White House Excludes EPA From Hurricane Response Task Force

By Risa Wechsler | September 6, 2005 7:41 am

From Inside EPA:

The White House has convened a Cabinet-level task force in the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina that does not include EPA, prompting a number
government watchdog groups to raise concerns that the exclusion may
reflect an effort to downplay the extent of environmental contamination
in the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast region.

President Bush announced Aug. 31 that the Red Cross and 10 federal
agencies, including the Small Business Administration and the Department
of Labor, but not EPA, are part of the “federal response” to the damage
caused by the hurricane.

[…]

One source with the government watchdog group OMB Watch says the
administration was “short sighted by not including [EPA] right away,”
saying it is likely that toxic material, human waste and other
contaminants released as as a result of the hurricane are polluting the
area and threatening public health. The source speculates that the White
House excluded EPA from the task force because of a fear that agency
staff may find politically damaging information, similar to what
happened in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, when EPA was critical of the
administration’s response to the environmental contamination caused by
the terrorist attacks.

Oh yeah, I forgot. This isn’t a time for politics.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Politics
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  • http://eskesthai.blogspot.com/2005/06/trigger.html Plato

    It is hard to remain neutral in terms of the political biase we might have?

    To see the distinctive evidence in terms of science and information, cannot be rejected, if these things are presented. It’s just the plain facts that leave a taste in ones mouth. Destroy’s our biases and leaves us with the idea, of what can be changed or what will needed to be changed in the future.

    I have witness this same rejection of science from agenda because of the affront it could cause to methods employed. These are good indicators, that in light of the science, the truth shall not be set free. Then of course, the idea of religious dogma, over sound judgement makes it’s way into our conversations, and all kinds of wonder about the basis of decisions amidst the public views.

    Is there a deeper root cause of such descisions that we are not privy too? Then it might be reduced to capitalistic valuation over top of loss of life? Can capitalistic valuation over ride socially dominated societies. You bet it can.

  • Anonymous

    I hear this is all EPA’s fault anyway…

    On Fox News, I just saw an official from Louisiana (I didn’t catch the name or office) blame the inadequacy of the levees on sport fishermen, whom he referred to as ENVIRONMENTALISTS. Apparently, ENVIRONMENTALISTS opposed strengthening the levees since it would have interfered with sport fishing! Get ready for your conservative backlash against the environment and other useless liberal priorities…

  • http://eskesthai.blogspot.com/2005/06/trigger.html Plato

    ….and on and on….a smoke screen.

    Science can be refuted from the original assessment?:)

    Just got to know where to begin, and not the other way around. Focus, and stop Latching on too more smoke and mirrors.

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  • Bob Rebert

    Where is the impact study for this? I’m concerned about the salamanders fragile ecosystem being destroyed by evil George!

  • thor

    Now, it’s not at all a bad thing in the world of framing to get people to conflate SPORTSMAN/FISHERMAN=ENVIROMENTALIST.

    This kind of thing plays pretty well with the western democrats. Getting this to catch on in the south would do wonders in the red states.

  • thor

    If you will recall, we went through similar things at 9/11.

    There were many reports of health risks at ground zero, such as massive airborne asbestos exposure, which were entirely swept under the rug.

    (And let’s not even mention the use of depleted uranium in Iraq)

    I don’t recall if the EPA was excluded from 9/11 operations.

  • slanted tom

    Don’t forget that the floodwaters in New Orleans are being pumped into Lake Ponchatrane and any contaminants will find their way into the Gulf of Mexico.
    Isn’t the Gulf already very polluted causing dead areas in some places?

  • http://www.math.ucdavis.edu/~greg/ Greg Kuperberg

    Even after the hurricane, there is an attitude in Washington that the environment is a Democrat.

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  • Frenkee

    The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico has often exceeded 60,000 km². It’s the main factor behind the exponentially increasing shark attacks.

    Those are mostly due to fertilisers, which nourish algae, which in turn consume all the dissolved oxygen, making areas deadly to fish. Adding poison to the mix might just restore the balance :p

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