Shortly after 9/11, Christine Whitman lied to emergency workers about the air quality around the smoking remains of the World Trade Center. Political pressure, the kind that forces Surgeon Generals to mention Bush three times on every page of every speech, demanded that the EPA make the situation sound good even if it was not. Maybe some day we can count how many heroic Americans sickened and died from crippling respiratory ailments because of bogus EPA reassurances.
Really, I have no idea why anybody would expect Michael “heckuva job” Brown’s old department, FEMA, to do a better job than Whitman’s EPA.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has suppressed warnings from its own Gulf coast field workers since the middle of 2006 about suspected health problems that may be linked to elevated levels of formaldehyde gas released in FEMA-provided trailers, lawmakers said today.
At a hearing this morning of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, investigators released internal e-mails indicating that FEMA lawyers rejected environmental testing out of fear that the agency would then become legally liable if health problems emerged among as many as 120,000 families displaced by Hurricane Katrina who lived in trailers.
No doubt unemployed, uninsured Katrina refugees will appreciate FEMA’s asscovering when parents, spouses and kids die from lack of access to treatments they can’t afford.