I’m pleased to announce that I will be chairing the first ever Congressional oversight investigation into the failures of the federal government in responding to the environmental crisis that resulted from the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks. Along with a companion hearing in the Senate by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), these hearings are the first of their kind. The lack of thorough Congressional oversight thus far has allowed years of finger-pointing and evading of responsibility. Now, it is time for the truth.

My hearing will examine the federal post-9/11 environmental response and related possible violations of the substantive due process rights of individuals living and working in the vicinity of the World Trade Center on, or after, September 11, 2001. I have already called to testify former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, former OSHA Administrator John Henshaw, and other departmental heads involved in the safety of those affected by the 9/11 attacks. A recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York found that former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman’s falsely reassuring and misleading statements of safety after the attacks of 9/11 support “an allegation of a violation of the substantive due process right to be free from official government policies that increase the risk of bodily harm.