"She blamed the victim," said Gleason. "If she had stood on the pile and told us how bad it was, she could have saved tens of thousands." Instead, Whitman—who emphasized at the hearing that in a war-like situation it was important "to speak with one voice"—toed the administration's, and Giuliani's, line. As a result, argued Suzanne Mattei, a former New York City Sierra Club executive present at the hearing, the EPA "encouraged people to ignore their own common sense. The air looked bad and smelled bad. Using common sense, many people would have guessed that the air was unsafe for themselves and their children. … The sad irony is that if the EPA had said nothing at all, the public would probably have been better off."
Passage pulled from this item: Whitman: EPA Knew 9/11 Contamination Put Workers, Residents at Risk