Rep. Nadler Comments on EPA Administrator Whitman's Departure

May 20, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released the following statement today:

"I was struck by Administrator Whitman's resignation letter to the President of the United States, which stated, 'The Agency has played a key role in responding to the terrorist attacks of September 11th.... The work EPA did in the aftermath of those attacks will long be a proud chapter in this Agency's history.'

As the Congressman representing Ground Zero and the surrounding areas, I can say that the agency's response to September 11th is a shameful chapter in EPA's history, and I hope the agency is not proud of it. The EPA response to the September 11th attacks was more than a complete disgrace. It was, in fact, malfeasance.

I can attest to the fact that my constituents still live and work in spaces that have gone uncleaned, or have been inadequately cleaned, of a plethora of hazardous materials released from the collapse of the World Trade Center. Under Administrator Whitman, this increasingly dangerous situation has gone from ignored to brazenly mishandled.

I urge the new Administrator, whoever that may be, to immediately institute a comprehensive cleanup program for all interiors still affected by hazardous debris from the Trade Center. This cleanup must abide by the most stringent scientific standards for cleanup and testing, and must also abide by all worker safety regulations.

Administrator Whitman's mistakes must be corrected. The lives of my constituents are at stake."

Rep. Nadler has served in Congress since 1992. He represents the 8th Congressional District of New York, which includes parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.