Toxic chemicals in the New Orleans flood waters will make the city unsafe for full human habitation for a decade, a US government official has told The Independent on Sunday. And, he added, the Bush administration is covering up the danger.But this all sounds familiar. After 9/11 the EPA told New Yorkers working in the debris of the Twin Towers that the air was safe to breathe. It was not. Now this EPA whistle-blower is saying its happening, again. Except this time instead of covering up the health hazards for the sake of keeping American spirits high the administration appears to be doing it to cover-up its own ineptitude.
Mr Kaufman claimed the Bush administration was playing down the need for a clean-up: the EPA has not been included in the core White House group tackling the crisis. "Its budget has been cut and inept political hacks have been put in key positions," Mr Kaufman said. "All the money for emergency response has gone to buy guns and cowboys - which don't do anything when a hurricane hits. We were less prepared for this than we would have been on 10 September 2001."