Former EPA Chief Christine Todd Whitman

Former EPA Boss Grilled on 9/11 Air Quality

Source: http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index.jsp?stid=203&aid=71110

Former EPA Boss Grilled on 9/11 Air Quality

June 25, 2007

Former EPA Chief Christine Todd Whitman faced fierce questioning in Washington Monday as she testified under oath about her declaration that the air was safe to breathe immediately following 9/11.

Whitman took the stand at the hearing, led by Manhattan Congressman Jerrold Nadler, to answer questions about the cleanup of the Trade Center site and on what she knew and when about the air quality in Lower Manhattan in the days and weeks following 9/11.

The former EPA head declared the air around the site to be safe to breathe just days after the attacks. But in the nearly six years since, independent government reports have been critical of the EPA's handling of the clean up, and studies have shown that a staggering 70 percent of first responders now have some degree of respiratory problems, leading some on the panel to denounce the EPA and its former chief for negligence.

Whitman said her assurances that the air was safe to breathe in Lower Manhattan in the days after the attacks were based on scientific evidence.