HHA's Meth Lab Time-Bomb?

Children at risk: neurological defects, respiratory problems, birth defects from exposure to toxic chemicals

I've gotta tell you, GA is finding the midnight push by Beth Mason, Tim Occhipinti, Mike Russo and Terry Castellano to increase the population of HHA public housing disgusting and this one is NOT just about politics.

It's about the health and safety of HHA residents we already have who depend on ED Carmelo Garcia and his 'staff' to keep their facilities safe and clean, but have been a failure on both counts.

The  HHA with it's current population is a place where some have felt at liberty to manufacture meth and sell heroin.

With that, and the unclean condition of the facilities (urine-filled elevators), buildings without fire suppression,  plus the occasional dead  body turning up (the latest was found in a stairwell, surrounded by drug paraphenalia), does anyone believe that management can handle the proposed 25% population increase?

Tell that to City Council members Mason, Occhipinti, Russo and Castellano who tried to push through developer tax-breaks for the proposal to increase the overall population of the HHA.  These politicians don't look at the HHA residents as people;  they are next year's crop of VBMs and paid 'campaign workers.' 

Child suffering from exposure to lead, a waste product from meth manufacturing

Beth Mason's long-term employee lives at 501 Marshall Drive, the building that housed the meth lab.  Tim Occhipinti's campaign worker rented the meth lab apartment.  HHA ED Carmelo Garcia  also employed the meth lab's 'owner' in his 2011 BoE race.  Mason's husband, Ricky Mason, gave $7,540 on April 27, 2011-- the same day the meth lab 'owner' got paid $35 for her 'work'.  (What a coincidence!)

Are you geting the picture?

The cheerleaders for building bigger, higher HHA housing, and cramming in MORE HHA residents (25% more at least)  don't care that the current HHA management let 6 buildings go for months without fire suppression systems, did not use a FEMA grant from Hurricane Irene to raise building generators, allows residents to pee in elevators, has meth labs, heroin dealers and the occasional dead body on his premises... none of that matters to these four .

Russo cries "racist" while living in segregated (nearly all-white) PILOTed housing.  Are the Russos forced to ride in elevators wearing rubber diapers that stink like urine?  Where meth is manufactured and heroin is sold?  What a phony.

And there's Tim Occhipinti, who employed the meth lab 'owner' in TWO campaigns (2010 and 2011) threatening litigation if developer give-backs aren't voted on.

Terry Castellano is a landlord- does she allow her tenants to piss in public areas in her buildings?  What kind of management allows that behavior?

But the most unforgivable aspect to all of this is lack of attention or concern for the inhabitants of 501 Marshall Drive.  GA was told at last week's HHA meeting, Carmelo Garcia said the meth lab apartment was "cleaned up".   Is that it?  Has anyone inquired further?  Was the apartment tested, before and after?  Did a certified contractor with hazardous waste clean-up experience do the job?

In March 2013, the EPA has issued  'Guidelines for Voluntary Methamphetamine Laboratory Clean-Up": http://www.epa.gov/osweroe1/meth_lab_guidelines.pdf  It is a frightening read.  

If 501 Marhall Drive was not properly cleaned and decontaminated, then it is a ticking time bomb for it's residents- especially children and those yet to be born.

Children may be more vulnerable to environmental exposures than adults because their bodily systems are still developing; they eat more, drink more and breathe more in proportion to their body size; and their behavior can expose them more to chemicals and organisms.

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP), children who live in or visit meth labs or are present during drug production face acute health and safety risks. The age-related behaviors of young children (such as frequent hand-to-mouth contact and physical contact with their environment) increase the likelihood that they will inhale, absorb or ingest toxic chemicals, drugs or contaminated food. Their physiological characteristics (such as higher metabolic and respiratory rates and a developing central nervous system) leave them particularly vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemical exposures.

Children may also have a special vulnerability to certain harmful materials that may be present during meth lab remediation activities, including lead, asbestos and mercury. For these reasons, special care should betaken when cleaning up a former meth lab if a child lives or will live in the residence.

The EPA guidelines are very clear that a certified specialist in hazardous waste cleanup should be used.

Has the meth lab at 501 Marchall been properly cleaned?  Are the residents safe? 

These are the questions Mason, Occhipinti, Russo and Castellano should be asking, instead of "How can we increase the population of the HHA?"