February 25, 2006
Hurricane Sludge Safety
It'll be interesting to see what happens, lawsuit-wise, from the developing information about post-Katrina safety.
Floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina deposited arsenic, lead and petrochemical compounds across greater New Orleans in amounts that are potentially dangerous to human health despite federal and state assurances that the sludge is safe, according to a new study based on Environmental Protection Agency data.
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Tom Harris, administrator of the department's Environment Technology Division, said the NRDC and others have been "grossly misusing" state screening standards and presenting them as thresholds that would trigger government cleanups. He added that these toxicity guidelines would prompt further investigation rather than an automatic cleanup, and would have to be greatly exceeded before young children are harmed.
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