Toxic New Orleans

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Federal agents working to clear the last hold-outs from a swamped New Orleans are now wielding a threat stronger than the mayor's evacuation order. It is not safe, they say, to stay in the city.

The post-Katrina waters flooding the city, they say, are a killer stew of toxic threats — a bio-chemical nightmare of sewage, bacteria, rotting corpses, heavy metals, pesticides and petro-chemical waste.

The great oaks and magnolias of New Orleans have turned brown. The threat to human life, says the EPA, is very real. Estimates of the clean-up time range from months to many years.

Hear about toxic New Orleans, and the public health and eco-system challenges ahead for a poisoned city.


Michael Shliefstein, Environmental Reporter for The Times-Picayune

Hugh Kaufman, Senior Policy Analyst for the EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response

This program aired on September 8, 2005.


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