Press Release

AALDEF Testifies Against EPA’s Flawed 9.11 Contamination Testing Plan at City Council Oversight Hearing


New York, NY—The civil rights group Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) joined residents, advocates, and workers today in testifying before the New York City Council regarding critical defects in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s proposed final Test and Clean Program for post-9.11 contamination in New York City residences and offices.

The City Council Committee on Lower Manhattan Redevelopment is set to consider a resolution rejecting the EPA’s final test and clean plan, proposed last December as so fundamentally flawed that it should not be implemented, and discounted as scientifically inaccurate by the EPA’s own Expert Technical Review Panel.

“The EPA is at the center of a national disgrace,” says AALDEF Program Director Stan Mark. “Only days after 9.11, its commissioner lied about the health risks posed by the dust and debris. Now, more than four years later, the EPA continues to subject sick and injured residents and workers to a phony shell game with so-called test and clean plans that are designed to find nothing.”

On February 21, Lower Manhattan’s Community Board #1 passed a unanimous resolution calling on the EPA to abandon its technically and scientifically flawed 2005 Test and Clean Program, and work with the residents and workers, community and labor organizations and elected officials to design and implement an effective, science based sampling and cleaning program in all affected areas.

The array of contaminants present in the World Trade Center dust, includes mercury, asbestos, lead, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), man-made vitreous fibers (MMVF), and other toxic pollutants that settled upon and within residences, offices, and mixed-use buildings in Lower Manhattan and miles beyond.