World Trade Center Environmental Organization   


"I'm glad to reassure the people of New York that their air is safe to breathe."

Christine Todd Whitman    September 18, 2001  

"Residents are advised to use a wet mop... to clean their apartments."

New York City Department of Health

Over 21 Deaths to date from Illness Among Ground Zero Workers; One, Age 34 

"This is just the tip of the iceberg."  Attorney David Worby   January 13, 2006

In the interest of sanity (mostly mine) the World Trade Center Environmental Organization will not be keeping a rigorously up-to-date tally of the deaths from 9/11-related illness.

Bone Marrow Needed by Stuyvesant High School Alumnus

How Science Was Abused to Perpetrate Lies After 9/11:  A Cautionary Tale for the Approaching Peak Oil Disaster

Judge Slams Whitman and EPA  NY Times

Giuliani Also Implicated  

Environmental Disaster of 9/11 May Hurt Giuliani Presidential Bid

Click on pictures above for more terrestrial views of dust cloud  NASA photos   

Letter To Dr. John Howard

Dr. Howard's Response

Letter from Stuyvesant Students

Apply for the WTC Health Effects Treatment Program/ WTC Medical Monitoring Program  or

Other Treatment Programs for Sick First Responders of 9/11, Residents et al.

Drugs at Cost for First Responders

Sign the Petition for Comprehensive Health Care

Dust to Dust:  The Health Effects of 9/11:  Sundance Channel, September 11, 2006, 10 P.M.


Peak Oil:

Act 2:  From the Wilderness' Peak Oil Blog

Under the Radar:  Peak Oil News You May Have Missed


World Trade Center Environmental Organization Spokesperson's poem "Dubya's Lament:  If I Only Had a Brain" in Cynic Magazine's Best of 2005.

9/11, [Phrase Removed] and Twelve Foot Reptiles in the Royal Family

Chapter 1,  Chapter 2, (excerpted) One Big Thing, (New!) Chapter 5'Whitman Interrupted' or One Resident's Story from Ground Zero Wars,  a memoir of the environmental disaster of 9/11 from the point of view of a Stuyvesant High School mother.

In the speech posted here, I did not say "air particles."  That phrase is the result of editorial manipulation.

World Trade Center Environmental Organization Spokesperson named among leading 9/11 Truth women. 

Contact: Jenna Orkin

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The Three R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


September 11 was an event that has changed the world and life as we know it.  It was also an environmental disaster of epic proportions. Hundreds of tons of asbestos were pulverized into unusually small particles which the plume carried for miles to Brooklyn and beyond.


 The towers also contained approximately 50,000    computers each made with approximately four pounds of lead and this does not take into account the five other buildings that were destroyed. The tens of thousands of fluorescent light bulbs each contained 41 mg mercury.  The alkalinity of the dust was equivalent to that of liquid drain cleaner.


Photographs of the dust cloud

and from Aman Zafar

PCBs reached 75,000 times their previous record:  ["PCBs were detected at high concentrations. The Toxic Equivalency (TEQ)... is 151pg/L. In previous harbor work...the highest observed PCB TEQ was 0.002pg.L."  EPA Report, September 20, quoted in Fallout  Gonzalez, Juan]  The smoke detectors contained radioactive americium 241. ( EPA Policy Analyst Hugh Kaufman ) In early October, 2001, Dr. Thomas Cahill of the University of Davis at California found levels of very- and ultrafine particulates that were the highest he'd seen of 7000 samples taken around the world including at the burning Kuwaiti oil fields. Months after the disaster the EPA recorded hitherto unseen levels of dioxin


Nonetheless, beginning on September 13, EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman declared the air to be safe.  As a result, Ground Zero workers often labored without benefit of respiratory protection. At a hearing held by the EPA Ombudsman Robert Martin and his Chief Investigator Hugh Kaufman , Lieutenant Manuel Gomez testified that when he brought his own respirator he was instructed not to wear it for fear of frightening the public. New York City Transit worker Walter Jensen has stated that when he asked for a respirator he was threatened with disciplinary action and firing. He later suffered a heart attack and at the age of fifty-five says he will never work again. Scientists such as Dr. Cate Jenkins, Dr. Marjorie Clarke, Paul Bartlett and others warned of the consequences of inhaling the toxic dust and fumes but were unheeded by the agencies in charge.

Also as a result of the EPA's repeated denials that there was anything amiss in the air, residents returned home. The EPA having renounced its authority overindoor air, the residents cleared thousands of tons of toxic dust according to instructions they were given by the  New York City Department of Health:  Use a wet mop or wet rag. Workers also returned to their offices downtown. In early October, Borough of Manhattan Community College and Stuyvesant High School reopened. Since state and federal laws were suspended in the 'emergency' conditions that prevailed for the eight months of cleanup, the main waste transfer station was placed at Stuyvesant's North entrance next to the ventilation system intakes and across the street from BMCC's 17,000 students and a housing complex of 5000.

The World Trade Center Environmental Organization was founded to protest these circumstances, in particular the barge operation. In March, 2002 we organized a demonstration which was attended by hundreds of protesters from the Stuyvesant Parents' Association, as well as residential and other organizations.  Members of WTCEO went on to serve on the Steering Committees of 9/11 Environmental Action and Concerned Stuyvesant Community. The activists of these organizations have also demonstrated and testified at hearings at all levels of government as well as at the many scientific conferences that have been held concerning 9/11 toxic contamination.

As a result of community activism as well as the efforts of Congressman Nadler, the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project, NYCOSH and others, in May, 2002, the EPA reversed its stand on indoor air and announced it would undertake a voluntary cleanup program of apartments in the immediate vicinity of Ground Zero. The program was dangerously flawed, however, as was noted in the press.

In August, 2003, the Inspector General of the EPA confirmed the suspicions of the community and government activists: It issued a Report which stated that the EPA had changed press releases at the instigation of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  (The CEQ has also recently been cited as the source of edited press releases about climate change.)

The worst fears of the early alarm-sounders were also being confirmed:  Ground Zero workers were manifesting persistent, debilitating respiratory symptoms which restricted their ability to work and live normally.  Analogous symptoms were also appearing among residents and office workers as well as in the school community.

For further details see Testimony.



Translations (by human, rather than computer translators at 

Dutch (Nederlands,) French (francais), German (Deutsch), Italian (italiano) Portuguese (portugues) Spanish (Espanol)



The world faces another disaster of greater significance even than 9/11.  It is known as Peak Oil.  For further information on this unprecedented but globally catastrophic event, go to

Peak Oil including "Under the Radar:  Peak Oil News You May Have Missed"


Jenna Orkin   Website constructed:  May 2004   Web Consultant:  Jan Hoyer


WTCEO co-sponsors petition to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for an investigation into 9/11  


World Trade Center Environmental Organization's Articles On Environmental Disaster of 9/11 and related topics

Interview with firefighter/author Dennis Smith

"The Lingering Cloud of 9/11" on or Counterpunch

"EPA and a Dirty Bomb" in Counterpunch

9/11 the Sequel:  The Toxic State of Lower Manhattan

Three Monkeys Online article/interview

EPA's New, Not Particularly Improved Sampling Plan

Reflections on 9/11 Envirodisaster and Bill Moyers

White House Reclaims $125 Million from Ground Zero Workers

The Unfairness of the FAIR Act to the Ground Zero Community

EPA's Latest Betrayal at Ground Zero

Testimony at Panel Meeting December 13, 2005

Notes from the Brooklyn Front 

Saving Private Capital (written for Billionaires for Bush)

George Bush, the Joint Chiefs and Me

Letter to the Editor of the Village Voice

A Day in the Brief Life of the West Side Stadium

Testimony to the City Council, January 11, 2007


WTC Environmental Organization's Poetry (this is a website; poetry is inevitable:)

Dubya's Lament

Wall Street, Wall Street

WTC Enviropoetry

The Earth in Eight Verses

9/11 Poetry

Homage to the WTC Expert Technical Review Panel

Vive, le Real Estate (Rebuilding doggerel)


Pre 9/11/Peak Oil Writing

A Low-Grade Charge That Never Goes Off (novel excerpt) 

Writer Wannabe Seeks Brush with Death 

Rosalyn Tureck 


Change (Seasons) 

Remembrance of Things Passed and Failed (Teaching Fellowship at Juilliard)  Memories of a Kawaggi in Saudi Arabia 

To Everything There is a Season 

The Last Class (Nadia Boulanger)  

The Meaning of Chimney 

The Joys of Camping 

Have You Got What it Takes To Be Hip?

The Don as Teacher:  William Hickey's Other Role    

Roy Cohn, Rosamund Bernier, The Princess of the Jury and Other Profiles

The Girls of St. Xavier (not its real name)  

Um, Parlez-Vous Engelska? 

Ode Upon Getting to the Bus Stop in Time to Watch Two Busses Go Lumbering Off Together Into the Sunset

Gabriel's Story 

Park Diary


Desperate Case

70% Ground Zero Workers Sick

Mt. Sinai Study

Banauch Firefighter Study

Save Lives with 150$ Lung Exam

Heroes' Lawsuit Allowed to Proceed

Recent Press

Information EPA withheld from the public after 9/11

Sierra Club Report or Executive Summary

Gulf Vet Ills from Depleted Uranium

Other Activist and Neighborhood Organizations working on WTC Health and Safety Issues

Elected and Appointed Officials

Cast of Characters

Articles on Contaminants etc:  Greenfacts

Gold Standard for Cleanup

Comments by the WTC Expert Technical Review Panel on EPA's Proposed Sampling Plan

Intel Prize project inspired by 9/11 exposure

Lawsuit (in which I'm one of the original plaintiffs)