Did the White House Alter EPA Statements on Ground Zero Safety?

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In summary, the White House changed EPA statements about safety at Ground Zero, and this caused some concern because they did not have enough data to make the statement.
  • #36
Imagine this headline.

Ground Zero Aftermath Deadly to New York Citizens Says EPA!

Now think about the possible effects of say a little asbestos on the few people working around the site (and most of them wore appropriate gear) as compared to the assured devastationg effect of a mass exodus of 14 million people from the city into the neighboring countryside and the looting, lawlessness, violent crime, economic havoc, and damage to local and national morale that such an exodus would entail.

NY (and the rest of the US) were pretty freaked out already. I don't think such information would have helped more than it hurt.

If you can justify that it was a real mistake (like a rocketing number of related life-threatening health problems) then perhaps its worth looking into. Otherwise I would have to admit that I am glad the current administration is in charge and not you guys.

One of these days someone will realize that you can measure an administration by its accomplishments and mistakes, not by hearsay, complaining, and disillusionment that they don't do things according to your misinformed and shortsighted ideals.
 
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  • #37
Originally posted by Ganshauk
If you can justify that it was a real mistake (like a rocketing number of related life-threatening health problems) then perhaps its worth looking into.
One thing I'll grant them is that that's not easy to do. Unfortunately it gives people a lot to complain about without providing evidence to back up the complaints.

A study such as what you suggest was just released about TMI, 20 years after it happened. Thats a long time for people to speculate based on nothing more than knee-jerk fear.

And that fear has done very real harm to this country. Fear of nuclear power based in part on TMI is partially responsible for most of our energy related problems right now: electric generation capacity, air pollution, energy costs (including current gas prices), etc.
 
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  • #38
Originally posted by Ganshauk
Imagine this headline.

Ground Zero Aftermath Deadly to New York Citizens Says EPA!

Now think about the possible effects of say a little asbestos on the few people working around the site (and most of them wore appropriate gear) as compared to the assured devastationg effect of a mass exodus of 14 million people from the city into the neighboring countryside and the looting, lawlessness, violent crime, economic havoc, and damage to local and national morale that such an exodus would entail.

I've seen some pretty sensational stuff, but to suggest that such a headline and resultant "exodus" would happen because the government decided to not lie is something that I don't buy. It's that view of two polar opposities as the only choices/possibilities that is a huge problem in this society and others. Something along the lines of "EPA Cautions New Yorkers about Ground Zero Air Quality" would be more likely.

Once again, you have surpassed me in not giving credit to most people. Even if such a headline did make print, to think that people would en masse leave the entire city (not just Ground Zero or a few neighboring blocks) is completely unfathomable to me. People have all breathed dirty car exhaust. Older people know that they've been in asbestos-filled buildings. People would not just get up and leave their jobs for a week or so to wait for the dust to settle.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm complaining that th CEQ took deliberate steps to paint a happy picture, rather than let the EPA do its job in an objective report. The real kicker is that the CEQ changes are not just softening of language, but actually lies, as they gave an assessment of the situation as if they had conducted adequate tests, which they did not.
 
  • #39
What gets me is the total pattern of lies from an administration that claimed it was a great departure from the 'lies' of the former administration(mostly made up by the liars in THIS administration , coincidentally)
 
  • #40
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  • #41
Okay, we go from an EPA report that it's safe for people to resume living and working in the vicinity of "Ground Zero" to reports of health problems among the 30-40k people who spent weeks to months rummaging around in the debris without adequate respiratory protection. Just for laughs, hit the remainder tables at your local bookstores for A Nation Challenged, the New York Times photo collection of 9-11 and the clean-up. Compare the gear of the people in the pit to that of the forensic teams raking debris at the landfill to get an idea of the various levels of appreciation of hazards exhibited.

Cutting torches and abrasive cut-off saws in an unventilated pit full of "mixed scrap?" For months? Through the third day looking for survivors? Yeah, dig like crazy and worry about consequences later. After that point, no one but a complete idiot goes near a mess like that without a full suit, such as shown at the landfill.

Three days of that dust and fume mix? Horrible cough, helluva headache, and dizziness, nausea, and fatigue for a couple weeks to a month. Weeks and months unprotected? That's OSHA, Port Authority, Unions, and a whole lot of people who know better "John Wayning it" for the cameras and their 15 minutes of fame.

It's criminal that there wasn't better supervision of the clean-up: day in the pit to four days off; "You will wear your mask gloves and hard hat beyond this point;" and "You will decontaminate your gear and clothing before leaving the area." However, that ain't EPA.
 
  • #42
Umm…do you remember this?

W. House Guts Global Warming Study

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2003

(CBS/AP) Angry environmentalists are denouncing the Bush administration for censoring the scientific evidence on global warming, reports CBS News Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts.

At issue is next week's huge government report on the state of the environment. Under heavy editing pressure from the White House, a lengthy chapter on climate change has been gutted…
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/07/24/politics/main564873.shtml

It’s not like it’s the first time the Bush administration has altered reports (or the first time the Bush administration has lied to the American people, or the first time the Bush administration has broken the law, or…)

People—be appalled that you are being deceived by your government—just frigging be appalled for once, and stop excusing and enabling them like parents of a bad child.
 
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  • #43
SOS, having reread all these posts including the one I made as AMP, I am appalled. I'm appalled that there appears to be members here who are either on Rove's payroll or who don't get it or who are depressongly apathetic. I worked down there close to Ground Zero. The smell was in the air as posted. there was a smog coming from the still smoldering debris. It has been barely five years and people are dying and getting debilitating illnesses. I am certain and you can be sure that the true number of individuals affected isn't being reported. As in this link:

http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/news...olitic/n_9384/

from Tsu. There are likely more that are going unreported.

I hope I don't come down with something now or later. I was breathing the air for the weeks that taint was in it. It didn't matter that people were not allowed near the site. The police could not rope off and restrain the air or smoke. Unfortunately the very thing Russ, Ganshauk tried to downplay is now happening, people are suffering or dying who were exposed.
 
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  • #44
Amp, I will pray that you will be spared any of these insidious illnesses. I'm sad that no one paid attention, cared, or gave a second thought to it when it was first discovered. So many, including some of the heros of 911, are now paying the price of this administrations 'problems'.
 
  • #45
russ_watters said:
You people really have never been on a construction site, have you?

If anyone were to be on a construction site they wouldn't be seeing any asbestos. it was banned in 1984. When an older building is being remodeled most states require extensive and expensive asbestos abatemant procedures ie protective clothing and negative air pressure to keep the airborn asbestos confined until it is filtered. All of it is then put in 50 gallon drums, sealed and taken to a toxic wate dump.

As far as dust in general it is PM10 that is hazardous. The particles are so small that when inhaled they stay in the lungs permanently.

PCB's were banned in 1979 and require the same HazMat handling as asbestos. If an older transformer leaks PCB's onto the ground the soil must be removed sealed in drums and taken to a toxic waste dump.

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration has ended a 25-year-old ban on the sale of land polluted with PCBs. The ban was intended to prevent hundreds of polluted sites from being redeveloped in ways that spread the toxin or raise public health risks.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-09-01-epa-usat_x.htm
 
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  • #46
Thank you for your concern Tsu.

quote by Edward:
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration has ended a 25-year-old ban on the sale of land polluted with PCBs. The ban was intended to prevent hundreds of polluted sites from being redeveloped in ways that spread the toxin or raise public health risks.

Now this (^^^) is premeditated (fill in the blank, hint: starts with M) _________, there is ample evidence of the toxic effects of PCBs, the reason for the ban in the first place and the guy still ends the ban! Its crimminal!
 
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  • #47
According to the information below the EPA has bugun it's own spin
cycle. Good God will the lies ever end?

Spin doctors are not scientists, but at EPA spin doctors are supervising scientists and setting research priorities,” stated PEER Program Director Rebecca Roose. “The problems at EPA run much deeper than a failure to communicate.”

This public relations effort is being financed out of funds that could otherwise be used for public health and environmental research. Last week PEER filed a complaint with EPA’s Office of Inspector General to review the legality and the propriety of using tax dollars on “corporate image” enhancement. In a letter dated July 22, 2005, the Office of Inspector General announced that it had begun a review.
http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=555
 
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  • #48
This was on PBS March 29, 2001:

BUSH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

GWEN IFILL: After barely more than 60 days in office, President Bush has placed a distinctive mark on U.S. environmental policy, rolling back campaign promises on clean air, reversing Clinton administration initiatives on drinking water, and promoting new oil exploration in previously protected regions…

…The president is also moving to roll back rules that ban development on 60 million acres of national forest, lift new limits on the amounts of arsenic allowed in drinking water, and undo new cleanup regulations for federal surface mines. Environmentalists are also worried that Bush administration officials will revoke actions that designated large areas of land as protected national monuments.
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/environment/jan-june01/bushenv_3-29.html

And then more recent (published June 8, 2004) for example:

Bush Versus the Environment
by Robert S. Devine

This book reviews:

1) a firsthand report on the rural poor of Pennsylvania's coal country, whose high incidence of asthma, lupus and renal cancer is related to emissions from the kind of coal-fired plant not required (through Bush's rollback of Clinton's policies) to install pollutant-reducing equipment.
2) a detailed study of the "bean counters" at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), who selectively used statistics to often underplay the adverse impact of weakened environmental protections. Along with an array of scientific advisory panels with proindustry, antiregulatory appointments, etc.
3) familiar areas of concern and conflict such as suppression of data on global warming.

Devine refers to Bush's behavior as an unblinking vision of "profit before protection."

I don’t agree with everything environmentalists cry about, and I do see reasons why the U.S. should not sign the Koyoto Protocol at this time, however there is no question that the Bush Presidency has been the most anti-environmental in the modern era.
 
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  • #50
the EPA obviously should not have published deliberately misleading information, even if people didn't get hurt. it puts the credibility of the organization at risk by doing so. how can a small community trust the EPA to publish an unbiased report regarding environmental pollution violations of a mine that could result in the closure of the mine if unrelated political groups amend these reports in response to their interest? it totally undermines the purpose of the organization

if they wanted people to get back to work ASAP they should have contacted engineers who would know a thing or two about the materials in the building that might become health hazards and offer some kind of protection against those things while claiming "these are the tests we've done and this is what we can conclude so far and this is what might be in the air. under these conditions we are offering all the necessary protection to people living in this area."

it might well be the best thing for America if everyone was under the impression the EPA was factual but as far as the people effected are concern, i expect they wouldn't care if its best for America if being uninformed put them at risk of cancer. the EPA's function is not to offer a service to the public relations department of an administration. EPA's function is not to try to minimize economic damage of terrorist attacks. the function of EPA is to 'research and set national standards for a variety of environmental programs and delegates to states responsibility for issuing permits, and monitoring and enforcing compliance'
 
  • #51
A government has the function of creating order in a society. From that perspective I can understand, but neither agree or disagree, with the motivation.

Truth is valuable but sometimes it is more opportunistic to distort it. :smile:

Just like, as is currently discussed in another topic, most people who bake a cake would not like to hear it is no good, so does the general population not like to hear really bad news about "their cherished society". Especially not after an attack on the US like on September 11.

In retrospect everybody is shocked of course, "the herd animals now all change orientation".
Typical, herd animal behavior, the collective does no want to know about bad things, unfair things, everything should be nice, equal, inclusive, helping, affirmative and above all there must be "green pastures", but then when the truth cannot hide any longer the collective reacts, it freezes in disbelief, it attempts to absorb the dissonance, it gets upset and demands a scapegoat to be offered.

Truth versus disorder and opportunism, what would you do if you were a responsible government?
 
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