Three WTC OSH-related Daily News articles
Nov. 20, 2001
Feds, City Ignore Asbestos Cleanup Rules, Says EPA Vet
For the complete article:
A veteran scientist at the federal Environmental Protection Agency is
charging that her agency and the city Health Department are ignoring federal
asbestos-abatement law in buildings around the World Trade Center disaster
In a scathing memo circulated last week within the agency, Cate Jenkins,
a 22-year EPA employee, charged that top brass have "effectively waived"
the EPA's "strict national regulations for removal and disposal of asbestos
contaminated dust" by recommending that residents and commercial building
managers in lower Manhattan follow the "extremely lenient (and arguably
illegal) asbestos guidelines of the New York City Department of Health."
In her memo, a copy of which was obtained by the Daily News, Jenkins
noted that the EPA's testing had identified at least 30 locations, some
five to seven blocks from Ground Zero, where asbestos levels in dust samples
were above the 1% "action level" cited in the federal Clean Air Act.
That law requires elaborate and strict procedures for asbestos removal
to be followed and the use of trained asbestos cleanup companies.
"We haven't waived any regulations," said Walter Mugdan, the agency's
regional counsel, who insisted Jenkins was misreading the law.
"She [Jenkins] assumes that they [the regulations] apply to the cleaning
up of dust in residential or office buildings in lower Manhattan.
"When they were written, they were never intended to apply to something
like a terrorist act. These regulations apply to owners and operators
of a facility who are carrying out a demolition or renovation. They were
never contemplated to apply to someone cleaning an apartment," Mugdan
"This is not an academic or scientific argument," Jenkins said yesterday.
"Our regulations are very specific. They don't allow you to do this. We've
had a breakdown where the federal EPA and the city are scrambling to get
everything back to normal, and they're ignoring the law."
Jenkins, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry and works for the agency's Washington-based
Hazardous Waste Identification Division in the Office of Solid Waste,
said she believes her colleagues "are afraid to say anything."
Some of the advice the Health Department has posted for people on how
to remove dust in their apartments, Jenkins said, is "ludicrous." One
example, from the department's Web site: "If curtains need to be taken
down, take them down slowly to keep dust from circulating."
"EPA regulations do not allow anyone to oversee and perform ... asbestos
removal, such as a resident in an apartment building or a building owner,"
Safety Guidelines Set For WTC Site Workers:
Dems Seeking Cleanup Czar
By GREG GITTRICH and FRANK LOMBARDI Daily News Staff Writers November
For the complete article:
Government and union leaders hammered out guidelines on safety for Ground
Zero workers yesterday as a group of elected officials urged Mayor Giuliani
to name an environmental cleanup czar for downtown.
"We want the workers to be safe," said Donna Miles, a spokeswoman for
the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
While not all the details of the agreement were available yesterday,
the pact will require workers to complete a health and safety training
"The safety standards are going to be strictly enforced," said Louis
Coletti, chairman of the Building Trades Employers' Association, which
represents 1,500 construction managers and subcontractors.
Meanwhile, a group of elected officials released a privately conducted
air quality study that found extremely high levels of asbestos in two
buildings near Ground Zero in mid-September.
Too Many Cooks?
The group, the Ground Zero Elected Officials Task Force, requested "the
designation of one city agency to oversee all environmental aspects of
the debris cleanup in lower Manhattan."
Asbestos Taints Workers' Refuge
By GREG GITTRICH Daily News Staff Writer
For the complete article:
Exhausted firefighters and cops their lungs hurting from the thick air
around the collapsed World Trade Center wandered into the nearby Embassy
Suites hotel on Sept. 11 looking for a place to sleep and something to
For the next five days, the evacuated hotel served as a refuge for dozens
of the city's Bravest and Finest and handfuls of volunteer rescue workers.
It may not have been the best place to go.
The still-closed hotel on the corner of North End Ave. and Vesey St.
is the only building in the area with warning signs posted on its windows:
"DANGER. ASBESTOS. CANCER AND LUNG DISEASE HAZARD. AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL
ONLY. RESPIRATORS AND PROTECTIVE CLOTHING ARE REQUIRED IN THIS AREA."
4/16/05: Spectre to Introduce
U.S. Asbestos Bill This Week
5/22/05: Individuals Injured
by Asbestos Exposure Oppose Specter's Trust Fund Legislation
10/16/05: Victim's Organizations
Form Asbestos Victims Coalition in Opposition to Asbestos Trust
11/17/05: White Lung Mourns Jose
12/18/05: Frist Introducing Asbestos
Bill in January
12/04/06: Asbestos Watch Newsletter:
Help Celebrate the 27th Anniversary of the WHITE LUNG ASSOCIATION
Asbestos Victim's Superfund
Asbestos Watch March 14, 2005 (Maryland
chapter of the White Lung Association meetings)
Directorate of Safety, Health,
and Environment (open letter)
Joe Oliver's Alerts:
Joe Oliver, National Board Member and former President of the
White Lung Association, has issued a call to all persons to help
gather evidence on the conspiracy by asbestos trade organizations
to suppress the knowledge about the hazards of asbestos exposure.
If you know anything about this horrific history or have documents
which can be used to further prove their heinous crimes, please
contact Joe Oliver, WLA, POB 1483, Balt. MD 21203.
The White Lung Association stands
in opposition to The Specter Bill (S.852)
S.1115: Bill to amend the Toxic Substances
Control Act to reduce the health risks posed by asbestos-containing
products - This bill is supported by the WLA.
Meet Mr. Asbestos
Proceedings of the Asbestos
Symposium for the Asian Countries - now available for purchase.
Senator Specter Breaks Promise to
Mesothelioma Patient and Research Community
Senate Judiciary Committee returns to
Mark-Up on May 11th: Proposed asbestos trust fund legislation
will further penalize victims of asbestos-caused diseases
May 2003, the Global Environment & Technology Foundation developed
the "Asbestos Strategies" report.
The latest issue is Spring 2005
The latest issue is January 4, 2007
December 17, 2000 is Asbestos Hazard Awareness Day
Articles & Publications:
Occupational Respiratory Diseases:
Asbestos Associated Disease -- Reprinted from: Maxcy-Rosenau
Public Health and Preventative Medicine 11th ed. (John
M. Last, Ed.) 1980, Appleton-Century-Crofts
Asbestos Victims Deserve Compensation
Not Betrayal: position release by the Board of Directors, White
Paul Safchuck May
Nicholson Dies at 70
Ray Sentes Brave
Fighter For Asbestos Victims