of the EPA actions are critical and state that they failed in many ways. For instance, a study of the ground zero rescue workers shows that fully 70 percent of them have some sort of respiratory illness. In a separate study they found that rescue workers and firefighters came down with sarcoidosis, a lung-scarring disease, at five times as high as in previous years.
Whitman continues to say that what she has stated about the days after the attacks was that ground zero needed the respirators but that away from the site, it was possible to get back into normal living.
Categories: Just Plain Weird