Air Today . . . Gone Tomorrow Article|
9/11 cleanup urged: EPA
critics say toxic fumes contaminated boro
By Hugh Son, Daily News Staff Writer,
January 28, 2005
Despite the toxic plume that blanketed Brooklyn after the Sept. 11 attacks, the borough is
not included in a federal plan to clean up contaminated debris.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency's plan will first test downtown Manhattan
homes and offices for asbestos, silica, lead and other toxins, an EPA official said.
"The EPA fully recognizes some people would like us to go to Brooklyn now, but it's
really just a practical matter of, 'We had to start somewhere,'" the official said,
adding Brooklyn may be included in a later cleanup.
Critics said Brooklyn should be in the first round of voluntary cleanups, expected to
start in Manhattan as early as June.
"It's essential to investigate the possibility of remaining contamination in
Brooklyn," said David Newman, an environmental scientist on a World Trade Center
community advisory panel.
"It's just as probable that contaminants found their way to Brooklyn as it has to
parts of lower Manhattan."
Satellite photos taken after the attacks showed a murky cloud crossing the East River to
downtown Brooklyn, he said.
In November, the EPA released a draft of its extended cleanup plan, which would include
Manhattan up to Houston St. In 2002, the EPA cleaned 4000 apartments in Battery Park City
Under pressure from the panel, the EPA has now agreed to the expanded Manhattan cleanup -
but so far not in Brooklyn.
"Everyone in Brooklyn knows since Sept. 11 that the cloud of debris and toxins went
directly over Brooklyn, and the health impact in Brooklyn is just as great as in
Manhattan," said Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn Heights).
Rep. Major Owens blasted the EPA for ignoring the possible 9/11 contamination of Brooklyn
residents "because they have the wrong zip code."
If toxins are found in Manhattan, then the cleanup will be expanded to Brooklyn, the EPA
But officials from the panel were concerned that the EPA would never reach the second
"It's taken so long to get to where we are today, who knows if phase two will ever
happen," asked Catherine Hughes, a member of the WTC community panel.
The community advisory report also advised that the EPA widen the contaminant list to
include mercury and dioxin and give guarantees that the federal government will pay for
the costly cleanup.
FAIR USE NOTICE
This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been
specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my
efforts to advance understanding of democracy, economic, environmental, human rights,
political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. I believe this constitutes
a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US
Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,
the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational
Take me back to learn more