The Independent (U.K.) ran an important story yesterday about the growing toxic cesspool that is developing in the lower Gulf. The piece interviews Hugh Kaufman, a toxicology expert at the EPA, and what he has to say about the federal response to the poisoned waters isn't kind:
Toxic chemicals in the New Orleans flood waters will make the city unsafe
for full human habitation for a decade, a US government official has told
The Independent on Sunday. And, he added, the Bush administration is
covering up the danger.
In an exclusive interview, Hugh Kaufman, an expert on toxic waste and
responses to environmental disasters at the US Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), said the way the polluted water was being pumped out was
increasing the danger to health.
The pollution was far worse than had been admitted, he said, because his
agency was failing to take enough samples and was refusing to make public
the results of those it had analysed. "Inept political hacks" running the
clean-up will imperil the health of low-income migrant workers by getting
them to do the work.
Of course, "Cancer Alley" was no treat for communities of color lining the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Baton Rouge before Katrina. The storm just made a very bad situation much worse.