ISHN

Senate committee OK's EPA 9/11 actions

October 14, 2003
A Senate Environment and Public Works Committee report released Sept. 23 claims the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House did not act inappropriately in addressing public health concerns in New York City after 9/11. The committee¿s report contrasts an Aug. 22 EPA Inspector General¿s report that revealed EPA altered press releases to falsely reassure the public because of pressure from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

The committee report describes EPA¿s response as "phenomenal" and states that the agency exceeded its obligation to protect public health. The report acknowledges that the press releases reflected the coordinated views of EPA, CEQ and OSHA. However, it asserts that the CEQ edits were not inappropriate because the president directed the agency to coordinate decisions and information between EPA and OSHA.