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FEMA rethinks trailers

July 25, 2007|From the Associated Press

JACKSON, MISS. — Days after the Federal Emergency Management Agency's chief spokesman said concerns about formaldehyde would not stop it from selling or donating surplus disaster trailers, the agency said Tuesday that it is reviewing the policy.

FEMA headquarters issued an advisory on Tuesday that said the agency was "reviewing a number of policies related to travel trailers, including the status of sales and donations."

FEMA provided 120,000 travel trailers to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Some occupants last year reported nosebleeds and headaches.

Congressional leaders were outraged after documents revealed FEMA attorneys discouraged the agency from investigating reports that some trailers had high levels of formaldehyde.

FEMA spokesman Aaron Walker told the Associated Press last week the agency would continue to sell or donate the trailers, and that recipients "will be fully advised of the concerns regarding formaldehyde levels."

Tuesday's advisory said the report quoting Walker was in error. Walker confirmed he had made the statement but added: "All of the policies are under review right now."

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