Would you be surprised that in none of the Statutes or Executive Orders delegating or vesting authority in FEMA is the language “protecting the public health and safety”?
Perhaps this is why FEMA through its programs, functions, and activities does NOT protect the public health and safety. Example: the RV trailers utilized in response to Hurricane Katrina that were all designed for only short term usage but FEMA utilized for long term emergency housing only to discover formaldehyde problems. Actually if I had been FEMA Adminstrator or Director I would have had my lawyers refer to DoJ a civil action for recovery of FEMA’s losses for failure of the sellers to notify FEMA of the problem and its nondisclosure despite the industry knowing of the problem and ignoring it.
CDC has now issued a 44 pp report on local WMD preparedness that cannot be fun to read if you work for FEMA, or DHS. I have repeatedly discussed that WMD preparedness and response is a stepchild in FEMA. CDC also issued about one year ago an excellent discussion of PAR communications with the public. Wonder if FEMA even knows about it. Or utilizes it in training?
Well my point is a simple one–now is the time to amend PKEMRA 2006 to mandate that both DHS and FEMA do all that they can to protect the public health and safety in their programs, functions, and activities.
This is not a new suggestion. After the administrative litigation at the Shoreham and Seabrook Nuclear power stations in the late 80’s and early 90’s I suggested this informally to the FEMA leadership and was turned down.
Congressman Edward Markey of Mass. is also familiar with this issue.