Improving the Odds of Government Accountability in the Disaster-Prone Era: Using the 9/11 Fund Factors to Remedy the Problem of Toxic Katrina Trailers

27 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2010

See all articles by Olympia Duhart

Olympia Duhart

Nova Southeastern University - Shepard Broad College of Law

Date Written: Spring 2009

Abstract

This article analyzes the dangers surrounding the toxicity levels in the trailers issued to Katrina survivors by FEMA, and identifies serious medical complications stemming from the temporary homes. Lack of government oversight in the process led to the distribution of formaldehyde-laced trailers that cost the government more than $2 billion and continue to poison residents years after the storm. Furthermore, the failures connected to disaster relief are even more disturbing in this disaster-prone era.

More importantly, this paper also proposes the creation of a Toxic Trailer Fund to compensate residents of toxic FEMA trailers. Using the factors implicitly established by the 9/11 Fund – the national perspective, the uniqueness of the circumstances, the need for physical and psychological closure and the prompt and predictable alternative to litigation – this article makes an argument for providing relief to toxic trailer residents. First, this fund is demanded to redress compounded government harms. Further, this fund will serve the important principle of good government by strengthening government accountability.

Keywords: Katrina, FEMA, toxicity, trailers, FEMA trailers, disaster relief, compensation, 9/11 Fund, housing, temporary homes

JEL Classification: K10, K13

Suggested Citation

Duhart, Olympia, Improving the Odds of Government Accountability in the Disaster-Prone Era: Using the 9/11 Fund Factors to Remedy the Problem of Toxic Katrina Trailers (Spring 2009). Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law, Vol. 24, No. 2, Spring 2009, NSU Shepard Broad Law Center Research Paper No. 10-009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1669645

Olympia Duhart (Contact Author)

Nova Southeastern University - Shepard Broad College of Law ( email )

3305 College Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314
United States

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