With a little more than a year left in the administration of George W. Bush, top officials of the Environmental Protection Agency have begun mapping out strategies for how to dispose of the toxic, in some cases highly lethal, waste produced by the Bush team over the last seven years, EPA insiders revealed today.
“At this point, we’re not sure how much, or how bad,” said a source who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation. “We’re not going to be able to go in and do a full environmental assessment until the Administration has left the White House and other federal agencies.”
Although no department seems to have been unaffected by the unprecedented output of toxic materials, EPA officials express greatest concern over the state of the Department of Justice, the Executive Mansion – which houses the offices of Vice President Dick Cheney – and the White House itself.
“We’re not sure,” the same official said, “but we’re pretty certain that all three are going to qualify as Superfund sites.”
To date, no detailed plans have been finalized on how to undertake the extensive remediation the EPA expects will be needed in and around 2100 Pennsylvania Avenue, but already questions about how to transport and store toxic materials — much of it radioactive — from numerous sites around the federal government have stirred controversy. An early trial balloon sent up by the agency to ship the waste at the Yucca Mountain storage facility in Nevada was effectively blocked when the proposal met stiff opposition on the part of every governor – Democrat and Republican – of the states lying in the path between Washington, D.C. and Nevada.
“Sure it was a setback,” admitted the anonymous EPA official, “but who can really blame them? Preliminary tests indicate that the materials generate by Dick Cheney and Karl Rove has a half-life of more than 10,000 years. This stuff’s going to be deadly for a long, long time. For example, we estimate that just one teaspoon of the waste from Cheney’s office would be enough to kill the population of a city, say, the size of Baghdad.”