City News
City News
Crime File
Crime File
Daily Dish & Gossip
Daily Dish & Gossip
World & National Report
World & National Report
Politics
Politics
Ideas & Opinions
Ideas & Opinions
Columnists
Columnists
That's Odd!
That's Odd!
Today's Headlines
Today's Headlines
 
Baseball
Baseball
Football
Football
Basketball
Basketball
More Sports
More Sports
Columnists
Columnists
Sports Odds
Sports Odds
Fantasy Sports
Fantasy Sports
 
Yankees
Yankees
Mets
Mets
 
Giants
Giants
Jets
Jets
 
Knicks
Knicks
Nets
Nets
 
Television
Television
Columnists
Columnists
Movie Reviews
Movie Reviews
 
 
Advice
Advice
Food
Food
Big Town
Big Town
VNY
VNY
Health
Health
Travel
Travel
Technology
Technology
Horoscopes
Horoscopes
Gridlock Sam
Gridlock Sam
Weather
Weather
Lottery
Lottery
Comics
Comics
 
NIE
NIE
RSS Feeds
RSS Feeds
Grocery Coupons
Grocery Coupons
Home Delivery
Home Delivery
Advertising
Advertising
Contact Us
Contact Us
Classified
Classified
Auto Market
Auto Market
Death Notices
Death Notices
 
Search for  
in 
 

'Secret' 9/11 lies?

2002 exec order let EPA bury info on air hazards

With New Yorkers already fuming about reports that the feds downplayed the danger of Ground Zero dust, the White House gave EPA chief Christie Whitman the power to bury embarrassing documents by classifying them "secret."

"I hereby designate the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to classify information originally as 'Secret,'" states the executive order, which was signed by President Bush on May 6, 2002.

Although the stated reason for Bush's directive is to keep "national security information" from falling into enemy hands, advocates for thousands of ailing Ground Zero heroes are convinced there's a more sinister motive.

"I think the rationale behind this was to not let people know what they were potentially exposed to," said Joel Kupferman of the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project. "They're using the secrecy thing to cover up their malfeasance and past deceptions."

In a series of damning editorials, the Daily News has taken the EPA and Whitman to task for downplaying the dangers posed by toxic air and accused Mayor Bloomberg and city officials of stiffing 12,000 ailing Ground Zero workers.

Bloomberg has promised to look into the claims of the sick cops, firefighters and other Ground Zero heroes. But he has refused to acknowledge that the deaths of at least four first responders - and the illnesses of thousands more - were directly related to their toiling in The Pit.

Whitman, who resigned as EPA chief in May 2003, could not be reached for comment yesterday. In a Newsweek interview that year, she said the White House never told her to lie about the air quality.

However, Whitman conceded that she did not object when words of caution were edited out of her public statements.

"We didn't want to scare people," she said.

Asked last night about the executive order, a White House spokeswoman said she would have a response today.

Two days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Whitman declared, "There appear to be no significant levels of asbestos dust in the air in New York City." Then on Sept. 21, Whitman reported that "a host of potential contaminants are either not detectable" or at a level the EPA considered safe.

But on Oct. 26, 2001, the Daily News slapped "Toxic Zone" on the front page and warned that "toxic chemicals and metals" were poisoning lower Manhattan.

Mike McCormick, the medic who found the now-famous tattered Ground Zero flag - and who suffers from a host of respiratory problems - said he never believed the EPA's claims.

Originally published on July 28, 2006

Fresh stories hot off the site every day via RSS!
Have stories like this emailed right to your inbox!
Email this story
Printer-friendly version



Home | News & Views | Sports | Entertainment | Business |  Boroughs |  City Life |  Services


All contents 2006 Daily News, L.P.
Terms and Conditions of Use | Privacy Policy