From the show description:
This week writer and journalist Jenna Orkin joined me to discuss her book Ground Zero Wars: The fight to reveal the lies of the EPA in the wake of 9/11 and clean up Lower Manhattan, and the ongoing health problems caused by the World Trade Center dust. Jenna started off by telling us where she was on 9/11 and how the day unfolded for her. She talked about the fact that her son went to Stuyvesant High School at the time and how this led her to research the health effects of 9/11. We talked about the lack of clean-up at Stuyvesant and the desire to re-open the school one month after the attacks. Jenna and I talked about how this decision mirrored the official government response to the cleanup of Lower Manhattan and the re-opening of places like Wall Street. We then discussed exactly what was in the dust itself, including asbestos, Mercury, lead, and radioactive material. Jenna explained how the EPA used antiquated tests in order to hide the high levels of toxicity in the air. Jenna also talked about the science behind many of the EPA tests and how the logarithmic scale of measurement measures substances like asbestos.
Later we talked about key figures responsible for covering up the environmental disaster. We looked at EPA head Christine Todd-Whitman who repeatedly lied by saying the air was safe to breathe. We also touched on her husband’s ties to Citigroup who benefited from the EPA’s decision to lie about the safety of ground zero. Jenna and I also talked about James Connaughton who headed the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and how he manipulated press releases from the EPA. Jenna also brought up Connaughton’s connection to the law firm Sidney Austin Brown & Wood which had offices in the World Trade Center.
We finished the conversation by talking about the legacy of the EPA. Jenna and I talked about how the EPA has only gotten worse since 9/11. Jenna also spoke about the need for us as citizens to take personal responsibility in the face of traumatic events like 9/11. We touched on the state of the 9/11 research community as well. Jenna finished off the conversation by talking about her work with the late great Michael Ruppert. Chuck and I rounded out the episode by talking about Ruppert’s legacy as well as the work that goes into producing a live radio show.