[ This story follows up an earlier one, from May. –BL ]
As Republicans prepare to descend on New York City for their party Convention in less than two weeks, a leading environmental group is raising new questions about the Bush administration’s handling of the cleanup of downtown Manhattan in the days after 9/11.
A new report by the Sierra Club charges that the Bush administration was guilty of reckless disregard by failing to inform Ground Zero area workers, residents and rescuers of health risks from toxic air after the collapse of the World Trade Center.
The report titled “Air Pollution and Deception at Ground Zero” blames the thousands of cases of long-term respiratory illness among New Yorkers on the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency, saying they downplayed health risks, shirked their regulatory oversight roles and even urged financial district workers to return to their jobs prematurely.
The EPA called the report “a blatant attempt to use this tragedy for political gain.”
In addition to misleading the public about the health hazards of the smoke and dust at Ground Zero, the report finds that the Bush administration’s mistakes are now in danger of becoming policy for handling future disasters.