September 11 Cleanup

More than Half of WTC Emergency Workers Suffer Respiratory and Psychological Problems
September 11 Cleanup

US Newswire: "Findings released today in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report based on evaluation of data from 1,138 participants who voluntarily enrolled in the 'World Trade Center Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program' show that 'large numbers of workers and volunteers suffer persistent, substantial effects on their respiratory and psychological health as a result of their efforts. Only 21% of the workers and volunteers participating in the screening program, most of whom were police officers and utility and construction workers had appropriate respiratory protection September 11-14, 2001. During that period, exposures to dust, diesel exhaust, pulverized cement, glass fibers, asbestos, and other airborne contaminants were considered to be greatest." Thanks to Bush funding cuts, across the nation, first responders - as well as soldiers in Iraq - remain without adequate protective equipment.

Bush Seeks Coronation in NYC After Poisoning Its Air
September 11 Cleanup

"In a strongly worded and minutely detailed report, the Sierra Club charges the Bush administration with 'reckless disregard' for public health in the days and months following the collapse of the WTC. 'Many hundreds of people' are sick today, the report states, some debilitatingly so, because of the government's failure to alert the public to obvious health risks, including toxic smoke, asbestos and mercury at Ground Zero. The report concludes: 'Much of the exposure that caused these illnesses, sadly, could have been avoided if our federal government had responded to the crisis 'with proper concern for the people exposed.' The report is the most comprehensive in a litany of evidence suggesting Bush administration officials ignored warnings, misinterpreted data and issued a series of overly optimistic and unsupported statements about environmental conditions which endangered and in some cases ruined the health of heroic rescue workers and residents in and around Ground Zero."

WTC Dust Was Even More Toxic than New Yorkers Were Told
September 11 Cleanup

Newsweek reports on "tens of thousands who suffer debilitating health problems stemming from their exposure to contaminants in the air around the World Trade Center site-and it's not just rescue and recovery workers who are affected. A report published this month in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that pregnant women who were inside the Twin Towers or within a 10-block radius at the time of the attacks showed a twofold increase in the incidence of smaller than average infants compared to pregnant women in a demographically similar population who weren't in Manhattan on September 11. The findings are part of a comprehensive report believed to be the first to combine extensive environmental and medical data on the effects of the World Trade Center attacks; it draws a direct link between the contaminated air at and near the World Trade Center site and 'significant adverse effects on [the] health' of those who were in the area" - about which Christy Whitman's EPA LIED.

Whitman Lied and Thousands of New Yorkers Will Die
September 11 Cleanup

Mother Jones reports that Christie "Whitman's decision to eliminate [EPA Ombudsman Bob] Martin's office was hardly a surprise. Martin had a history of clashing with EPA brass... reaching its height when the ombudsman accused the EPA chief of a conflict of interest in relation to the agency's actions at a Denver Superfund project. And the former ombudsman has never suggested that Whitman closed his office just to suppress the Sept. 11 report. But a number of environmental health advocates and New York politicians argue that, by doing away with the ombudsman's office when it did, the Bush administration allowed a critical public health problem to remain unreported for nearly a year. 'If the ombudsman's office could have come out and said 'this is bullsh*t, it's not going to clean up the environment,' [EPA] would have come under the pressure a long time ago that they're beginning to come under now,' says Congressman Jerry Nadler, a Democrat who represents lower Manhattan."

Documents Show Sharp Dispute Took Place over 9/11 Air Quality Information
September 11 Cleanup

"Newly released government documents are finally providing Congressional Democrats with what they've been looking for: information about who was responsible for censoring data about Manhattan's air quality following the 9-11 attacks. Those documents reveal 'screaming telephone calls' between the U.S. EPA and the White House Council on Environmental Quality, as the council advocated for reassuring the public with calming language - and incomplete information. The White House council objected to the posting of raw air-quality data on the Internet and said the EPA should leave it to the city of New York to issue health advisories - an arrangement city health officials say they were unaware of. Tina Kreisher, then associate EPA administrator, said she 'felt extreme pressure' from the White House council to understate the severity of the problem."

WTC Fires Spewed Toxic Gases for Weeks
September 11 Cleanup

"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. The gases of toxic metals, acids and organics could penetrate deeply into the lungs of workers at Ground Zero, said the study by scientists at the University of California at Davis and released at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in New York. Lead study author Thomas Cahill, a professor of physics and engineering, said conditions would have been 'brutal' for workers at Ground Zero without respirators and slightly less so for those working or living in adjacent buildings. 'The debris pile acted like a chemical factory,' Cahill said. 'It cooked together the components and the buildings and their contents, including enormous numbers of computers, and gave off gases of toxic metals, acids and organics for at least six weeks.'"

EPA-Gate: Airborne 'Cancer-Causing Chemicals' Found in Apartment Building by WTC
September 11 Cleanup

"A building near ground zero still has dust from the World Trade Center and cancer-causing chemicals in the air after a cleanup overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency, an EPA veteran scientist said in a memo released Tuesday. U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler released Cate Jenkins' evaluation of the cleanup of 114 Liberty St., a building of nine apartments and more than two floors of commercial space that has remained vacant since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. Nadler, who has called for a federal investigation of the EPA's cleanup of buildings in lower Manhattan, said the agency was negligent and should return to clean more than 18,000 apartments and other buildings in the area. The EPA led cleanups in more than 4,000 homes under a voluntary program. Nadler has spoken out publicly a number of times against the EPA since an inspector general's report last month accused the agency of giving misleading assurances about air quality in the days after the trade center attack."

Hillary Clinton Will Block EPA Nominee Until Bush Takes Responsibility for His LIES About 9-11 Health Risks
September 11 Cleanup

"Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Saturday she planned to block Resident Bush's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency over an internal report saying the EPA misled New Yorkers about health risks after the World Trade Center attack. Clinton told The Associated Press she would place a hold on the nomination of Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, a procedural move that would prevent the full Senate from voting on his confirmation, though it does not stop committee hearings. 'This is an effort to get the administration that he wants to join to take responsibility,' she said. Clinton said she would lift the hold only if the White House answered her concerns about the EPA report. She said she held no personal grudge against Leavitt but hopes the hold to force the administration to answer questions. 'This is a very big issue,' she said. 'It not only has to do with the health and safety of the people I represent. It has to do with the credibility and trust of this entire government.'"

EPA-Gate: How BushMan LIED to New Yorkers
September 11 Cleanup

"Inspector General Nikki Tinsley, the EPA's top watchdog, reported that in the crucial days after 9/11, the White House changed EPA press releases to 'add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones.' - Sept. 13: The EPA draft release - never released to the public - said: EPA 'testing terrorized sites for environmental hazards.' The White House changed that to EPA 'reassures public about environmental hazards.' - Sept. 16: The EPA draft said: 'Recent samples of dust ... on Water St. show higher levels of asbestos.' The White House version: 'New samples confirm ... ambient air quality meets OSHA [government] standards' ... and 'is not a cause for public concern.' And the White House left out entirely the warning 'that air samples raise concerns for cleanup workers and office workers near Water St.' Why all these changes? Tinsley said, 'We were told that a desire to reopen Wall St. and national security concerns were the reasons for changing the press releases.'" Impeach Bush Now!

Bush to New Yorkers: Drop Dead
September 11 Cleanup

Harvey Wasserman writes, "George W. Bush has officially told the people of New York City that as far as he's concerned, they can drop dead. And thanks to his lies, many of them will... Bush has used the 9/11 'trifecta' to build his popularity, fund the military and tear up the Bill of Rights. But the GOP's cynical uses of the tragedy have gone to a new level. The White House directly interfered with planned EPA warnings about the toxic fallout from the World Trade Center explosions. It had 'competing considerations' that came before protecting the health of the people of New York. Among them were re-opening the stock exchange as quickly as possible, and limiting clean-up costs and liability claims. Because of Bush's lies, thousands of Americans will suffer cancers, emphysema, heart attack, stroke, birth defects, stillbirths, sterility, eye/ear/nose/throat disease and much more... The short-term deaths of three thousand people will be dwarfed over the long term by the lethal fallout."

EPA-Gate: Whitman Denies Orders To Lie
September 11 Cleanup

"Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Christine Todd Whitman denied that she was told to lie about concerns over health risks at ground zero in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. Whitman has recently been under scrutiny from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rep. Jerrold Nadler for allowing the EPA statements to be filtered through the White House and screened by the Council on Environmental Quality. A report written by the EPA inspector general says Whitman assured the public that the air was safe to breathe before tests were conclusive. Whitman told Newsweek in the Sept. 8 edition that she did not object to the White House editing out cautionary notes from EPA scientists. 'We didn't want to scare people,' she said, adding that she felt the public was not harmed by the White House decision to use reassurances about the level of air quality right after the attack. 'We were not told to lie.'" Christie, are you confessing that YOU are the Liar-in-Chief?

EPA-Gate: Sen. Clinton Calls for Hearings on EPA's 9/11 Report
September 11 Cleanup

"Hillary Rodham Clinton called Tuesday for Senate hearings on a recently released Environmental Protection Agency inspector general's report that says the agency prematurely asserted that the air was safe to breathe after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. 'I don't think any of us ever expected to find out ... that our government would knowingly deceive us about something as sacred as the air we breathe, outdoors and indoors,' she said in a speech on the steps of City Hall. 'They knew and they didn't tell us the truth, and the White House told them not to tell us the truth,' Clinton said, adding that she wants to find out who was responsible for pressuring the EPA." We can just hear the chorus of response by the Busheviks, Limbaugh et al: "Hillary's being partisan -- she's just attacking Bush for political gain. This is the woman who had Vince Foster killed after all." If a Republican rapes you and you're not a Republican, will his defenders accuse you of being "partisan"?

Bush's EPA-Gate: Clinton and Lieberman ask Bush to Explain Incomplete Information from EPA
September 11 Cleanup

WashPost reports: "In a sharply worded letter to Resident Bush, Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.) yesterday demanded to know why New Yorkers were given incomplete information about the potential dangers from the polluted air caused by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. Clinton and Lieberman also asked Bush to take immediate action to ensure that the air in Lower Manhattan is safe to breathe. 'If the allegations contained in the Inspector General's report are true, as they appear to be, then the conduct of this White House with regard to this issue was galling and beyond comprehension,' the Clinton-Lieberman letter said. 'For the EPA to have provided anything but their best professional advice . . . is inexcusable; for the White House to have edited out that advice -- including information regarding the heightened risks that the air pollution might pose for young children -- is nothing but malfeasance.'"

White House Pressured EPA Not To Warn Public about Health Effects of 9/11
September 11 Cleanup

"In the days and weeks following the collapse of the World Trade Center, the White House pressured the Environmental Protection Agency not to warn the public about the potential health effects and to not issue guidelines for the public about cleaning apartments and offices. That is the conclusion of a yet-to-be-released investigation by the EPA's inspector general, according to a report in The New York Times. The report goes on to say the White House's handling of situation was influenced strongly by its desire to see the stock markets quickly reopen on Wall Street. The report reads: 'As a result of the White House C.E.Q.'s influence, guidance for cleaning indoor spaces and information about the potential health effects from WSTC debris were not included in the EPA's issued press releases. In addition, based on C.E.Q.'s influence, reassuring information was added to at least one press release and cautionary information was deleted from EPA's draft version of that press release.'"