Thursday, November 08, 2007

FEMA Wont Go Near Toxic Trailers Themselves

By Cernig

Is it a requirement for being a FEMA senior manager that you have an empathy bypass as well as a commonsensectomy?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is barring employees from entering thousands of stored travel trailers over concerns about hazardous fumes, while more than 48,000 other trailers continue to be used by hurricane victims in Louisiana and Mississippi.

FEMA is advising employees not to enter any of the roughly 70,000 trailers in storage areas across the country, but the directive does not apply to other trailers still in use, agency spokeswoman Mary Margaret Walker said Thursday.

"It's common knowledge that formaldehyde emission levels rise when they are closed in the heat and humidity without any ventilation," Walker said.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., accused FEMA of using a double standard, and said it "defies logic" that occupied trailers are safer than those in storage.

"I don't really buy that argument," she said in an interview. "It makes no sense, in that most of these (occupied) trailers are closed up and locked during the day."

Many trailer occupants have asked to be moved because of concerns about formaldehyde contamination, and hundreds are suing trailer manufacturers, accusing the companies of jeopardizing their health by providing FEMA with poorly constructed campers.

Last week, FEMA indefinitely postponed plans to test for formaldehyde levels in the air inside occupied trailers, saying it needed more time to prepare.
Incredible. It's OK for poor folks but heaven forfend the employees of FEMA should have to breath carcenogenic poison too!

All this, of course, utterly unneccesary since there were plenty of vacant actual houses and apartments for rent in the South at the time of Katrina which could have housed refugees safely. Instead, though, the Republicans arranged another corporate price-gouging welfare scheme to enrich an industry that gives 90% of its campaign donations to their party. As it was, $85 million bucks worth of trailers sat unused in a field as they became more toxic every day. But the Republicans hate "big gub'mint", oh yeah.

(Hat Tip - Kat)

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