FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
January 13, 2010 (WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement regarding news that mobile homes and trailers from Hurricane Katrina are being auctioned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
“FEMA’s current endeavor to dispose of trailers through the GSA auction process is an effort to remedy several Post-Katrina mistakes by the previous administration. FEMA’s mistakes with trailers have run the gamut—from failing to assess need before placing orders; routine over-payment for standard trailers; improper storage of trailers awaiting placement, and overpayment for maintenance and security at trailer storage sites. Each of these mistakes was caused by reaction to a previous problem. Yet at each step along the way, I asked FEMA to develop a cogent and cost effective disaster housing strategy that defines needs, sets forth actions, and involves input from state and local governments. At every stage, I have reminded FEMA that short-term plans may well lead to long-term headaches. Therefore, it is regretful that we are once again at a similar junction.
FEMA’s recent decision to simultaneously dispose of over 100,000 trailers in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas may be borne of good intentions to recoup taxpayer funds. However, it is not an alternative without consequence.
The mass disposal of these trailers through public auction is troubling. Although marked with legal disclaimers, it is no secret that these trailers may contain mold, formaldehyde and other potentially hazardous substances. A legal disclaimer will not prevent harm to a child who inhales formaldehyde or mold.
We must safeguard the expenditure of taxpayer funds. However, the bottom line cannot be the only factor in decision-making. I am requesting that FEMA suspend this massive disposal sale and instead implement a program that allows the sale of these trailers to occur in small lots and only to state, local or non-profit entities who will remediate the harmful substances and return them to useful service housing the homeless.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Please contact Dena Graziano or Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978
Idiots in Louisiana Auctioning (Livingston-based Henderson Auctions) 400 FEMA Trailers bought from the U.S. General Services Administration & The Advocate – WBRZ News 2 is there & mentions absolutely nothing of the controversy (katrina) & health risks!!!
Information on Riverstone Residential knowingly exposing tenants to extreme amounts of mold toxins at Toxic Mold Infested Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Toxic Mold Infested Jefferson Lakes Apartments managed by Riverstone Residential
Riverstone Residential Litigation
A letter to the NAA regarding an email they deleted without reading – please retract your amicus in the Abad case in Arizona – it is fraud by a political action committee, the National Apartment Association, that is furthering another fraud by another political action committee, the US Chamber of Commerce
Political Action Committee – NAA – files Amicus Brief in mold case (two infant deaths in mold filled apt – Wasatch Prop Mgmt) citing US Chamber/ACOEM ‘litigation defense report’ to disclaim health effects of indoor mold & limit financial risk for industry
“Changes in construction methods have caused US buildings to become perfect petri dishes for mold and bacteria to flourish when water is added. Instead of warning the public and teaching physicians that the buildings were causing illness; in 2003 the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, a think-tank, and a workers comp physician trade organization mass marketed an unscientific nonsequitor to the courts to disclaim the adverse health effects to stave off liability for financial stakeholders of moldy buildings. Although publicly exposed many times over the years, the deceit lingers in US courts to this very day.” Sharon Noonan Kramer
BT is correct in asking to stop FEMA their continued lack of interest to protect the public from the dangers of formaldehyde. FEMA actions are based on profit over people schemes that keep cozy relationships with special interest cronies. I understand the sales were postpone as an effort to make the sales more profitable. By 2007 GAO accounting the expenditure for each toxic trailer was 125K. By FEMA dumping these units back into market will hurt the RV industy and will likely again expose the public to health risk. The Government and the formaldehyde industry have long (over twenty 20 years) been aware of dangers of formaldehyde hidden in building products. The industry has managed to keep the public/media ignorant by simply keeping the law makers happy. In 2005, hurricane survivors discovered that hundreds of thousands occupants of FEMA trailers and/or mobile homes were being exposed and/or suffering from dangerous levels of formaldehyde. FEMA knew the occupants were suffering but ignored the issue as they feared ownership of the problem. In April 2007, a CDC whistle blower’s action forced FEMA to disclose that fact that FEMA housing was not safe. This sparked thousands of law suits against FEMA, the trailer manufacturers and the contractors who handled the toxic trailers. It is the general opinion that majority of long term occupants of FEMA trailers were the poor, sick, injured and/or Democrats or non-voters. Mississippi alone has over 5000 litigants who claim to have been injured from exposure to FEMA trailers. David Vitter LA Formaldehyde Senator is leading the charge to aid the Formaldehyde Council to block the EPA effort to finally establish formaldehyde regulations to protect the public. Formaldehyde politics could even be making it difficult for FEMA toxic trailers victims to get fair day in court. Any negative verdicts for defendants could be very costly for Senator’s cronies and campaign donors, as well as, the Formaldehyde council. Some will do almost anything to protect that interest. By some less than Devine means, the Fate of the Toxic FEMA trailer litigants is in the hands of Vitter’s very, very best friend and former campaign finance manager; the presiding judge.