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Thursday, September 15, 2005

New Orleans is going to breathe again... breathe WHAT?!

New Orleans Mayor Nagin says beginning this weekend they are going to start allowing hundreds of thousands back into the area. He says "New Orleans will breathe again."

Breathe what? The testing performed of the air in the area was done by an ASPECT plane, that uses infrared to screen for air pollution. It is not intended to sample and measure levels of harmful substances in the air after a disaster.

The EPA's own website states, "All data produced through the use of the ASPECT (Airborne Spectral imagery of Environmental Contaminants Technology) are non-validated and are used by EPA and other agencies for screening purposes only to assess immediate environmental hazards. "

Mayor Nagin and the EPA have no idea if the air is really safe. As areas have water pumped out and sludge containing chemicals and heavy metals are left, they can be easily introduced into the air via dust, making the air quality even worse than it already is.

We wonder if anyone has asked the EPA and Mayor Nagin if they considered this, and if so, why they think the area is safe to repopulate?

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  • We are a group of former Congressional staff, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff, and environmental group staff tracking and analyzing the news, in real time, from New Orleans from an environmental health perspective.

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