The Center for Grassroots Oversight

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October 19, 2001: Newly Released EPA Documents Show Pollutants in Air and Soil near Ground Zero

The New York Environmental Law and Justice Project obtains internal EPA documents containing data that the agency did not include in the monitoring results it posted on its website on October 3 (see October 3, 2001). The documents, which include hundreds of pages of daily monitoring reports, reveal that “[d]ioxins, PCBs, benzene, lead and chromium are among the toxic substances detected in the air and soil around the WTC site by Environmental Protection Agency [monitoring] equipment—sometimes at levels far exceeding federal levels.” For example, one test indicated water being discharged into the Hudson River contained chromium, copper, lead and zinc at levels “elevated to several orders of magnitude above ambient water-quality criteria for most metals.” Also included is disturbing data about the air quality. “On numerous days, sulfur dioxide readings in the air at a half-dozen sites in Lower Manhattan have been far higher than the EPA’s ambient air quality standards,” one document reveals. (Gonzalez 10/26/2001; Thomas Crosbie Media 10/26/2001; Ibarguen 10/27/2001; Kupferman 2003 pdf file)


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