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The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

This is an archived version of the committee's website, where the public, students and the media can continue to access and learn from our work.

Markey, Melancon Push GSA for Answers on Toxic Trailers

Workers Cleaning Oil By Day, Inhaling Formaldehyde By Night

July 1, 2010 – Reps. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Charlie Melancon (D-La.) today wrote the U.S. General Services Administration asking for answers on the trailers that are being used to house some workers cleaning up the oil from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The trailers, originally provided to Gulf residents following Hurricane Katrina, were found to have unhealthy levels of formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen. The story was first reported in The New York Times.

“There are oil spill workers who are cleaning up toxic oil by day and then inhaling carcinogenic fumes by night, sometimes with their families,” said Rep. Markey, who chairs the Energy and Environment Subcommittee in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “These toxic trailers are like a recurring nightmare for the people of the Gulf.”

“First hurricane survivors were exposed to hazardous fumes in these FEMA trailers, and now – five years later – oil disaster workers are facing the same threat from the exact same trailers,” said Rep. Melancon. “We want to know why these trailers are still being used as housing, despite the many warnings and safeguards that have been put in place to prevent this situation. Workers along the Gulf Coast face enough dangers in the oil spill clean-up, without unknowingly being exposed to another danger when they come home at night.”

In the letter, Reps. Markey and Melancon ask the GSA to explain how these trailers, which were never intended to be used as homes ever again, ended up being used for exactly that purpose. The Congressmen ask for details on whether proper procedures were followed when these trailers were sold, and what efforts are being taken to look into the matter.

The full letter can be found HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was created to explore American clean energy solutions that end our reliance on foreign oil and reduce carbon pollution.

The Select Committee was active during the 110th and 111th Congresses. This is an archived version of the website, to ensure that the public has ongoing access to the Select Committee record. This website, including external links, will not be updated after Jan. 3rd, 2010.

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