Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Contaminated Katrina FEMA Trailers Resold

"The Washington Post" reporter Eugene Robinson says the trailers stored for Katrina victims that are contaminated with formaldehyde should be destroyed and not resold. AAEA agrees with him. FEMA officials want to stop the money hemorrhaging of storing the trailers, which has cost the agency $220 million for three years of storage. FEMA officials beleive the trailers are safe for occasional recreational use rather than round-the-clock living. Regardless, the trailers have already been sold and contrary to Robinson's recommendation, EPA does not have the authority to regulate indoor air pollution.

Some disturbing stats:

FEMA's sale of nearly 93,000 towable trailers and more than 9,300 pad-mounted mobile homes drew high bids totaling $133 million, or about 7 cents on the dollar compared with what the government paid. The units were bundled into 11 huge lots and sold on Jan. 29 to bidders, whose identities have not been announced.

After Katrina displaced 770,000 Gulf Coast residents, FEMA spent $2.7 billion on 145,000 trailers and mobile homes. FEMA officials suppressed internal warnings that there were health problems among 300,000 trailer occupants before declaring that trailers should be abandoned in early 2008.

The mass sale came four weeks after a federal judge lifted a ban on the sale of some trailers, which are part of litigation brought by 40,000 former Katrina occupants against FEMA and the manufacturers. (Wash Post, 3/13/10)

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