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HEALTHY SCHOOLS NETWORK, INC

773 Madison Avenue— 1st PI, Albany, NY 12208


518-462-0632, 212-482-0204
www.healthyschools. org

May 28, 2004- via email, hard copy follows

The Honorable Thomas H. Kean, Chairman


Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
(The 9/11 Commission)
301 7th Street, SW, Room 5125
Washington, DC 20407

Dear Governor Kean:

Regarding the events of 9/11 and thereafter and the unexpected impacts on children and their
families associated with public schools in lower Manhattan:

The Healthy Schools Network commissioned and co-published with the American Public Health
Association Schools of Ground Zero: Early Lessons Learned in Children's Environmental
Health, a peer-reviewed documentary report that chronicles the evacuations and lack of
preparedness of local schools and the subsequent efforts of voluntary Parent Associations that
worked tirelessly and on their own to ensure that the schools their children were asked to re-occupy
were, in fact, adequately de-contaminated and maintained as healthy learning environments for
children. We were shocked to learn in May 2002, many months after the events of 9/11 that neither
New York City nor state education officials had ever consulted with the parents of Ground Zero to
incorporate their advice on how to make school emergency plans effective and efficient.

Copies of this report, released at a US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
Hearing on October 1,2002 have also been shared with the US Department of Education/Office of
Safe and Drug-Free Schools, the office of the Director of National Institutes of Environmental
Health Sciences, the Director of the National Center for Environmental Health of CDC, the
Director of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, US EPA/Office of Child Health
Protection staff and the Office's federal advisory committee, all members of the New York State
legislature, the state Board of Regents, and senior management of the New York City and state
education agencies. A copy of the report is attached here; copies are being forwarded to The 9/11
Commission Members and the commission's Team 8 in New York.

The crucial issues raised by our report for the federal education, health, security, and environment
agencies remain unaddressed today, a issue that resonates with the families of the nation's 50 million
school children attending 115,000 schools.
\)^e urge your Commission to:
• verify independently by consulting with parent associations and local fire safety officials if
local schools have in fact taken basic steps to prepare for future terrorist emergencies,
including locating, identifying, and removing high hazard chemicals and explosive materials
from schools;
• if those emergency management plans are rehearsed and if the plans have incorporated the
practical advice of parents of Ground Zero— indeed the only parents •with this kind of
experience in this country; and,
• if the President's Inter Agency Task Force on Risks to Children's Health and Risks to
Children's Safety (authorized by a 1997 federal executive order renewed by President Bush
in 2003) has established a federal agency to be responsible for, to create, and to enforce as
needed guidelines and standards for the remediation of chemically contaminated or
otherwise damaged school facilities prior to re-occupancy by children.

Healthy Schools Network, Inc. is a 501 c3 not for profit environmental health research, information,
and advocacy organization, based in New York State and working nationally that has helped shape
and secure new policies and funds to address the conditions of schools nationally and in New York
State. Through its award-wining national Clearinghouse, more than 1,000 individual parents,
personnel, and schools were assisted last year, and in the last two years, more than half of school
honored by US EPA for improved facilities came from communities -who tapped this resource.

Claire L. Bamett, MBA, Executive Director

The writer has co-chaired the Schools Policy Panel of the prestigious 9th Triennial International Conference on Indoor
Air, chaired the US EPA Office of Child Health Protection's Schools Work Group, presented national coalition
testimony to the US Senate, and led a White House Briefing in October 2003.

cc w/enc: Members of the Commission


Philip D. Zelikow, Executive Director
John Farmer, Team 8 Leader, NY,
Georges Benjamin, MD, Executive Director, American Public Health Association
We urge your Commission to:
• verify independently by consulting with parent associations and local fire safety officials if
local schools have in fact taken basic steps to prepare for future terrorist emergencies,
including locating, identifying, and removing high hazard chemicals and explosive materials
from schools;
• if those emergency management plans are rehearsed and if the plans have incorporated the
practical advice of parents of Ground Zero— indeed the only parents with this kind of
experience in this country; and,
• if the President's Inter Agency Task Force on Risks to Children's Health and Risks to
Children's Safety (authorized by a 1997 federal executive order renewed by President Bush
in 2003) has established a federal agency to be responsible for, to create, and to enforce as
needed guidelines and standards for the remediation of chemically contaminated or
otherwise damaged school facilities prior to re-occupancy by children.

Healthy Schools Network, Inc. is a 501c3 not for profit environmental health research, information,
and advocacy organization, based in New York State and working nationally that has helped shape
and secure new policies and funds to address the conditions of schools nationally and in New York
State. Through its award-wining national Clearinghouse, more than 1,000 individual parents,
personnel, and schools were assisted last year, and in the last two years, more than half of school
honored by US EPA for improved facilities came from communities who tapped this resource.

Sincerely,

/ Claire L. Barnett /

Claire L. Barnett, MBA, Executive Director

The miter has co-chaired the Schools Policy Panel of the prestigious 9th Triennial International Conference on Indoor
Air, chaired the US EPA Office of Child Health Protection's Schools Work Group, presented national coalition
testimony to the US Senate, and led a White House Brie/ing in October 2003.

cc w/enc: Members of the Commission


Philip D. Zelikow, Executive Director
John Farmer, Team 8 Leader, NY, NY
Georges Benjamin, MD, Executive Director, American Public Health Association