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16 April 2010

EPA: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

The EPA is about to issue new standards on lead contamination in commercial buildings.  Recent testing in its Ariel Rios headquarters building showed that dust samples in the building were often much higher in toxic lead content than those allowed in commercial buildings by the new regulations about to be applied.  In one case, a dust sample was 92,500 % higher (925 times higher) than the new standard would allow.  This dust sample was taken from the floor of the new state-of-the-art control center for responding to outbreaks of toxic substances.

The EPA says air samples were not as bad and its employees are safe.  The GSA owns and operates the building and is in charge of cleaning up the contamination.  Claims were made that the contamination was because a Secret Service shooting range is nearby.

This was reported by the Daily Caller and briefly on Fox News.

Can you imagine the fines that the EPA will put on any company with a commercial building with lead limits above the new requirements?  Can you imagine the orders that any company remove its employees and shut down its building if lead levels above the new limits are found?  Can you imagine the many lawsuits that will be aimed at any such company by employees concerned about their future health based upon the new limits to soon be put in place by the EPA?  Yet, the EPA has not sent its people home, because it says they are safe.  But, if they are safe at the EPA with lead levels well above their new limits, then doesn't this imply they will in many cases be safe in commercial buildings with lead contamination levels above the new limits?  Ah, what is good for the goose is not good for the gander.

Doesn't this remind us of the IRS and Treasury secretary Tim Geithner who will not do his tax returns according to IRS rules.  Geithner paid his back taxes from 2001 up through the time of his nomination to become Treasury Secretary, under which the IRS is managed.  But, he only paid the taxes and interest.  He did not pay any penalties, which are the usual killer.  Penalties for late payments are usually many times greater than the interest for the late payment.  Apparently, Geithner and the EPA are ganders and the rest of us are treated like gooses.

Lisa Jackson, the EPA administrator, will probably earn a large bonus this year.  The citation justifying the bonus will probably say it is because of her excellent work in putting the new, tougher lead restrictions in place and for banning CO2 gas as a pollutant.  Do as I say, not as I do.  I want to see Lisa Jackson walking about with a rebreather attached to her back so she does not emit any CO2 pollutants!  I want to see her that committed to acting as a role model for the things she says she believes in before she forces us to comply to her demands.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I worked in the EPA's Emergency Operations Center, next door to the Secret Service shooting range, in the basement of the Ariel Rios facility for seven years and the lead contamination was announced five years later after I moved on to another position. I remember the people who worked across the hall would come into their offices Monday morning and find a fine layer of "dust" on everything. The air system in the building had no filtration whatsoever.

EPA upper management did what they typically did when it came to employee safety...nothing. They kept silent and dismissed the possibility of any hazard.

The EPA has many hard-working lower level employees, but the people who get promoted to upper management seem to share a similar personality with one trait in common, a total absence of empathy.

I'm retiring soon with 25 years of service. It feels more like the end of a 25-year sentence.