< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Safety of Post-Hurricane Sludge Is Disputed

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Safety of Post-Hurricane Sludge Is Disputed

From the Washington Post:

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.
The study, which was conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council and is being released today, urges the government to clean up the waste before permitting young children to return to the struggling city. The NRDC report, which was obtained by The Washington Post, comes as a new internal report of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service suggests that as much as 350,000 gallons of hazardous materials are threatening the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana as a result of Hurricane Rita.
Government officials have minimized the public health threat in New Orleans, the environmental group said. Louisiana officials have said some toxic contaminants have been found only on golf courses that use pesticides containing arsenic, but the NRDC report includes maps detailing dozens of high arsenic levels taken across wide swaths of the urban area.

Click here to read the article.

--Tom Hayes


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