REP. ENGEL IS DEEPLY CONCERNED GULF CLEAN-UP WORKERS ARE AT RISK Congressman Eliot Engel is concerned history may be repeating itself in the Gulf of Mexico as government employees, BP workers and volunteers from around the world attempt to clean up the oil spill
BigNews.Biz - Jul 21,2010 - Washington, DC--Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) is concerned history may be repeating itself in the Gulf of Mexico as government employees, BP workers and volunteers from around the world attempt to clean up the oil spill. This scenario is similar to that of the Ground Zero clean up following 9-11 which led to far too many of the workers developing often-fatal health issues by working in a poisoned environment.
More than 400,000 people are believed to have been exposed to toxins at Ground Zero – including nearly 16,000 first responders, and at least 2,700 community residents who are currently sick and receiving treatment. In the cleanup that followed the 9/11 attack, managers of the process failed to equip workers with protective gear, damaging countless lives of those who had come to the rescue. “We must demand that BP provides every clean-up worker with proper protection to ensure safety,” said Rep. Engel. Environmental and public-health groups have complained that the toxic chemicals from gushing crude and oil dispersants could cause long-term health problems for Gulf cleanup workers.
“The BP oil spill is a national tragedy. The aftermath of the 9-11 tragedy provided inspiring examples of bravery and national pride. The response to the oil spill is also full of uplifting stories of selfless acts. Currently, more than 40,000 9-11 first responders are being medically monitored and 71,000 people are enrolled in the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Registry. We cannot have that happen to people working in the Gulf,” said Rep. Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which recently held a hearing in its Health Subcommittee to identify and address health effects of the BP oil spill.
“Clearly, the environmental catastrophe unleashed on the Gulf of Mexico, and its bordering states, is the first and foremost concern for everyone. This clean-up will be going on for a very long time and the region will never be the same again. Ecosystems have been permanently altered, and local economies have suffered immensely. This region must be cleaned up and BP must foot the bill for taking care of the mess they left in the Gulf,” added Rep. Engel, who questioned U.S. Energy Secretary Ken Salazar on the BP spill today - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bo6kyjot0M
Rep. Engel is an original co-sponsor of The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this year, and would provide comprehensive health care and compensation for the first responders and survivors who are sick because of the 9/11 attacks.
While that legislation advances through Congress, Rep. Engel has signed onto http://bpmakesmesick.com/ - a website designed to increase awareness for the Gulf workers to make sure they do not travel along the same path as the 9-11 workers.
“We cannot go back in time to save the 9-11 workers, but we can make a difference with the Gulf workers. We are trying to help the thousands of 9-11 workers who became sick, but I think we should set an