Toxic Katrina Trailers Now Used for Gulf Oil Spill Workers

Friday, July 02, 2010
FEMA TZrailer (photo: Patrisha Walker)

They’re back, and they're as smelly as ever. The portable trailers used in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to house thousands of people who lost their homes—and that were discovered to contain unhealthy levels of formaldehyde—have returned to the Gulf coast. But instead of the Federal Emergency Management Agency being responsible for the trailers’ return, local agencies and private companies have been buying the units to house workers involved in the oil spill cleanup effort.

One supplier, the disaster contracting firm, Texas-based Alpha 1 Roofing, has reportedly sold 20 trailers to cleanup crews, despite the fact that they still contain formaldehyde. The company’s owner, Ron Mason, didn’t see any problem with that.
“These are perfectly good trailers,” Mason told The New York Times. “Look, you know that new car smell? Well, that’s formaldehyde, too. The stuff is in everything. It’s not a big deal.”
The federal government might disagree. The inspector general’s office of the General Services Administration has said companies need to notify inhabitants about the formaldehyde problem, which isn’t always being done.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Banned Trailers Return for Latest Gulf Disaster (by Ian Urbina, New York Times)
David Vitter: The Formaldehyde Senator (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
FEMA-Katrina Trailer Fumes Trial Opens (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


karamel 11 years ago
Hurricane Katrina was a terrorist attack. Just check out the book Katrina Nights. Or go to
Joseph Conrad 11 years ago
Obama's FEMA director needs to resign for not destroying the trailers and Mason needs to be indicted for buying and SELLING them. Simple.

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