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Profile: Cate Jenkins, PhD.

 
  

Positions that Cate Jenkins, PhD. has held:

  • Senior chemist in the EPA's Hazardous Waste Identification Division


 

Quotes

 
  

Quote, (November 2001)

   “[The recommendations are] ludicrous.... They advise: If curtains need to be taken down, take them down slowly to keep dust from circulating. EPA regulations do not allow anyone to oversee and perform ... asbestos removal, such as a resident in an apartment building or a building owner.” [United Press International, 12/7/2001, New York Daily News, 11/20/2001]

Associated Events

Quote, December 3, 2001

   “[The list of recommendations] violates the NESHAP standards.” [Jenkins, 12/3/2001]

Associated Events

Quote, (January 2002)

   “EPA's outdoor air readings are irrelevant in determining whether there are any hazards inside during a cleanup or other normal activities.” [International Ban Asbestos Secretariat, 1/21/02]

Associated Events

Quote, (February 2002)

   “The pH levels the USGS documented were far too high for EPA to ignore. They insisted that all the information regarding health and safety was being released to the public. Well, that's not true. There's nothing, internally or in public releases, that shows the agency ever disclosed specific pH levels.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2/10/02 (B)]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

No related entities for this entity.


 

Cate Jenkins, PhD. actively participated in the following events:

 
  

October 3, 2001-March 1, 2004      Environmental Impact

       EPA Region 2 says at least four times, and the New York City Department of Health and Environmental Protection at least once, that they are using a protective standard under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) to determine whether indoor and outdoor air pose a threat to public health. They assert that the standard is regularly used to determine whether it is safe for school children to return to school buildings after asbestos has been removed or abated. According to the agencies, the standard designates an asbestos level of 70 or fewer structures per square millimeter as safe. [Jenkins memo, March 11, 2002] For example, on a page explaining its “benchmarks, standards and guidelines established to protect public health,” the EPA states: “In evaluating data from the World Trade Center and the surrounding areas, EPA is using a protective standard under AHERA, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, to evaluate the risk from asbestos in the outdoor and indoor air. This is a very stringent standard that is used to determine whether children may re-enter a school building after asbestos has been removed or abated.... To determine asbestos levels, air filters are collected from monitoring equipment through which air in the school building has passed and viewed through a microscope. The number of structures—material that has asbestos fibers on or in it—is then counted. The measurements must be 70 or fewer structures per square millimeter before children are allowed inside.” [EPA, 3/1/2004] But according to Title 40, part 763.90, of the Code of Federal Regulations, the 70 s/mm [Jenkins, 3/11/2002] Instead, AHERA sets as the EPA's cleanup goal an exposure level which scientists have determined has a risk level lower than the EPA's maximum risk level of 10 [Sources: EPA, CASRN 1332-21-4, n.d., Jenkins memo, March 11, 2002] The significance of the two agencies' misstatements cannot be overstated as the 70 s/mm [Jenkins, 3/11/2002]
People and organizations involved: Environmental Protection Agency, Cate Jenkins, PhD., New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)  Additional Info 
          

November 15, 2001      Environmental Impact

       Cate Jenkins, Ph.D., a senior chemist in the EPA's Hazardous Waste Identification Division, writes in a memo to Monona Rossol of the Arts, Crafts, and Theater Safety (ACTS) organization that the EPA is ignoring federal asbestos-abatement laws in buildings close to the World Trade Center site. The 22-year veteran of the agency says that EPA officials “effectively waived” the EPA's “strict national regulations for removal and disposal of asbestos contaminated dust” by advising residents and commercial building managers in Lower Manhattan to follow the “extremely lenient (and arguably illegal) asbestos guidelines of the New York City Department of Health.” She notes that EPA testing discovered the presence of asbestos levels above the one percent “action level” in dust samples from at least 30 locations, some of which were located within five to seven blocks of Ground Zero. After the memo is reported in the New York Daily News, EPA officials will assert that Jenkins doesn't understand the law (see (November 19, 2001)). [New York Daily News, 11/20/2001 Sources: Cate Jenkins Memo to Monona Rossol]
People and organizations involved: Environmental Protection Agency, New York City Department of Health, Monona Rossol, Cate Jenkins, PhD.
          

December 3, 2001      Environmental Impact

       Cate Jenkins, a 22-year veteran EPA employee, writes an internal memo to Robert Dellinger, Director of the Hazardous Waste Identification Division, and Lillian Bagus, Chief of the Waste Identification Branch, in which she argues that the EPA should clean NYC homes and businesses contaminated by the WTC collapse. “The cleanup of all affected homes in Lower Manhattan should be performed by EPA or other governmental bodies at public expense, utilizing the methods in the NESHAP or as proposed by certified asbestos abatement experts and approved by EPA regional NESHAP coordinators as meeting all CAA requirements,” she says. “The criteria for areas receiving such cleanups should include an adequate margin of safety, possibly relating to distance zones around contaminated areas over 0.1 percent asbestos or even lower.” Jenkins' memo also addresses EPA official statements that have been misleading and deceptive, noting that the EPA has claimed repeatedly that asbestos levels are safe even as they report sampling results which exceed the purported maximum “safe level” of one percent. [International Ban Asbestos Secretariat, 1/21/02 Sources: Jenkins Memo, 12/3/2001]
People and organizations involved: Cate Jenkins, PhD., Robert Dellinger, Lillian Bagus
          

January 11, 2002      Environmental Impact

       Dr. Cate Jenkins writes a memorandum comparing the data from a major asbestos-contaminated site in Libby, Montana—where the EPA tested and cleaned homes —to that of the WTC disaster site where the EPA has so far refused to take responsibility for the abatement of private residences. She argues that Lower Manhattan should be designated a Superfund site, as was Libby, Montana , in order to reduce the public's exposure to harmful substances such as asbestos, fiberglass, fine particulates, mercury and lead. Superfund designation would shift the financial burden from individual citizens to the government. In the memo, she also summarizes the calculated cancer risks for people occupying Lower Manhattan buildings. [Sources: Cate Jenkins memo January 11, 2002]
People and organizations involved: Cate Jenkins, PhD.
          

February 23, 2002      Environmental Impact

       The EPA's National Ombudsman's office convenes a hearing on the environmental issues that resulted from the attacks on the World Trade Center. Hugh Kaufman, the EPA ombudsman's chief investigator, remarks during the hearing that he believes the EPA, as well as state and city officials, have intentionally utilized inferior testing methods in order to avoid finding evidence that environmental conditions threaten public health. “I believe EPA did not do that because they knew it would come up not safe and so they are involved in providing knowingly false information to the public about safety,” Kaufman, says. “Not just EPA, the state and the city, too. We also had testimonies that all the agencies—local, state, and federal—have been consorting together every week to discuss these issues.” [CNN, 2/24/02] Numerous experts testify at the hearing, criticizing the EPA's response to the September 11 attacks, including David Newman, an industrial hygienist with the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH); Dr. Thomas Cahill, of the University of California at Davis; Marjorie J. Clarke, PhD, an adjunct professor at Lehman and Hunter College, City University of New York; Alison Johnson, Chairman of the Chemical Sensitivity Foundation, among others. Government officials and employees were invited to participate—including officials from the EPA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the US Geological Survey, the governor's office, state agencies, the mayor's office and city agencies—but did not appear. “This is the first time this has happened in this type of hearing,” Hugh Kaufman, tells United Press International. [Newsmax, 2/24/2002 Sources: Transcripts of EPA National Ombudsman Hearing on EPA response to WTC contamination, 2/21/2002]
People and organizations involved: Thomas Cahill, Cate Jenkins, PhD., Alison Johnson, Environmental Protection Agency, US Geological Service (USGS), Jerrold Nadler, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Hugh Kaufman, Marjorie J. Clarke, PhD
          

June 9, 2002      Environmental Impact

       Cate Jenkins PhD, a senior chemist in the EPA's Hazardous Waste Identification Division, writes an open memo recommending that New York City residents who believe their apartments were contaminated as a result of the WTC destruction have their carpets and upholstery tested using the “Millette ultrasonication” test method, which she explains is far superior to the micro-vac method currently being recommended by the EPA. She also repeats her earlier criticism of EPA Region 2's decision to use the 1 percent asbestos level as its “level of concern.” [Jenkins, 6/9/2002]
People and organizations involved: Cate Jenkins, PhD.
          

July 15, 2004      Environmental Impact

       Cate Jenkins, a senior chemist in the EPA's Hazardous Waste Identification Division, releases a memorandum arguing that “both EPA and NYC deliberately concealed, altered, falsified, and deleted data showing asbestos levels that both EPA and NYC declared unsafe.” [Sources: Memorandum from Cate Jenkins, 7/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: Cate Jenkins, PhD.
          

'Passive' participant in the following events:

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