# White House changes EPA reports

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White House changes EPA reports!

From MSNBC.com

"Inspector general says
White House changed EPA statements about
safety at Ground Zero"

http://msnbc.com/news/961134.asp?0cv=CA01

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Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
kat
You may be interested to read the actual report from the office of the inspectors general, as opposed to be told what it says.

Gold Member
Originally posted by kat
You may be interested to read the actual report from the office of the inspectors general, as opposed to be told what it says.

Quoted from EPA's Response (kat's link):
"Furthermore, the White House Council on Environmental Quality influenced, through the collaboration process, the information that EPA communicated to the public through it's early press releases when it convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones."

Hmm...sound a tad bit UNETHICAL to me.

The reason:
[Inspector General Nikki] "Tinsley said, “We were told that a desire to reopen Wall Street and national security concerns were the reasons for changing the press releases.”"

Not a good enough reason, IMHO.

(and WHAT national security concerns??)

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Originally posted by kat
You may be interested to read the actual report from the office of the inspectors general, as opposed to be told what it says.

EPA’s early public statements following the collapse of the WTC towers reassured the public regarding the safety of the air outside the Ground Zero area. However, when EPA made a September 18 announcement that the air was “safe” to breathe, it did not have sufficient data and analyses to make such a blanket statement. At that time, air monitoring data was lacking for several pollutants of
concern, including particulate matter and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Furthermore, The White House Council on Environmental Quality influenced, through the collaboration process, the information that EPA communicated to the public through its early press releases when it convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones.
- P5

As a result of the White House CEQ’s influence, guidance for cleaning indoor spaces and information about the potential health effects from WTC debris were not included in EPA’s issued press releases.
- P14

EPA’s early statements reassured the public regarding the safety of the air outside the Ground Zero perimeter area. However, when EPA made a September 18 announcement that the air was “safe” to breathe, the Agency did not have
sufficient data and analyses to make the statement. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) influenced, through the collaboration process, the information that EPA communicated to the public through its early press releases when it convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones. Conclusions from an EPA draft risk evaluation completed over a year after the
attacks have tended to support EPA’s statements about long-term health effects when all necessary qualifications are considered. However, EPA’s statements about air quality did not contain these qualifications. (Details on indoor air are in Chapter 3.)
- p17

We were unable to identify any EPA official who claimed ownership of EPA’s WTC press releases issued in September and early October 2001. When we asked the EPA Chief of Staff whether she could claim ownership of EPA’s early WTC press releases, she replied that she was not able to do so “because the ownership was joint ownership between EPA and the White House,” and that “final approval came from the White House.” She also told us that other considerations, such as
the desire to reopen Wall Street and national security concerns, were considered when preparing EPA’s early press releases. The OCEMR Associate Administrator said of the September 16 release: “I did not feel like it was my press release.”
- P 27

As discussed previously in this report, EPA officials were not the sole determiners of the information that was included in its press releases, nor the information that was excluded. This was demonstrated by the EPA OCEMR Associate Administrator’s statement that residential cleaning instructions were deleted from
a draft press release by the CEQ contact official. The extent of outside influence was further illustrated by the statement from the EPA Administrator’s Chief of Staff that she could not claim ownership of EPA’s early WTC press releases because “the ownership was joint ownership between EPA and the White House.” Efficient.
- P76

Limitations: Our review of the process and the support for information in EPA press releases on air quality was limited since CEQ officials declined to meet with us to discuss their role in the preparation of press releases. Our written request for an interview was declined by a White House legal counselor, who noted there were “institutional concerns about interviewing White House employees.” Further, there was a lack of documentation in general regarding preparation of press releases.
- P 84

That helps clear things up.

this is one of those things that's shocking but not surprising. What ticks me off is that it was the white house that dictated the EPA's lie, according to NBC news. So people who lived around the towers will die sooner than they would've, in return for the city rebuilding quickly.
"Mr. Bush has a record" said President Clinton. He's right, about both Bushes. Jr. relaxed environmental rules in Texas in return for campaign contributions from oil & power companies. The result was obvious - dead poor people and drunk rich people.

The government, and this administration especially, has a tendency to see everything in political terms, including scientific reports. If a report doesn't match its policy goals, a report is edited or ignored. The truth about condom use and abortion is obscured because fundamentalists are against it. The truth about the environment and pollution is disregarded because it might cut into corporate profits.
Hell, look how much money the government wastes on researching 'alternative' medical quacks, and that started under Clinton!

clearly reveals a near total disregard for public safety (ie:National Security-isnt't that synonymous with public safety) bordering on disdain for for the peoples of the US. Quietly, secretly where possible the GWB admin has either relaxed or eliminated laws, regulations and/or policies designed and put in place to protect the US public from the corporate polluters and enviornmental desecrators.
How can allowing land contaminated with PCBs or other dangerous chemicals to be sold for development be in the public interest? And adding insult to injury not even bothering to at least attempt to clean/decontaminate it.

kat
Ivan, Thanks for posting the quotes, I was afraid that people wouldn't read the link but didn't quite have the patience to do that myself.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Originally posted by kat
Ivan, Thanks for posting the quotes, I was afraid that people wouldn't read the link but didn't quite have the patience to do that myself.

Hey if I have a good excuse to goof off instead of work, I'll take it every time.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member

Originally posted by amp
disdain for for the peoples of the US.

That pretty much sums up what I am convinced is true of the Bush's attitude towards the American people; and the world for that matter. I have always believed George Sr. to be a heartless and pure politician; and now his much less intelligent son just follows the leader. I can't even begin to express how much anger I feel towards this family. The damages that they have caused this country I think are virtually unparalleled in US history.

The sad thing is, I think the Bush's truly see themselves as loyal Americans in the deepest sense. Also, many people obviously feel that the Bush’s care about them and this country. I say the devil always comes dressed as a gentleman.

This is my opinion. I make my reasons why known one at a time as in this thread.

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Mentor
Science is always a whipping boy for both sides equally for the simple reason that people aren't scientifically literate enough to understand the issues. My biggest pet peve on this is the downfall of nuclear power simply because its a political hot potato and regardless of the real scientific issues (which heavily support nuclear power).

That being said, the dangers in the area around ground zero (not including AT ground zero itself) soon after the attack appear to have been somewhere between light and nonexistant. Getting the country back up and running quickly WAS in the best interest of the country.

I expect that someone will do a study 20 years from now on cancer rates around ground zero and find (like at TMI) that there was no statistically significant change.

Gold Member
Originally posted by russ_watters
Science is always a whipping boy for both sides equally for the simple reason that people aren't scientifically literate enough to understand the issues. My biggest pet peve on this is the downfall of nuclear power simply because its a political hot potato and regardless of the real scientific issues (which heavily support nuclear power).

That being said, the dangers in the area around ground zero (not including AT ground zero itself) soon after the attack appear to have been somewhere between light and nonexistant. Getting the country back up and running quickly WAS in the best interest of the country.

I expect that someone will do a study 20 years from now on cancer rates around ground zero and find (like at TMI) that there was no statistically significant change.

russ - did you not read THIS?:
In an exclusive interview, Inspector General Tinsley, the EPA’s top watchdog, tells NBC News the agency simply did not have sufficient data to justify such a reassurance.
In fact, a new report by Tinsley’s office says, at the time, more than 25 percent of dust samples collected before Sept. 18 showed unsafe levels of asbestos. And the EPA had no test results at all on PCBs, dioxins or particulates in the air that can cause respiratory problems.
Tinsley said, “The EPA did not give the people of New York complete information. It had put together press releases that were more informative than those that it ultimately released.”

So, WHAT!? We're going to save Iraq ('s OIL!), but to hell with the people and children in NY? Sweet!

Mentor
Originally posted by Tsunami
russ - did you not read THIS?:
No offense, but you prove my point. "Insufficient data" does not mean there is a real problem, it means there COULD be a problem. And high levels of asbestos (and many other things) are not harmful unless you are exposed long term.

After 9/11 the US economy ground to a halt. That quickly leads to economic collapse. So when you weigh a possibility against a certainty its better to address the certainty.

Asbestos is one of the scientific whipping boy's I'm talking about. Asbestos is harmful if inhaled. That means its harmful to the people who install it and the people who remove it but not people who are in a building that has asbestos in it. Its a good idea to stop using it, but removing it puts MORE asbestos into the air than if it were just left in place.

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Gold Member
Originally posted by russ_watters
[B Asbestos is harmful if inhaled. That means its harmful to the people who install it and the people who remove it but not people who are in a building that has asbestos in it. Its a good idea to stop using it, but removing it puts MORE asbestos into the air than if it were just left in place. [/B]

No offense, but YOU prove MY point. So, you don't think two jumbo jets crashing into and collapsing two skyscrapers, taking out numerous buildings surrounding them, filling the air with particulate matter for MANY weeks after the event (including asbestos, and other unhealthful particulates)...

"In fact, a new report by Tinsley’s office says, at the time, more than 25 percent of dust samples collected before Sept. 18 showed unsafe levels of asbestos. And the EPA had no test results at all on PCBs, dioxins or particulates in the air that can cause respiratory problems."

...constitutes a healthy atmosphere?

Yeah, getting Wall Street going was a LOT more important than waiting for test results on the above mentioned "PCB's, dioxins or particulates in the air that can cause respiratory problems." But they DID have test results on asbestos that showed unsafe levels. Would you have sent YOUR family back in there with that information? I sure as heck wouldn't! If your president can hide in a jet for hours after the event and 'run the country', why couldn't Wall Street have operated elsewhere? Because your president doesn't give a rats a about the people of NYC - he wants his rich buddies getting richer on Wall Street and poop on the average American. (That would be you be YOU and ME!) The man and his administration are SCUMBUCKETS. (Actually, MUCH better words come to mind, but...) Wait! These are allowed: SLIMY, LYING, THEIVING, YELLOW-BELLIED...(I think you get my drift.)

On the Spt 3 2003 NBC News the report said that the white-house changed the EPA report specifically. The EPA initial report showed a significant level of pollutants in both the air and water, the white-house version states that pollution (asbestos, specifically) levels are below OSHA standards.
OSHA standards are obviously much higher than EPA baseline standards, so the white-house definitely lied.

Dissident Dan
They lied when they gave assurances that they had no evidence to back up. People expect that when the EPA tells them that everything is OK, the EPA has conducted sufficient tests to determine this. However, they didn't, and the White House's muscle forced them to make everything sound rosy, anyway.

Greetings !

I can't say I quite understand the problem here or
the attitude. It is quite reasonable for the government
to speed things up in this case. Paralyzing a major
part of Manhatan and keeping people out of their
homes and workplaces in such a location for a prolonged
period of time would be catastrophic financialy for the
entire country, would require major government sponsored
programs and be a further blow to the nation's moral

Hell, it doesn't take an expert, like those in the report,
to realize there's nothing really dangerous about being
near the area after a week ! I bet the average level
of air polution in Manhatan is much higher than even
the most pessimistic estimates about air polution at ground
zero after a week.

Live long and prosper.

Dissident Dan
Originally posted by drag
I can't say I quite understand the problem here or
the attitude. It is quite reasonable for the government
to speed things up in this case.

You can't understand that we have a problem with the government lying?

There were very real health risks, as that case of the woman diagnosed with bronchitis illustrates.

I would've cost a little more for plastic suits and dust masks, but arent human lives worth it? Sheesh.
I bet the average level of air polution in Manhatan is much higher than even the most pessimistic estimates about air polution at ground zero after a week.
No, or else the EPA documents would not have been changed by the white-house.

Gold Member
"... residential cleaning instructions were deleted from a draft press release by the CEQ contact official." - PG 27

Why in the world would the White House CEQ [Council on Environmental Quality] DO something like that?

"Our written request for an interview was declined by a White House legal counselor, who noted there were “institutional concerns about interviewing White House employees.” - PG 76

INSTITUTIONAL CONCERNS? What? Like an employee might slip up and tell the truth?

Mentor
Originally posted by Tsunami
Yeah, getting Wall Street going was a LOT more important than waiting for test results ...
It was.

Tsunami, reactions like yours are exactly why this kind of report is suppressed. You see the word "risk" and think it means something that it does not. The level of risk talked about in the provided papers was extremely low.
There were very real health risks, as that case of the woman diagnosed with bronchitis illustrates.
Dan, I don't think I need to tell you that one case of bronchitis is not scientific evidence of anything. You cannot assume cause and effect. A real statistical analysis will need to be done.

Gold Member
Originally posted by russ_watters
Tsunami, reactions like yours are exactly why this kind of report is suppressed. You see the word "risk" and think it means something that it does not. The level of risk talked about in the provided papers was extremely low.

Have you ever seen anyone die a miserable death from complications of asbestosis? Or from lung cancer secondary to exposures to other known carcinogens like PCBs? I have. Hundreds of people. They cough up copious amounts of blood and globs of mucous of various colors – yellow, green , brown, black… They gasp for breath even as they BEG you to let them die. So until you have dealt with that kind of thing, you have no right to talk about 'exposure levels being extremely low'. The EPA surely didn't think they were low, or they wouldn't have recommended what they did. These are the same recommendations your president decided that they didn't need to know.

And you didn't answer my question - would you have sent YOUR family back in there if you had known what the EPA was recommending? Remember, EPA stands for Environmental PROTECTION Agency. They are there to protect us with their knowledge of science and medicine and help reduce risks to our health - which they tried very hard to do in their report. But, your president changed that information and lied to them. But that's OK with you because it's not YOUR health that your president has put in jeopardy. Right?

Have a nice day, russ. Breathe easy.

Ha ! Ha !
Some of you people are really are really funny.
Hell, people leave near active volcanoes with
constant high levels of dust in the air and
desert populations always endure a large amount of
sand storms. So what ?! So they shouldn't live there ?
So it's a lot worse than tens of phousands of vehicles
releasing their exhaust gases amongst skyscrapers ?
What the hell is so God damn dangerous about two
large collapsed buildings after a WEEK that it would
be worth costing the nation billions per day and keep
people out of their homes ?! It doesn't take a
god damn NASA style huge science report to realize there's
nothing so horrible here, aspecialy when you also need
to reassure people after an attack like that - in a addition
to the above reasons. Jesus, you'd think it's an exposed
fused nuclear reactor we're talking about ! Haven't
you ever dusted ?

Live long and prosper.

Mentor
Originally posted by drag
Some of you people are really are really funny.
Dunno drag, maybe some people have never seen a building implosion before.

And it is NOT OK for my government to lie to me and put my health and that of my family and friends in jeopardy.
Sorry Tsunami, but you simply cannot handle the truth. It appears to be half that you don't understand it and half that you simply overreact to it (granted that could be considered two sides to the same coin). That's par for the course among the general public and that's exactly why you and the rest of the public (me included) shouldn't be told these things.

Jeez, have you ever read the label on a bottle of amonia or a bathroom cleaser? They must scare the hell out of you.
And you didn't answer my question - would you have sent YOUR family back in there if you had known what the EPA was recommending?
I most certainly would have.

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Gold Member
Originally posted by russ_watters
Sorry Tsunami, but you simply cannot handle the truth.
No, russ. I handle the truth very well. But first I need to be given the truth to make an informed decision. What I can't handle are lying sacks of sh*t in the white house endangering the general public for the sake of the almighty buck.

Jeez, have you ever read the label on a bottle of amonia or a bathroom cleaser? They must scare the hell out of you.
Not at all. I know how to use them. Just, please, use what little intelligence you seem to have and don't mix the two. Let me tell you what your president and his administration won't... (I know that you prefer not to know this, but I feel a sense of responsibility here - unlike many 'others') it's DANGEROUS - with definate risk to your health.

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Dissident Dan
I have a problem with the government lying. It's as simple as that.

Arguing amongst ourselves about what the real level of danger was is irrelevant. The government acted like it knew what it was talking about when it didn't have any data. That is the problem.

beside the idea that the EPA should be a separate institution from the white-house, the public ought to have factual data - that's what we all pay for when we pay our taxes.
I most certainly would have.
Come on, we're not talking about inlaws here.

Mentor
Come on, we're not talking about inlaws here.
And I'd buy a house next to TMI if I had a job near there too.

Just out of curiosity, any smokers in here?

Dissident Dan
I most definitely have never smoked.

I don't know what you're referring to by "TMI", but if you want to live in an area that poses health risks, that's your perogative. However, if someone doesn't, and it lied to, that is another thing.

Mentor
TMI=Three Mile Island.

Yeah, but the pollution at ground zero could have been WORSE than the conditions at TMI, but nobody would ever know because the white-house told the EPA to LIE! The construction workers who cleaned up ground zero in most cases wore protective masks and suits, but what about those people who lived near it? They could've been told of the danger by the EPA. Nothing would change except those guys would live longer. What it looks like is - the white-house didn't want to have to deal with telling people some bad news, so it made up some stories that sounded good at the time. Certainly it was important to clean up ground zero quickly, but why not inform the public about the danger?

Dissident Dan
If you remember the visuals, there was dust and smoke everywhere on 9/11. If you think that that just all mysteriously disappeared, then you are incorrect. In fact, I saw on the news people claiming that like a week afterward, you could still smell and taste the ash in the air.

Mentor
Originally posted by Dissident Dan
In fact, I saw on the news people claiming that like a week afterward, you could still smell and taste the ash in the air.
Which is fine because no one except rescue workers were allowed within about a mile of it for like a week afterward.
Yeah, but the pollution at ground zero could have been WORSE than the conditions at TMI
What do you think was in that dust? About only thing worse than uranium in toxicity is plutonium. I don't think there was any plutonium stored in the WTC.

You people really have never been on a construction site, have you?

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Dissident Dan
Originally posted by russ_watters

You people really have never been on a construction site, have you?

There is always construction going on in Florida. They are building a walgreens and something else right across the street from me. Sometimes they put some pretty nasty crap into the air.