Here are a couple of articles on the new report from the Inspector General of the EPA where he states that the White House directly changed the language in the press releases before they were releaased to the public around the time of 9/11.

Now there is still a huge amount of pollution, possibly including PCBs, Mercury, dioxins, asbestos, and others permeating the buildings across Lower Manhattan.

I actually understand why, from a National Security perspective, the nation-state would insist that it was okay to go to work. They needed the financial district to be rebuilt as soon as possible and didn’t want to scare people away from doing that.

But it is unconscionable to now have those people who may have sacrificed their long-term health for that effort, to not be taken care of. Apparently as many as 40% of the people affected do not have any healtchare coverage at all.

Here is a quote from one of the articles:

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I think also the most important thing I think out of the report that has not gotten a lot of attention is that the I.T.’s office looked at the current clean up that the E.P.A., finally after months and months of criticism and public outcry, agreed it was going to do a clean up of lower Manhattan, but decided only to do residential apartments and only those where people requested it. The inspector general’s report says quite clearly that this clean up is inadequate–that the only way that a real clean up of downtown Manhattan can happen is, number one, if buildings are cleaned up as systems. If you have a central air conditioning system and three or four apartments want to be cleaned up but the whole building is not cleaned up that pollution can travel through the HVAC system back into apartments that have been cleaned.

 The Inspector General is recommending that buildings be cleaned all together, all at once and also the inspector general is saying that the commercial office buildings have to be cleaned, not just residential buildings. And the E.P.A.’s response to that is that’s going to cost a lot of money. So the inspector general reminds E.P.A. in his rebuttal or her rebuttal that President Bush and Christie Todd Whitman originally said that no expense should be spared for the people of lower Manhattan. I think that is the battle that is still being waged by people like Congressman Jerry Nadler and Senator Hillary Clinton. I think they will have a press conference today about it–that the full clean up of lower Manhattan still has to be completed because if there were pollutants, and there were, that made their way into buildings that have not been properly cleaned, then that pollution and those toxic chemicals are still there, circulating in the air.

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