Court Backs EPA Chief in 9/11 Toxins Case
By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN
Staff Reporter of the Sun
April 20, 2007
A federal appellate court has decided that it was not “conscience-shocking” for
the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to have reassured New Yorkers
that the air near ground zero was safe following the September 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks, even if the air was toxic.
Yesterday’s decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals throws out a
lawsuit against a former leader of the EPA, Christine Whitman.
The panel of three judges reasoned that the government’s interest in returning
New York to normalcy following the attacks should protect it from lawsuits
alleging that the government made false statements about air quality. The court
did not make any factual finding as to the quality of the air, or as to whether
the EPA had intentionally misled the public,
which Ms. Whitman has denied doing.