Author of Article: Jonathan Benson
Dec 5, 2010
A recent story from The Washington Post reveals that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) knowingly dragged their feet on releasing an important report about the dangers of contaminated drinking water supplies. And top officials are now trying to justify this reprehensible action by claiming the agencies were only acting out of a human instinct that is “slow to admit error.”
The CDC and EPA have tried to minimize the risks of lead in water supplies for years, but the recently released report on the 2004 lead contamination crisis of the Washington, D.C., water supply revealed that the problem was much worse than the agencies had originally indicated. And according to reports, the agencies just recently came forward and released the report after several years of delay and denial.
Many older neighborhoods are still served by lead pipes that release a steady stream of the toxin into drinking water. And in addition to denying the severity of the problem, the CDC and EPA have long stated that partial-pipe replacements are effective. However, the delayed report indicates that the agencies have known for a while that partial-pipe replacements can actually make the problem worse, but did not rectify their error in a timely manner.. So in essence, the agencies have been hiding vitally important information from the public for years in an effort to save face.
“They were too quick to publish a flawed study, and they were too slow to retract it, when they knew that others were relying on it,” explained Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC), chairman of a committee that released a report back in may about the agencies’ mishandling of the whole situation.
Spin doctors responded by trying to justify the agencies’ dereliction of duty, deeming it as nothing more than a simple human error. Some even tried to claim the agencies were only trying to protect the public from becoming panicked over the situation.
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