N.Y. lawmakers ask NYC Mayor Adams for help in getting answers about Ground Zero toxins

New York’s House Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler have been trying to get New York City officials to release documents from the Giuliani administration concerning what knowledge the City had about toxins at the World Trade Center site.

After receiving no response from the de Blasio administration, they have written the following letter to Mayor Adams, reports Michael McAuliff in the New York Daily News

2022 0512 Joint Letter to Mayor

May 12, 2022

The Honorable Eric Adams
Mayor of New York City
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Dear Mayor Adams:

Last year, shortly after the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we wrote to then-Mayor DeBlasio, on September 20th, 2021, asking that he and his administration open the City’s files on the aftermath of the attacks to help provide injured and ill 9/11 responders, survivors, and their families a better understanding of what the City government knew at the time about the likely scope of the health crisis and when they knew it. A copy of our letter is enclosed.

As we stated in our letter at the time, “The time has come for a full accounting of the history of 9/11. The ongoing review and declassification of documents related to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s possible involvement in the 9/11 attacks ordered by President Biden was a critical first step in this accounting. Providing full transparency on what the government knew about the health risks at Ground Zero and how they potentially covered up that information will finally provide transparency to a too-often overlooked aspect of the attack’s history.”

“Throughout our two decades of work with the 9/11 community to guarantee their health care and compensation, we have faced resistance from many in the federal government – namely to admitting that the toxins released in the attacks and during cleanup posed a serious and ongoing health hazard to those on the pile and in the vicinity. Those health risks, about which we immediately warned the government, have now caused enormous harm to thousands of responders and survivors. Many of them are now living with – and too many are dying from – 9/11 related health conditions caused by exposure to those toxins 20 years ago.”

“In 2003, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report on how they responded to 9/11. This report outlined what the federal government knew about the extent of the problem and the clear health threat, after the EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman had repeatedly said that the ‘air was safe to breathe.’ However, we have yet to see a full accounting of what then-Mayor Giuliani and his administration knew at the time.

”While this report was released 20 years ago, 9/11 responders, survivors, and their families continue to deal with the health impacts of toxin exposure every day of their lives.

As we urged former Mayor DeBlasio last year, we urge you to have the City review its files and, in the interest of transparency, fully release any information it has on the what the City knew about the hazards faced by 9/11 responders and survivors who lived, worked, and went to school in the covered disaster zone.

More specifically, we urge the City to release any documents related to 9/11 that are in its files or emails from the period of September 11, 2001 through the spring of 2002. While some documents may have been disclosed in past litigation, we do not believe this represents the
entirety of the City’s files and demand a complete release.

We hope that before this coming 9/11 Anniversary, the City will release whatever documents it may have so that we can finally get a full accounting on what was known.

Thank you for your attention to this issue and we look forward to hearing from you and your administration


Carolyn B. Maloney
Jerrold Nadler

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