E-Newsletter: On the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, A Monument for Those Affected by Ground Zero Toxins

Sep 13, 2016 Issues: 9/11 Attacks, New York and Our Neighborhoods

 On the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, A Monument for Those Affected by Ground Zero Toxins


Rep. Nadler on the steps of the U.S. Capitol during 9/11 rememberance.

As we memorialize those who died as a result of the attacks on September 11th, 2001, we must also remember the victims still with us, and those who have died from exposure to deadly toxins in the days, weeks, months, and years that followed. Since 9/11, many first responders and survivors have been diagnosed with serious health issues due to their exposure to the toxins in Lower Manhattan. Working with Reps. Maloney and King, we successfully passed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and on Friday called for for a monument to honor the sacrifice of those affected by Ground Zero toxins. On Sunday, the 15th anniversary of 9/11, Governor Cuomo announced plans to create such a monument, which will be another step in our efforts to ensure that we ‘Never Forget.’

EPA Administrator Whitman Apologizes Over False 9/11 Air Quality Assurances

Former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christine Todd Whitman’s statements about air quality in the days and weeks after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks falsely assured people in New York that the air was safe to breathe.

However, as everyone there knew, in reality, the air was full of deadly toxins. As a result, thousands of first responders, area workers, residents, and students have become sick and many have died in the years since.

Finally, after fifteen years, Mrs. Whitman has apologized for her false statements!

As we detailed in a White Paper soon after the attacks, and consistently demonstrated in the decade-long fight for justice, Mrs. Whitman made these statements in direct contradiction of data the EPA possessed at the time, and she allowed the White House to doctor press releases to downplay the extent of the contamination. I fought side-by-side with then Senator Hillary Clinton as we held hearings and press conferences to make sure the truth got out and ensured that we held the government to account for its harmful actions.

I am hopeful that Mrs. Whitman's statement—which is, of course, cold comfort to the victims and their families—puts to rest any question of the Bush Administration's culpability during this horrific event, and I hope it is a searing lesson for any and all government officials who, God forbid, should face something similar in the future. The government must tell the truth and protect its citizenry from harm.

Passage of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act

I am proud to have been the lead Democratic sponsor of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House of Representatives last Friday. JASTA makes it clear that foreign states may be brought to justice for aiding and abetting acts of terrorism that occur on American soil. As we commemorate the 15th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the passage of JASTA will ensure those responsible for aiding and abetting the 9/11 attacks, or any terrorist attack on U.S. soil, are held accountable for their actions.