Group Wants FEMA to Stop Selling or Donating Travel Trailers - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Hope, AR

Group Wants FEMA to Stop Selling or Donating Travel Trailers

HOPE, AR - The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it will continue to sell or donate surplus Hurricane Katrina trailers despite the possibility of high formaldehyde levels in the dwellings.  Thousands of mobile homes and travel trailers are stored at the airport in Hope, Arkansas.

A FEMA spokesman says new recipients of the homes will be advised about formaldehyde levels in the travel trailers.

A Mississippi environmental group wants the distribution to end until there is evidence from testing showing there's no formaldehyde threat.  Prolongued exposure to the chemical can cause respiratory and other problems.

"Before FEMA sells any more of these or gives these to people...each trailer needs to be tested.  If it comes in over the limit, it shouldn't be sold or given away until the formaldehydy is remediated," said Becky Gillette of the Mississippi chapter of the Sierra Club.

FEMA drew the ire of Capitol Hill Democrats and Republicans last week after documents revealed that government lawyers discouraged investigating reports of high formaldehyde levels in the trailers that still house thousands of Mississippi and Louisiana victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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