The Center for Cooperative Research
U:     P:    
Not registered yet? Register here
 
Search
 
Advanced Search


Main Menu
Home 
History Engine Sub-Menu
Timelines 
Entities 
Forum 
Miscellaneous Sub-Menu
Donate 
Links 
End of Main Menu

Volunteers Needed!
Submit a timeline entry
Donate: If you think this site is important, please help us out financially. We need your help!
Email updates
 


Click here to join: Suggest changes to existing data, add new data to the website, or compile your own timeline. More Info >>

 

Profile: Mary Mears

 
  

Positions that Mary Mears has held:

  • EPA spokeswoman


 

Quotes

 
  

No quotes or excerpts for this entity.


 

Relations

 
  

No related entities for this entity.


 

Mary Mears actively participated in the following events:

 
  

(November 8, 2001)      Environmental Impact

       EPA spokeswoman Mary Mears is quoted by Newsday: “Given the levels of asbestos we don't think there is any kind of significant health risk for people working or living near the site. But there could be some risk to the workers who are actually on the site where the levels tend to be the highest.” [Newsday, 11/9/2001]
People and organizations involved: Mary Mears
          

May 8, 2002      Environmental Impact

       The EPA's regional office in New York announces that the agency will assume responsibility for testing and cleaning residences south of Canal, Allen and Pike Streets in Manhattan for asbestos contamination—if requested by the resident. The EPA claims the decision was made in order to calm residents' fears, and that decontamination is not necessary. “While the scientific data about any immediate health risks from indoor air is very reassuring, people should not have to live with uncertainty about their futures,” says Jane Kenny, EPA regional administrator. “There is no emergency here.” [The Wall Street Journal, 5/9/2002; New York Daily News, 5/9/2002 cited in Jenkins, 7/4/2003] Similarly, Mary Mears, spokeswoman for Region II of the EPA, states, “This is to assuage concerns from residents in Lower Manhattan who continue to have concerns over air in their apartments.” [United Press International, 5/9/2002]
Criticisms of the EPA's volunteer cleanup program -
The EPA does not include other areas like Brooklyn, which was in the direct path of the September 11 smoke plume (see September 12, 2001), or Chinatown, whose residents have also complained of ailments they attribute to WTC contamination. [New York Daily News, 5/20/2002; Jenkins, 7/4/2003]
The EPA does not acknowledge that there is a public health emergency
The program is voluntary.
The EPA program targets asbestos, although the agency will also randomly test for other toxins to determine if additional measures should be taken. “We will test for asbestos in air. This is the substance of greatest concern, and air is the pathway of exposure. By cleaning up the dust, many other substances will also be removed,” an EPA public notice explains. [EPA, n.d.] However according to Cate Jenkins, “too few homes [are sampled] to have any statistical power to establish that these substances are not occurring elsewhere.” [Jenkins, 7/4/2003] A panel of experts convened by the EPA in October will agree, and suggest that the EPA conduct tests for additional toxins (see Mid-October 2002).
The program is limited to private residences. Office buildings, the common areas of apartment buildings, stores and restaurants are not eligible for the program. [Newsday, 10/29/2002]
Only apartments which appear upon visual inspection to be contaminated will qualify for cleaning. [Salon, 4/15/2003]
The plan does not require that all apartments in a building be evacuated and cleaned—just those whose residents have filed requests. Consequently, recontamination and cross-contamination will occur from ventilation systems connecting cleaned and uncleaned apartments and from dust tracked in on residents' shoes and clothing. [Salon, 4/15/2003]
People and organizations involved: Environmental Protection Agency, Jane Kenny, Mary Mears  Additional Info 
          

April 2003      Environmental Impact

       When asked to comment on allegations that the EPA had intentionally used testing methods incapable of detecting ultra fine particles and fibers in order not to find asbestos and other contaminants in Lower Manhattan, agency spokesperson Mary Mears tells Salon Magazine, “There are certain differences of opinion that will not be resolved.” She dismisses the fact that independent labs have found much greater levels of contamination than the EPA's tests, arguing that the private labs may not have used precise EPA methods. She also denies that conditions in Manhattan are unsafe. “We do not agree that this is a public health concern,” she says. “We have not seen the evidence, we do not see the danger.” She explains that the volunteer program is not meant to address a safety problem, just calm the nerves of Lower Manhattan residents. “While we felt there wasn't a big risk in the long term, we felt a need to offer something to those residents,” she said. “We do not feel this is a public-health emergency. But it goes well beyond anything that could be called a PR campaign.” [Salon, 4/15/2003]
People and organizations involved: Mary Mears, Environmental Protection Agency
          

Except where otherwise noted, the textual content of each timeline is licensed under the Creative Commons License below:

Creative Commons License Home |  About this Site |  Development |  Donate |  Contact Us
Terms of Use