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EPA Preps to Test WTC-Area Buildings: Study to Determine Levels of Toxins from Twin Towers
By Amy Zimmer, Metro - New York Edition. May 11, 2005

LOWER MANHATTAN To determine the scope of city contamination by the World Trade Centers collapse, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a "draft final plan" last night to sample 150 buildings in Lower Manhattan and a portion of Brooklyn.

The program will examine levels of asbestos, lead and other toxins believed to have been spread by the plume of smoke from the Twin Towers. Based on these results, the agency will decide whether entire buildings need cleaning or if a broader sampling and cleanup effort is needed. The agency will recruit buildings to volunteer for the program once the plan is finalized, which it expects to do midsummer.

Many residents and environmental activists, however, are wary of the plan.

"It appears they are going to water down the results of the testing by averaging the results of buildings," said Suzanne Mattei, who heads New York Citys Sierra Club office.

Kimberly Flynn, spokesperson for 9/11 ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION, a community group of residents and public health advocates, is already planning to mobilize residents to demand changes at the EPA,s next meeting on May 24.

"We wont ask them to go back to the drawing board exactly, because we believe with critical changes this could be the building block of a credible plan," she said. "But this won't fly."

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