AP - Companies that make recreational vehicles should not be blamed for high levels of formaldehyde in FEMA trailers, according to a report by House Republicans.
The partisan analysis instead points the finger at the federal government for not having standards for safe levels of formaldehyde before Hurricane Katrina victims lived in the trailers.
Gulf Stream Coach, Inc. received the bulk of the FEMA trailer contracts after Katrina. Gulf Stream Coach chairman Jim Shea said every FEMA trailer was inspected at the factory, and FEMA inspectors were at the manufacturing plant while the trailers were being made.
Since Hurricane Katrina, Gulf Stream's lobbying costs have more than doubled.
In 2003 and 2004, there was no lobbying activity on behalf of Gulf Stream for trailer-related issues. In 2005, Gulf Stream paid less than $10,000 to lobby the House and administration on trailer contracts. But it paid $50,000 in 2006, $120,000 in 2007, and $60,000 in the first quarter of 2008 to lobby the House and administration on trailer issues, according to Senate records.
On another FEMA trailer front:
From the "Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette:
HOPE — The 146 acres leased by FEMA at the city airport for $ 25,000 a month to store trailers for victims of natural disasters isn’t enough to meet the agency’s needs, so the city board has approved rental of 85 acres more for an additional $ 5,000 monthly.
Catherine Cook, city manaager of Hope said FEMA officials told her recently that the massive inventory of mobile homes and travel trailers is becoming difficult to manage without additional space. In addition to serving as a storage area for trailers before they are provided to disaster victims, the airport staging area is being used to recondition some trailers after those victims move into other housing.
Keeping the Gulf Coast in the minds of people, we have those dedicated folks of the
The 32-foot FEMA trailer, called the KatrinaRitaVille Express, will be open to visitors in the parking lot of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, from 10 a.m. until noon Saturday. It's part of a nationwide tour to educate the public about "what's really going on in the name of recovery in the Gulf region while families are still living in these toxic trailers," said tour coordinator Derrick Evans.
Evans, a school teacher and Mississippi native, heads a grass-roots organization called the Gulf Coast Peoples' Movement for Full and Fair Recovery.
Katrina victims have been forgotten - we want their voices heard by everyone in the country, said Latifa Woodhouse of Great Neck, who, with her husband, Colin, arranged for the Manhasset stop. Estimates range from 15,000 to 37,000 New Orleans and Gulf Region families are still housed in FEMA trailers, which scientists last year determined to have potentially dangerous levels of formaldehyde.
He has been driving the trailer across the country, scheduling stops near the White House and the Capitol in Washington, D.C., the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, and other tour sites. He plans to park the trailer close to both the Republican and Democratic conventions and presidential debate sites.