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House Inquiry on 9/11 Environmental Impacts

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 8:21 pm    Post subject: House Inquiry on 9/11 Environmental Impacts
From Wed May 23, 2007 2:00 am to Fri May 25, 2007 1:59 am (included)
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House Inquiry on 9/11 Environmental Impacts
Will Mark Her First-Ever Congressional Appearance on Hearing Dedicated Solely to
EPAs Response to the NYC WTC Attacks
Nadler to Postpone Scheduled May 22nd Hearing to Accommodate Ms. Whitmans Schedule
WASHINGTON, D.C. Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-08), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, announced today, that three days after her initial refusal to testify before the Subcommittee on the federal government's handling of post 9/11 air quality issues, Former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christine Todd Whitman has agreed to appear. Her appearance would mark the first time Ms. Whitman has testified at a Congressional hearing dedicated solely to the EPAs response to the World Trade Center attacks in New York, and the first time she has testified on these matters since a damning EPA Inspector Generals report was released in August of 2003. (See http://www.house.gov/nadler/archive108/9-11interference_081303.htm and http://www.house.gov/nadler/archive108/EPAIG_082203.htm)

Chairman Nadler further announced that the Subcommittee will move a planned May 22, 2007 hearing to a date in the near future in order to accommodate Ms. Whitmans schedule.

On Tuesday, the Subcommittee received a letter from Ms. Whitmans lawyer, Joel Kobert , Esq., indicating her initial unwillingness to testify. http://www.house.gov/nadler/pdf/whitman_atty_response.pdf. Today, the Subcommittee received a letter stating that she would, in fact, appear. (See http://www.house.gov/nadler/pdf/Christine_Todd_Whitman_Letter.pdf)

The purpose of the hearing is to inquire into the federal post-9/11 environmental response and related possible violations of the "substantive due process rights" of individuals living and working in the vicinity of the World Trade Center on, or after, September 11, 2001

In response, Chairman Nadler released the following statement:

"I extremely gratified that at long-last, after a 5-plus year, sustained effort to get at the truth, we will finally have our first chance to talk to Ms. Whitman and other principal actors involved in the federal governments response to post 9/11 air-quality, directly and on the record. There are so many unanswered questions about why certain decisions were made, and who was ultimately responsible for them. Thousands of first responders, residents, school children, and office workers are now sick as a result of the environmental impacts of September 11th, and they, and all Americans, deserve nothing less than the absolute truth about what happened. And we must know it, in order to better protect the health and safety of all Americans in the future."

This hearing, and its companion Senate hearing to be conducted on June 20, 2007, by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health, represent the first comprehensive Congressional oversight investigations into the federal governments handling of post-9/11 air quality since the immediate aftermath of the attacks. While in the Majority, Republican House leadership steadfastly refused to hold a single House hearing on these matters, or even respond to a written request made in September 2003 by Nadler, then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and then-Ranking Members John Conyers, John Dingell, George Miller, and Henry Waxman. (See http://www.house.gov/nadler/archive108/EPA_091703.htm).

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