MOSAIC NOLA:The Gentilly Project

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

On the tenth day..

This week, the Rude Pundit shares his recent visit to New Orleans.

And today on its front page (left column), the Wall Street Journal provides a good summary of Environmental Justice issues in Post-Katrina New Orleans.


How can residents displaced by Katrina determine if it's safe to return to their homes, and when? And who ultimately should decide?

Here in St. Bernard Parish, neither federal nor state nor local officials have provided residents with any clear answers. Parish leaders and residents say they expected the federal Environmental Protection Agency to manage the cleanup process and determine when the neighborhood was safe. But the EPA hasn't provided guidance on the long-term safety of the area, and says that it's not up to it to decide whether the community should be resettled.

Thus far, all major decisions about whether to let people back in have been made by St. Bernard officials, who have little expertise in assessing pollution levels. They are eager, however, to see residents return. So the Hopkinses and hundreds of other families have been cleaning up themselves. Many simply assumed that if it was unsafe, authorities would stop them.

-- Betsy McKay "Katrina Oil Spill Clouds Future of Battered Suburb," Wall Street Journal print edition (1/3/06)


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