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NOLA's going to be unsafe for a decade because of toxic environment

The cover-up is clearly underway in this corrupt, immoral administration. That’s what a government expert on toxic waste says, and he claims the Bush Admin (big surprise) is working hard to make sure the public doesn’t know that NOLA will be uninhabitable for years. And low and behold, the news — again — is in the UK papers, not in our MSM (The Independent Online):

Toxic chemicals in the New Orleans flood waters will make the city unsafe for full human habitation for a decade, a US government official has told The Independent on Sunday. And, he added, the Bush administration is covering up the danger.

In an exclusive interview, Hugh Kaufman, an expert on toxic waste and responses to environmental disasters at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said the way the polluted water was being pumped out was increasing the danger to health.

The pollution was far worse than had been admitted, he said, because his agency was failing to take enough samples and was refusing to make public the results of those it had analysed. “Inept political hacks” running the clean-up will imperil the health of low-income migrant workers by getting them to do the work.

…Few people are better qualified to judge the extent of the problem. Mr Kaufman, who has been with the EPA since it was founded 35 years ago, helped to set up its hazardous waste programme. After serving as chief investigator to the EPA’s ombudsman, he is now senior policy analyst in its Office of Solid Wastes and Emergency Response. He said the clean-up needed to be “the most massive public works exercise ever done”, adding: “It will take 10 years to get everything up and running and safe.”

Mr Kaufman claimed the Bush administration was playing down the need for a clean-up: the EPA has not been included in the core White House group tackling the crisis. “Its budget has been cut and inept political hacks have been put in key positions,” Mr Kaufman said. “All the money for emergency response has gone to buy guns and cowboys – which don’t do anything when a hurricane hits. We were less prepared for this than we would have been on 10 September 2001.”

He said the water being pumped out of the city was not being tested for pollution and would damage Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi river, and endanger people using it downstream.

As you recall, the Bush stooges hustled Christine Todd Whitman out there on the street in front of the smoldering remains of the WTC to tell everyone the air was safe to breathe. We all know how that worked out — testing by NYC’s Department of Environmental Protection showed the air downtown had more than double the level of asbestos considered safe for humans.

That’s something to think about today, September 11.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding