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EPA Official Questions Senate Anthrax Cleanup

Date: January 24, 2002

Source: News Room

An Environmental Protection Agency internal watchdog says the Hart Senate Office Building cleanup could have been done cheaper, and safer. The building reopened last week after being shuttered since October, when an anthrax-laced letter was opened in Senator Tom Daschle's office. Chlorine dioxide gas was pumped through its ventilation system and work surfaces were cleaned with chemical agents, all in an effort to kill lingering anthrax spores. But EPA National Ombudsman Robert Martin recently told the Washington Times the building could have been cleaned using less expensive, non-chemical methods. He added the chlorine dioxide may pose a long-term health threat to people working at Hart. The Senate Finance Commitee is probing the $14 million price tag for the Hart Building cleanup.

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