Thursday, November 8, 2007

FEMA Won't Let Its Workers Enter Risky Trailers reports:
A FEMA spokeswoman says the agency is barring its employees from entering thousands of stored travel trailers amid concerns they could be exposed to elevated levels of a carcinogen.

Mary Margaret Walker says the directive doesn't apply to the more than 48,000 trailers occupied by hurricane victims in Mississippi and Louisiana.

FEMA postponed plans last week to test for formaldehyde levels in the air inside occupied trailers.

FEMA has suspended the sale of used trailers and says it won't shelter victims of future disasters in them until safety worries are resolved.

There are thousands of unoccupied trailers at staging areas in Purvis, Columbia, and other sites in south Mississippi.

Some Mississippi officials are critical of the apparent double standard: FEMA barring its own employees from entering unoccupied trailers while allowing residents to live in thousands of the units.