About ToxicTrailers.com

ToxicTrailers.com was launched after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when the government spent more than $2 billion on FEMA trailers with high levels of formaldehyde that sickened thousands of people. The FEMA trailer tragedy exposed what is a widespread problem in RVs, mobile homes, modular buildings and even conventional buildings that use pressed wood products. Unfortunately, as we approach the tenth anniversary of Katrina, formaldehyde regulations are not being enforced in the U.S., and people's health is at risk. If you are having burning eyes, congestion, sore throat, coughing, breathing difficulties, frequent sinus infections or rashes, and difficulties concentrating, you may have a formaldehyde problem. For questions or to share your story, write 4becky@cox.net.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Congress softens FEMA trailer legislation

Bad news on the trailer front. In July the House passed HR 2638 with strong language in the FEMA appropriations bill that forced a careful analysis of the toxic trailer situation and formal recommendations. From what I can tell, this week the Senate modified the language to soften it as follows:

That the Inspector General shall investigate decisions made regarding, and the policy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency relating to, formaldehyde in trailers in the Gulf Coast region, the process used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for collecting, reporting, and responding to health and safety concerns of occupants of housing supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (including such housing supplied through a third party), and whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency adequately addressed public health and safety issues of households to which the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides disaster housing (including whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency adequately notified recipients of such housing, as appropriate, of potential health and safety concerns and whether the institutional culture of the Federal Emergency Management Agency properly prioritizes health and safety concerns of recipients of assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency), and submit a report to Congress relating to that investigation, including any recommendations.

No deadlines. No collaboration. But it is still helpful.

The Senate passed the bill on Saturday. It is on the way to the White House.

Tom Neltner

Tom